Journey to the West – Day 3

Day 3 Jaipur

After we had our breakfast we visited the Amber Fort. It’s located on top of the hill, therefore in order to get up there you have to ride an elephant or by jeep. Personally recommend those who are visiting the fort to go buy elephant. You will see India in a different view. Although, i’m quite against elephant ride, as it is not good for their backbone you see, but as far as i know, the authorities there only allow the elephants work till noon. So i guess it is alright ?

Adapted from Wikipedia. 

Amer Fort (Hindi: आमेर क़िला, also spelled and pronounced as Amber Fort) is located in Amer (a town with an area of 4 square kilometres (1.5 sq mi)[1]), 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from JaipurRajasthan stateIndia. It is one of the principal tourist attractions in the Jaipur area, located high on a hill.[2][3]Amer Fort was built by Raja Man Singh I. Amer Fort is known for its artistic style, blending both Hinduand Rajput elements. With its large ramparts, series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks the Maota Lake, at its forefront.[3][4][5][6][7]

As i mentioned, the elephants only work till noon, when we reach the queue for the ride is already very long. When i say long it isn’t like those you get when you visit a theme park.

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Part of the queue, taken by my brother during the elephant ride. I didn’t really get to hold the camera. It was too shaky, and i was a little scared. Haha. I thought i was going to fall off. Can’t really use words to describe that feeling, but i didn’t regret overall.

 

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You will encounter several kids or adults selling you stuffs, souvenir , it’s something that looks like their king’s turban.

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On the way up !

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They painted their elephant colorfully, different elephant has different designs.

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The journey takes about 5+ minutes.

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And you will enter through the Suraj Pole(Sun Gate) and to the main courtyard. According to Wikipedia this is the place where armies would hold victory parades with their war bounty on their return from battles.

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The parade will be witnessed by the Royal family women folk through this. It’s called the latticed windows. 

 

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It’s now used as elephant ride drop off area. The “sifu” of the elephant ride will asks you for tips, it’s up to you whether you give them or not. But there’s actually a board there saying no tipping. And the “sifu” will get aggressive(verbally) asking you for tips if you don’t plan to give it to them. But i would advice, maybe a little ? If you have extra notes? They don’t really earn much from what they are doing.

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This is called the Ganesh Gate, which is named after the Hindu god Lord Ganesh.  Up there as you can see is the latticed window i mentioned above.

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Villager.

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A panorama view of opposite the fort.


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Next you will come across this. This is called the mirror palace.

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We weren’t allowed to enter the palace and so these photos are taken from the outside.

Multi-mirrored ceilings and glass inlaid panels all over the palace. Mirrors are convex in shape and designed with colored foil and paint which would glitter bright under candle nights at that time.  My tour guide mentioned that he had seen it before, and it’s really breathtaking. He said they used to show it to the tourists, until someone violated their rules.

Walls are made of marble so it’s really cooling in there, great for summer!  I really admire their wisdom, their intelligence.

 

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He also mentioned that there used to be gems that fill the holes on the wall, but during the war the gems were taken away.

 

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The exterior.

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On the outside you will find this garden. Channels are built with marble, there join the star shaped fountain in the middle of the garden.

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What about this ?

I shall let you guess haha!

Answer will be revealed at the end of the post.

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Along the way i encountered this.  Thought it was for punishment, you know.. those really cruel punishment for prisoners…

But this ? No worries. I was wrong. My tour guide told me that it’s used as a cooking pot. Yes, for the people in the palace. It’s really huge! Maybe it’s not so obvious in here.

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If you happen to be in Jaipur i would recommend this place. There’s really a lot to see. Oh and i forgot to mention, you need to pay to visit the inner part of the palace- mirror palace, the garden, the beautiful Ganesh gate, or else you will only stop at the main courtyard. I apologize that i don’t know the price of the ticket, as it’s all included in my tour package.

Our next destination was the Hawa Mahal, which is situated in the middle of a busy market and we had to remain in the car. As such i didn’t get the chance to snap a decent photo of it .

