We drove into Jaipur, Rajasthan's "Pink City", late in the afternoon. It had been a long day on the road so we were more than ecstatic to check into the beautiful Naila Bagh Palace, our home for the next two nights. We actually happened to be the only guests staying there that first night, so having the whole palace to ourselves made us feel like absolute royalty. Perfect start to our Jaipur adventure.
The next morning we started our first full day in Jaipur by visiting its most famous fort. Amer Fort was the place I was most excited to visit in Jaipur (right after the Galtaji Temple, of course). I had heard and read amazing things about the magnificent view, the gorgeous architecture, ingenious engineering, and their beautiful elephants. Originally I hoped this would be a place where we would get to cross "Ride an Elephant" off our bucket list but then I came across this article. This lead me to do a bit of research on the subject and I decided to save that experience for when visiting an elephant sanctuary instead. Towards the end of my search I came across ELEfantastic, which happened to be right in the area. Based on the reviews and articles I read about them (like this one), they are a great organization that looks to raise awareness for Asian elephants by providing welfare services for these gentle giants and the low-income income families in the area. Obviously, it is best when animals like these are left in their natural habitats. However, these are grown elephants that have been domesticated and/or captive-born thus making reintroduction an improbability. Even though we were unable to make a reservation with them due to our late notice and busy itinerary I recommend you look into them if a trip to India is in your near future.
(Apparently I wasn't the only one that though this was a good spot to rest my feet)
Satguru's... where I found the perfect sari to bring home. Now I just need someone to invite me to their Indian wedding.
The world's largest sun dial at Jantar Mantar. This place was incredibly fascinating. It contains a amazing collection of some of the best (and oldest) astronomical instruments in the world.
The Hawa Mahal... originally built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivals below while unseen from the outside.
Before concluding our evening we headed to the markets of the Old City, the Tripolia Bazar, for some light shopping. It was hectic, colorful, loud, and full of amazing smells from all the flowers and spices around us.