Travel G-spots

POV {+ Travel Tips}: on JAIPUR

POV {+ Travel Tips}: on JAIPUR

Illustration by 211 Studio of New Delhi, India

ahhh… the Paris of India does indeed live up to the grotty, unpleasant Paris, France I know! Possibly one of my worst experience during this entire trip. Why?

Firstly, this has again got to do with unmatched expectations.
The Hawa Mahal …. hmmm… the much raved about Hawa Mahal (…well, how do I put it?) is a ‘wall’. And not a very big one, mind you.

After visiting all the walled-city and forts, this is truly a disappointing wall, and I am being extremely generous and polite here.

OK. Look. 
The Hawa Mahal is ONLY 5 storey high and stretches less than 50 paces across.

Viewing this unusual structure from the side, it becomes evident that it has no residential purpose reinforcing the feeling that it’s merely a very hole-ly wall (or screen) rather than a palace.

Add in the apparent lack of ornamentation on its inner face coupled by huge characterless masses of pillars leading to the 5th floor of this ‘wall’, the  overall experience for me was … well, bizarre and plain ugly.


Having seen hundreds of photographs of the wall – full frontal (like this one I took) – I had imagined it to be a fascinating ornate bees’ nest look alike that stretches on and on and on…

POV {+ Travel Tips}: on JAIPURThe Hawa Mahal photograph by {p}.Haque | All Rights Reserved

In reality, to do justice to any attempt to take a picture of the ‘wall’ one has to angle the camera – since the wall was built following the elevation of the ascending hill, stand across the street and painfully crop off all the homeless ladies and toddles begging at the bottom of the wall. If you had imagined it to be a haveli … well, it’s just a wall. Or a screen really to allow the ladies in the harem to watch the outside world go by while protecting them from being seen by the outside world.

Digital photograph by {p}.Haque | All Rights Reserved – click to enlarge

As if the ‘wall’ wasn’t bad enough, the pink-obsession of the city is really a turn-off unless you are into Barbie Dolls. Oh well, I had 6 Barbies growing up and a  huge Barbie house complete with appliances etc… but this is really stretching the pink-obsession, even for a Barbie doll person like me.

Sure… it’s called the Pink City but … listen, it’s not the ‘pink’ sandstone colour of the Hawa Mahal that surrounds you, but the ‘Pink Panther‘ pink Dulux emulsion paint pink type of pink, which one can only muster a guess was the Prince of Wales’ favourite colour!

On the whole, Jaipur was congested, dusty, dirty and unruly with barely clothed children, pigs, cows, Sadhu alike loitering the streets. And if it weren’t for our heritage hotel – Hotel Bissau Palace – our sanctuary, we would have fled Jaipur hours upon arriving, which on hindsight could have been a good thing as we slept through our connecting train to Jodhpur … in the comforts of our ‘royal’ beds.

We never made to Jodhpur despite finally locating a cyber cafe in Jaipur to change the hotel bookings, train tickets etc.

Jaipur had simply sapped our energy and when they tell ya a cyber cafe is 500 metres away … it means 5 miles away really … coz by the time you had stopped the 10th person who says “500 meters” while smiling and shaking his bobbing head both vertically and horizontally … well, you do the math!


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This entry was posted on January 7, 2013 by in Asia, TRAVEL ITINERARY & POV and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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