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The Hawa Mahal is also called as Palace of winds, having the same concept as latticed window, which is used for royal women to observe the daily life in the street. It’s like a huge television, where the one who watched the TV will not be seen.  Also due to it’s honeycomb design, it provides cool air by venturi effect, air conditioning the surroundings during summer and therefore the name, Palace of winds.

Next we headed to the City Palace, City Palace Museum, Chandra Mahal and Shri Govind Deo Temple.

Inside of the museum you will see different clothing designs of the royal family, army and the olden days people.

Today, the City Palace is also used as a wedding venue. When we arrived we saw people preparing for a wedding that will be held later that day. Didn’t really take much pictures as i wasn’t really interested to it. After seeing what i saw in the morning, City Palace looks just like another building to me. But the inner City Palace is a must see as you will witness the Hall of Public Audience, where you will get to see paintings, and the seat of Maharaja. Oh and also they have this place where craftman or their apprentice who helped to build the palace, were gathered, selling their art pieces and showing their skills to the tourist. Those who are into art and crafts should visit there!

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By the way, photographers should take note of this. Can you see the guy in orange in the picture above? Well think twice before taking pictures in India. Most of them work as “models” for you to photograph? And of course you will have to pay them. After taking this picture the guy in orange was asking me for money, i was so scared that i nearly run away. But there were 2 photographers beside me who did the same thing, but braver, in a sense that they stood really near to photograph him, and they almost ended up fighting. Saw one of the tourist encountered the same thing as well at Amber Fort, the lady he shot was asking him for money, and kept following the tourist but the tourist didn’t give her any.

I don’t know whether they are allowed to do that to us or not, but if they really ask for it just either give them or stop shooting and walk away. Don’t end up in a fight! or quarrel! Plus it’s our fault in the first place, we shouldn’t be shooting them like that.

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We also visited this park nearby, i don’t know what it’s called.

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Here you will see the intelligence of India, how they calculate time, horoscope in the olden days.

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And my mummy who’s a big fan of lassi(me too) requested the tour guide to bring to the best lassi place.  It’s very very worth it!! It’s not pricey, few cents for Malaysian ringgit, but the taste, is GREAT! And they only serve the original ones, unlike over here in Malaysia, there’s plenty of artificial choices(which i don’t quite like too) The taste is totally different than the ones we will get in mamak store. Served in a clay cup, so after drinking you will have to leave the cup right outside the shop, as you won’t have the chance the get in. The business is so good and also very very crowded!! One of my most satisfied part in my India trip. Definitely not a place a tour bus would take you to( and i hope they don’t commercialized it, as you know, nothing stays the same after getting famous. Most do not stay the same =( Quite saddening eh?).

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And this is how i ended my day.

 

Okay so i asked a question above, regarding the usage of that “empty area”.

The answer is ……………………………………SWIMMING POOL.

Yes i was shocked too. The royals really know how to enjoy life? And that’s a pretty cool swimming pool too but how are they going to filter the water? hmmm.

 

 

It’s getting late now i should go.

Nights!

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Journey to the west – Day 2

Akshardham Temple

Right after our breakfast , we headed to Akshardham Temple.The temple is divided into two parts. There’s a smaller one behind , where you can enter it since 8.00 am. The main temple, can only be entered at 9.30 am. I would suggest you to reach earlier as there will be long queues for the security check.

ImageOutside of the temple.

ImageSpot the little boy!

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It’s really worth the visit. The carvings and everything , all with marble !Image

The pictures above are actually taken at the smaller temple. The main one i didn’t take any because i wasn’t allowed to. But believe me, the smaller one is pretty enough already but when you see the main one , you won’t believe your eyes! Especially the inner part, where they have statues made with gold.

Akshardham (Gujarati: સ્વામિનારાયણ અક્ષરધામ, Devnagari: स्वामिनारायण अक्षरधाम) is a Hindu temple complex in DelhiIndia.[1]Also referred to as Delhi Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham, the complex displays millennia of traditional Hindu andIndian culture, spirituality, and architecture. The building was inspired and developed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, whose 3,000 volunteers helped 7,000 artisans construct Akshardham

(Adapted from Wikipedia)

The main monument, at the center of the complex, is 141-foot (43 m) high, 316-foot (96 m) wide, and 370-foot (110 m) long,[7]and is covered top to bottom with carved details of florafaunadancersmusicians, and deities.

