Our guest house is 1km away from the train station, and is about 3km away to the Pink City. The night we arrived, we checked in together with a female solo traveler from Chile. As the owner gave us a map and a brief explanation, she asked if it is possible to walk to the Pink City. The owner, however insisted us to take a rickshaw, but yes, he said it’s possible, and he keeps warning us how far the Pink City is. The three of us decided to walk to the Pink City on the next day.
My little thought, 3km wouldn’t be that hard, I’ve been doing a 10k for several times and have a daily morning run routine which will cover at least 5k per day. We were wrong, I was wrong! It was 3km plus the heat, dust, busy traffic, the GPS keeps rerouting, the map was upside down, pees are everywhere, thank God we didn’t step on any poop yet and we were sweating like hell! But we reached Pink City anyway, that was the first and the last time we walk to the city!
Jaipur is known for its shopping paradise, and the main reason for us to come over is for its infamous block printing industry. But, we have to go further to Sanganer, a small village 16km to the south, by bus! It was already noon, so we decided to go Sanganer the next day as the bus took about half an hour from Jaipur.
We explored the Pink City from the nearest starting point, Bapu Bazaar. Dusty pink, pale red stones, some of the building colour are fading, but the architecture is still standing strong. I got blind by the richness of the saris colour in each and every store. They have a different range, some are quite similar, of saris, clothing, jhoti (shoes), and souvenirs.
In between the saris shop are shops selling cake, chai or lassi. At the end of the corner, there will be a pee stall (I don’t know what should I name it) but it’s an open space peeing area, and on the opposite of that particular area is a sugar cane stall where you can smell a mixed scent of pee, and sugar cane.
The art of bargaining in Jaipur
The shopkeepers don’t always put a price tag on their saris (or other product), and you got to ask them, and they’ll invite you to the shop, served you with chai (some don’t) and make you buy, if you really want it, put your bargain hat, and deal your price. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t, if you win, they’ll make you add-in more purchase. As I learn the pattern, I’ll insist to know the price before I decided to accept their invitation to the shop, or not. We spent a half day around the market and bazaar to know the price range of saris, kid’s clothing and other souvenirs we wanted to bring back home.
Haha Mahal, a fascinating architectural design resemble honeycomb
The art of architecture, built in 1977, constructed by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. It was then used by the royal ladies to over looking the daily life of the marhain at the city. The building was actually built in the form of Krishna’s crown
I was imagining a beautiful Indian girl in her colorful sari and covered face, sitting next to the beautifully carved window, painted in dusty pink and gold, with a book in her hand, she secretly peeping through the window at her secret love. A tall, dark and brute handsome man. And they changed the glance, before the father noticed, and the rest is as per melancholy Bollywood drama.
As we walk further from Hawa Mahal, near to the entrance we met a guy selling block printing, as we talked, he invited us over to his storage room where he stored more of it. We agreed. He showed us a few boxes with thousands different blocks on it. We settled on mostly animal prints and some basic pattern, while he explained to us the process of block printing.
We continued our journey till we get to the point where we started and we were starving. The chips we had were not enough, I was dying for curry and chicken masala but we didn’t want to risk the possibilities of getting diarrhea or anything worse than that by getting food from the roadside eateries. So we took a rickshaw back to the guesthouse and nourished our hungry soul with home-cooked meal at the guesthouse.
We had our dinner at the rooftop accompanied by Indian musical songs played through the speakers installed on the rooftop, we sat on the long couch. The fairy lights twinkling following the beat on the wall with an elephant decals all over it and I started to like India as a whole.
There will be a time where I find it’s hard to sleep at night, so I keep staring at the ceiling fan, a well decorated ceiling fan hypnotised me into a deep sleep.