We spent the day learning some history from this part of India and riding animals.

Jaipur is the capital of Rajistan and was the home of the Maharajas that ruled this part of India for many years.  The Maharajas were Hindus.  For part of the time they ruled under the the Mughals, the Muslim rulers that ruled most of India.  The Mughals built Taj Mahal and other famous sites around northern India that we will also be visiting in a few days.  The Maharajas first built a fort and palace on a mountain ridge in the ancient city of Amber, and then in the 1700’s built a new town and palace a few miles away on the plain.  The new city is Jaipur and it is a planned city and sometimes called the Pink City since the building are all a shade of pink.

We started at the Amber Fort, which is actually a very large old palace up on the mountain ridge.  One of the Maharajas had 12 wives and had to build 12 little mini palaces in the palace to keep them from quarreling.  So we learned that 12 wives can be quarrelsome.  I am pleased to have just one.

We rode elephants up to the palace.  Below you can see Stephanie and Kari about to get off at the end of the ride.

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Jeff “Samson” Pohler.  Don’t worry the rest of the story didn’t play out.

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Anne with some nice school girls on a class trip.

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Seth, Bret, Jeff, Stephanie and John under the arches.

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Next we stopped at a handicraft place, which I personally was not much interested in, but I did like this quote from Gandhi.

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I also like this orange guy standing by our orange bus.

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The Maharaja that moved the capital from Amber to Jaipur was a big astronomer and astrologer.  He built a whole complex of super-sized astrological instruments, which is called Jantar Mantar.  Here our guide is explaining how they work to Seth.

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Next we visited Hawa Mahal, which was a party place for the royal women where they could not be seen by the public but could peek out and see what the public was doing.  Here we are posing for a fun picture in one of the little archways,

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Next we took some camel rides.  There are lots of camels around town, so this was a great opportunity to try them out.  Fun stuff, but let me just say “thank you Mr Ford!”

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Finally we walked around the central Jaipur market area.  The cities in India are a real treat for the senses: smells of all types good and bad, sounds (mostly voices and honking) and sites totally unlike Grand Rapids.

Here is a young man selling flowers

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One has to dodge cows and cow pies in Jaipur.

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Some men playing cards on the street.

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Overall the crush of humanity is huge in India.  So many people!  Like I said in my earlier blog, the population density is roughly 12 times the USA.  So if you see 10 people on the bus in the USA, you will see 120 in India (no joking).  If you see 1,000 people at the shopping mall in the USA you will see 12,000 people here.

Also one sees a lot of poverty in Jaipur and unsanitary conditions.  I am hoping for more economic growth in Jaipur like in Hyderabad to provide good jobs and lift more people out of poverty.

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