With the hotel undergoing construction and not really wanting to eat our breakfast in the rooms we ventured back to the hotel were we had dinner last night. Four slices of toast with butter and jam for 55p and a Nutella crêpes for 90p it was a bit of a bargain. The crepe came out a little cold so if we came here tomorrow we would be sure to ask or it to be served on hot plates.
Everyone had run out of money and with Tolly not having an ATM card the first stop was to the Bank of Baroda. When we arrived all the staff were standing and singing what we think was a prayer, blessing the working day. Tolly took out about £300 and in India this is a huge wedge of cash and both Hayley and I were a little nervous when Tolly was just waving it around in his hand explaining how much of a pain the cashier was being! Put in in the bag Tolly and lets get out of here, everyone is looking at us!
Jaipur offers a vast number of attractions for tourists so it was hard to know where to start. Looking at Trip Advisor and the map we found a lot of the top attractions were clumped together in a small area called the Pink City. We selected four of the most interesting and stared them on Google maps before leaving the hotel.
We really should have done a bit of reading before we left, the first stop was Hawa Mahal, a beautiful pinkish building but we had no idea what it was. When we got back the internet informed us that it was built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivals while unseen from the outside. The building is not very large but you do get to climb up quite high and get a great view of the locals carrying out their trades below, they sell everything from pottery and clothing to tyres and jewellery, all from tiny little shopfronts or just off the street floor.
The next stop was something I have been looking forward to, Jantar Mantar. This is an astronomical observatory built in the 16th century and offers an amazing insight in to how the founding fathers of astronomy could map the celestial sphere with little more than carved stone. I even shelled out £1.50 on an audio guide and made Hayley and Tolly wait around whilst I listened to every word. Jantar Mantar is not just for the Physics enthusiast, the beauty of the structures can be appreciated by everyone and the ginormous sundials that can keep time to an accuracy of two seconds are marvellous.
Right next door to the observatory is the City Palace. This was another building where we had no idea what it was, but we guessed it must have been where the royal family lived as the decorations where divine. Probably the most interesting part of the palace was the two very large 980 Gallon silver pots made from 14,000 standard issue silver coins rather than bullion. The coins were hammered in to large sheets and then folded around mould, very unconventional but they do hold the world record as the largest silver pots in the world.
Unfortunately the next place on our list was closed so we headed back to the hotel to head out for an early dinner and it was lucky we did. By total fluke the best and second best restaurants in the whole of the city were located 30 meters from our hotel. Number two looked a lot nicer so we decided to try there today and check out number one tomorrow. The restaurant was called the Peacock Roof Top Restaurant and was situated right on top of a posh hotel. The restaurants decorations and lighting were really nice and the food was superb. After we finished our meal we explored a little and found there are tee pee booths and a luxury indoor section. It’s probably why it was voted one of the most romantic restaurants in the whole of India. The view from top was lovely: