Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jaipur: The Pink City

Long, long time ago, more than a century ago, Jaipur welcomed the visit of Prince Albert and Queen Elizabeth II. It was said that to welcome the royal couple, buildings in Jaipur was painted in pink. From then onwards, Jaipur is known as the Pink City.

Our driver told us a similar version, however he didn't mention about pink paint, but more so the buildings in Jaipur are in russet brown stone. Somehow russet brown looked pink in the eyes of Prince Albert. Whilst russet brown is not pink, but I guess Russet Brown city isn't quite as catchy as Pink City. (Or does it look pink to you too?

Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan, founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and Jaipur is named after him. We visited Birla Mandir on the day we reached Jaipur and the balance of places the next day. In order to appreciate the places a little better, we engage the service of a tour guide here as well. This guide has styled a moustache and has the stereotype look of villains in Tamil movies. :P

We stayed in Four Points Sheraton in Jaipur. There are some restaurants, both budget and higher end across the street from the hotel, and a supermarket next to it. Very convenient.

See the shop Kanha? We had dinner there. 
See through bathroom but rest assured, can be covered by curtain
We asked our driver for economical (read: cheap) and local place to eat, he introduced us to Kanha. We had thalis and both were less than Rs200. I thought I'll try a local dessert, some Indian sweet with vermicelli.

After dinner, we scouted out the supermarket next door to hotel and had an early night before painting Jaipur red. ;)

Side note: Posts on India travel makes me feel like having chicken masala. LOL

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jaipur: Birla Mandir

Looking up to Moti Dungari fort
Birla Mandir or Birla Temple is a Hindu temple in Jaipur, located at the base of Moti Dungari hill. It is part of one of the several Birla Mandirs all around the country. This was essentially our first stop in Jaipur as we reached Jaipur in the evening. Our driver did make a stop in Albert Hall but it has passed the opening hour so we only visit it the next day.

Birla Mandir is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi and built in pure white marble. Photography is not permitted inside the temple.

Despite this is a Hindu temple, there are pictures and figures of religious saints, philosophers and historical achievers, like Socrates, Buddha. Here's one of Madonna with Christ.

There are many visitors to the temple, I am not really sure if they are tourists or locals who came for prayers. Some sat outside of the temple in the compound resting, and having a little chat.

Side note: I wish the bills are spread out!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

India: On the road to the Golden Triangle

I uploaded a picture on the route we took here, and Little P asked me, "Where's the triangle?"

So, here's another google map screen shot showing the Golden Triangle of India - Jaipur, Agra and Delhi. Of course, we did not back track to Jaipur, this is merely for illustration purposes. LOL. Sounds very much like an advertisement disclaimer.

The road trip from Udaipur to Jaipur is not short, it took more than half a day and highway in India is unlike the ones you see elsewhere. Likewise other roads or streets in India, one can still see cows sitting in the middle of the road, though we did see more trucks.

Encouraging drivers to give them a honk!
Our driver manoeuvred with super skills, avoiding cows and overtaking cars. As usual, I dozed off in no time though Little P stayed awake as she was in awe with our driver's superior driving skills.

We found the colourful decorations on the trucks very interesting, and our driver stopped by one of the many stalls which sell the truck decos for us. Yup, all these are for the trucks and some of the decorations are meant to ward off bad luck :)

Side note: Back to work, back to work...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ph(f)oto Friday: Cargo Lorry

This was one of the lorry we saw on the so-called highway in India. Out of curiosity, we asked the driver what was the cargo. Have a guess?

Answer: Waste

Side note: Highlight the above space with your mouse for answer ;)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ph(f)oto Friday: Attending Wedding

On our road trip from Udaipur to Jaipur, we saw some happy folks getting on a lorry (or maybe ute is more apt), on their way to a wedding ceremony. ^^

Side note: Shall not do grocery shopping when hungry...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ph(f)oto Friday: Nami Island

Many moons ago, on a fine autumn day, I visited Nami Island in South Korea. I have never blogged about this because this was so long ago that that it would have any contribution of information to anyone and I probably don't have much to say about it anyway, so it would be photos after photos.

This was my first holidays overseas (Singapore don't count), self sponsored. Yes - I actually went to South Korea before stepping into Thailand. All the way back during the fame of the dramas of Autumn in My Heart, and Winter Sonata.

Side note: Reminiscing past holidays before going on another one ;)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Udaipur: A walk in the City

Unexpected view of India
It is said that the population in Udaipur in the year of 2011 is just over 450,000. This number is about 50,000 more than the population of Alor Setar, the city I grew up in. Alor Setar was only officially granted the status of city in 2003. Anyway, I digressed. I meant to write about Udaipur, and Alor Setar is miles and miles away from Udaipur. Let's park it as I am trying to imagine the space, etc.

We had some spare time before dinner after visiting the City Palace,  Island Palace (Jag Minder) and a garden, so we requested if our driver can leave us somewhere in the city and pick up us later. It would give us some time to wander and have a glimpse of Udaipur life, not just the palaces.

Our driver left us outside his friend's shop, we commenced on our little walk as he catched up with his mate.

From the bridge, refer to above photo
We walked towards the archway and it felt like entering another pocket of the city.

Superior carrying things on head skills

We then back tracked and walked along the river. It was interesting to find a cafe by the river.

The bridge has some characteristic that reminded me of China, LOL

Stringed chillies, I think it was to ward off negative energy

We then re-joined our driver and made another pit stop at a local market. One shall not look at the kids who said hi to you or you would be followed for the longest time till you made some payments or purchases.

Side note: I need to be less glutton :|