Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Unreliable prices

This is the add I found in my mailbox today.
Doesn't that sound like a great deal for internet?
All new speeds at unreliable prices.

It's likely that they meant to say "unbelievable".

Though maybe they really did mean "unreliable", because that is probably more accurate...

Monday, April 16, 2012

One last look at Jaipur

Finally, I've shared everything I saw in Jaipur.  If ever you have opportunity:  DO NOT MISS SEEING JAIPUR.

Yes, I shouted that at you.

It is truly a fascinating location with so much to see--both people and places.

And here I leave you with some final photos from Jaipur.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

The pink city from above

The city of Jaipur is in a valley, so there are a number of places to go up into the hills and look down on it, and I had plenty of those opportunities.
There it is:  Swargasuli tower in the center of the old city.
From seven stories up, I had a pretty good view, but Nahargarh fort is even higher, and that's where I took this picture from.

Jaipur is called the "Pink City".  What do you think, after seeing the city from all these different angles, does it look like a pink city?

Pink or not, it sure has a lot to see.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Animals in the road III: Camels

My third and final post in the series of pictures of animals in the road is highlighting the camels.

Arguably more funny looking than elephants, and more ornery than cows, I keep my distance from the camels.
But they are fascinating to watch.

Peacocks next door

Have you ever asked a peacock to hold still while you took his photo?

They are very uncooperative.

Jal Mahal

The Jal Mahal is so pretty.
I like to just look at it.  
And so here are just a few different views of it as seen from around the Jaipur area. 

The palace as seen from the hills above the city.
Mansagar lake is artificial; created just for the purpose of surrounding the lake with water.
Both the lake and the palace have undergone extensive restoration in the past ten years in order to save it from damage.
The building is five stories high, four of which are underwater.  Someday I want to go and see it up close.
The palace in the lake.
Ah yes, it's a lovely sight.


On a hot day, the coconut can be the perfect bit of refreshment.
So then you find a guy like this who chops one open for you.
After you debate the price for several minutes, of course.
Ah, coconut. 

Nahargarh fort stepwell

It's another baoli for my stepwell treasure hunt.

This one is unique in that there's no symmetry in the design whatsoever.   Just kind of steps cut out of the hillside to collect water in.

Crazy steps that look almost like waves rolling down the hill.
The fort and stepwell at Nahargarh are not so old.  They were built in the mid 1700s as a defense fort, which was never used.

What it has been used for, all these years later, is film making. 

Scenes from Aamir Khan's 2006 movie Rang de Basanti were filmed at the stepwell.  Because of the movie, it has become a popular hang out.

Solla Solla (from Thiruvannamalai) is another Bollywood scene filmed at the stepwell and other famous Jaipur sights.
It's true:  they are very photogenic places.

Langurs hangin' out

Here are some langur monkeys hanging out in old and shady places.
I'm not a real huge fan of monkeys.  They can be mean, steal your fruit, make a mess of your trash, chase you down the street with a laundry basket...you know, a general menace.  But langurs are usually pretty peaceful and they keep their distance.
These ones were just sitting around picking fleas.  They didn't mind being photographed at all, but I was too chicken to get any closer.
It's fairly common to spot monkeys, but it's still a novelty to me, especially when they are hanging out in old ruins.  I almost missed the ones in the trees--their natural habitat--because I didn't think to look there.  But it makes sense, doesn't it?  Monkeys in trees.
Nice, quiet ones.

Animals in the road II: Elephants

And now for part two of my series on Jaipur's animal traffic:  Elephants.
Who could get tired of taking pictures of them on the road?
Really, it's exciting every time to see them lumbering along with the buses and motorcycles, carts and bicycles.
And most of them have "detailing" just like the rest of the vehicles.

Nope, I just don't get tired of seeing them.

Sagar lake

Sagar lake is a man made lake just behind the Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur.  It was most likely used as a source of water.  People would take it up to the fort in pots, some carried by elephants.
Today it's a picnic area and a favorite bathing spot for these buffalo.

Design inspiration

From a high vantage point in Jaipur, looking out over the Rajasthan landscape, I saw this.

And I was reminded of this.
I wonder if the architects of Chand ki baori and Panna Mian ka kund were inspired by the outlay of their environment, whether they wanted the stepwells to look like they belonged as part of the scenery.

Then, when I see a places like this, with their wildly unique and functional design...

And I am reminded of the images of M.C. Escher, it's worth a moment to wonder if he ever made a trip to India.