Today (Friday) we began the morning at the so-called Wind Palace in the pink city of the Maharajas of Jaipur, a vast complex of palaces and courtyards all ornately decorated and all painted pink. Here we saw throne rooms, a museum of the clothing and linens of the Maharajas through generations, a museum of weapons: swords, daggers and such for royal usage. There was a collection of amazing painted portraits of the M's through the ages. There were two sterling silver water urns made specially for carrying Ganges water (700 gallons each) to England when the Maharaja traveled there so that his food could be cooked with holy Ganges water and keep him pure.
There were snake charmers outside performing for us tourists!
Next we went to another World Heritage Site called Jantar Mantar, built 300 years ago as an astronomical observatory. It looked like a modern sculpture park, everything beautifully simple and stark. But it was all a collection of giant devices for measuring the earth's position in the universe, locating various stars and constellations, and telling time by using the sun and stars. It was a stunning place to go.
After a particularly scrumptious lunch we had a free afternoon, a chance for some down time or to explore on our own. We did some laundry, and relaxed at the hotel. Later Annie and I walked through the daunting streets without being run over, and did a little clothes shopping at a place called Fab India, and it is! Throughout the day I snapped photos of random stuff we saw:
(very) small business
Pigeon feed for sale. It's considered good karma to feed animals, so everybody does it.
Moving a huge cauldron
Street barber shop
The highlight of the day was the home visit this evening with a, extended Hindu family (3 generations) who made dinner for us (6 from our group went together) and entertained us so charmingly for the evening. The young couple told us about their arranged marriage and shared so much about their lives. It was a real treat to be in their home.
There are so many stories to tell but our free time and internet time are both limited. You'll just have to know that we are having some very amazing days here!!
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