Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Pretty In Pink

The Pink City of Jaipur is not pink. Terra cotta, maybe. Burnt Sienna? I could be convinced. Pink? Definitely not. Nevertheless, Jaipur has been called the Pink City since the ancient walled city was painted “pink” many generations ago to welcome the then-Prince of Whales.

Today, Jaipur is among the most crowded and polluted cities in Rajasthan. Yet the vibrant old city remains full of delights. Colorful shopping bazaars reveal narrow streets jammed with vendors and shoppers. Spices, flowers, textiles, jewels, metal work, food – you name it, and it can be found in the Pink City.

Outside the old walled city, urban sprawl has gobbled up large tracts of land. On the outskirts, several ancient forts look down from hilltop locations on the metropolitan chaos below. The most famous of these is the dramatic Amber Fort. Once the ancient capital of the area, spectacular Amber is better known now as a backdrop for numerous Bollywood movies.

Jaipur is many things. It is colorful and vibrant. It is crowded and bustling. It is beautiful and fascinating. It just isn’t pink.

Enjoy the Jaipur Photo Gallery.

Please Note: Visitors can climb a spectacular set of carved stone stairs to the Amber Fort, or take a shockingly cruel Elephant Ride. The Elephants of Amber have been imported from the tropics, and cannot adapt to the massive temperature fluctuations of the Rajasthani desert (from 115 degrees to below freezing). Elephants require 250 liters of drinking water per day – impossible to find at Amber. Every day they are forced to walk 11km each way to Amber from their sleeping stable in the old city, suffering cracked feet, sunburn, and severe dehydration along the way. Help In Suffering Animal Shelter is an Indian Charitable Trust working to improve the predicament of these gentle giants. If you are interested in learning more about this noble organization, or in helping HIS reach its goals, please contact Help In Suffering.

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