Our journey through Rajasthan began in Jaipur ‘The Pink City’ which was manic with lots of monkeys. We found a recommended hostel online called Hathroi Palace Guest House that was a bit of a letdown as they were all Namaste and no substance. There weren’t very transparent with their pricing of food and rooms as we spoke to someone on the phone who said ₹600, then when we arrived 10 minutes later it was ₹800! They were really quite devious when we tried to pay as they wanted us to pay the total bill at the end of our stay. This resulted in an argument as we were told one price and charged anther so we weren’t happy with their service.
On a positive note, the location was perfect as it was near two excellent high quality rooftop restaurants. The Peacock and Kalyan Rooftop restaurants both had beautiful outdoor décor and cheap food for its level of standard ranging from Western to Indian cuisine.
The Amber Fort is located high on a hill outside of the main city. The beautiful architecture runs throughout the complex including the mirror palace that glints with coloured glass in the daylight. Opposite the main part of the fort there is a very long staircase leading to the top of a section of ‘The Great Wall’. This was far quieter and had a more panoramic view of the area.
Nahargarh Fort had an amazing view of the city with a pleasant windey walk to the top. We were told that there was a great bar/restaurant that you can watch the sunset from free of charge as long as you buy something to eat or drink. Although when we arrived there was a guy holding a sign that said ₹500 entry, we watched an Indian family walk right past him without paying so we did the same but he refused to let us go past without paying. It was frustrating as we had been told beforehand that we shouldn’t have to pay and it was more the principle than the money so we watched from one of the other outside areas.
We visited Jantar Mantar which was fascinating to learn about how these brass and stone instruments can be used for measuring time, predicting eclipses and tracking the location of major stars as the earth orbits around the sun. It is a really interesting place to walk around and as the sun peers through the clouds you can see the shadows the instruments create for readings.