Designed in accordance with ancient Vedic text known as the Sthapatya Shastra, it features a blend of architectural styles from across India.[8][9] It is constructed entirely from Rajasthani pink sandstone and Italian Carrara marble, and has no support from steel or concrete.[10] The monument also consists of 234 ornately carved pillars, nine domes, and 20,000 murtis and statues of Hinduism’ssadhusdevotees, and acharyas.[2] The monument also features the Gajendra Pith at its base, a plinth paying tribute to the elephant for its importance in Hindu culture and India’s history. It contains 148 scale sized elephants in total and weighs a total of 3000 tons.[11]

Within the monument, under the central dome, lies a murti or statue of Swaminarayan which is 11-foot (3.4 m) high. The murti is surrounded by similar statues of the gurus of the sect.[12] Each murti is made of paanch dhaatu or five metals in accordance to Hindu tradition. Also within the central monument lie the murtis of other Hindu deities, including Sita RamRadha KrishnaShiv Parvati, andLakshmi Narayan.[12]

(adapted from Wikipedia)

Found these online , but you should totally go India and see the real thing yourself, It’s amazing.

After the visit tot he amazing Aksharham Temple, we hop on the van can headed to Jaipur.

Delhi -> Jaipur

It took us 5 hours to reach Jaipur.  We knew we were gonna be late for our reserved lunch , and so our driver dropped us at a restaurant/hotel before reaching Jaipur. There’s a lot to see along the way to Jaipur , i don’t even have the time to sleep. You will have the chance to see farmhouses , some mini morning market, camels , lorries (lots of it ! ) , villagers , fields and wheat !

 

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My lunch . Part of it actually haha !

 

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This sign is very normal in Indian, you will see it behind every lorries. I must say, they enjoy honking . Not sure who started the culture, but you will eventually get used to it like i did. I even missed it a little when i came back to Malaysia. Felt a little uneasy about it. Everywhere they go , they honk. Sometimes to inform the car in front (or side) their existence, but sometimes for fun! Like seriously..

 

Honk here , honk there , everywhere honk honk!

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Cow dungs for their roof.

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An example of well decorated lorry. Not sure it’s religious reasons or culture but the Indians really love to decorate their lorry. Everywhere you will see them driving their big lorries or trucks, that are well decorated with cans, drawings  etc. I kinda like the idea, instead of seeing dull , plain lorries everywhere in the road, this actually makes people enjoy driving! Especially during the jam ! 

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The kids we met at the Aksharham Temple. They were very excited when they saw us . Kept saying Hello or Hi and waved at us ! Very , very friendly kids.

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Lake Palace 

Was amazed by the beauty of Jaipur. We were welcomed by the beauty of lake palace, a white marble palace situated in the middle of man made lake.

We then stopped by at Lake Palace for a quick touristy picture.

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It’s beautiful.

It was built by the Royal family as a summer palace, but now they turned it into hotel. Hotel guests can reach there with boat service offered by the hotel.  Built with white marble, on the Jag Niwas island.

According to Wikipedia , the “Royal Butlers” working in the hotel are descendants of the original palace retainers. WOW !

Birla Temple

During the trip we visited two Birla Temple . One located in Jaipur , the other in New Delhi.
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This is also the very first place we met so many tourists as Akshardham Temple is actually quite new, not many travel company is offering tour to there yet. So we were stunned by the amount of tour buses there . We thought we weren’t in India anymore.

So after this hectic day we finally reach our hotel , Jaipur Palace. It’s quite a old hotel, and their buffet doesn’t have much choices. But they serve good mutton !

Day 2 has come to an end. I shall end this post with a beautiful sunset.

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Taken at the balcony of my room !

Good Night!

Journey to the West – Day 1

Hello. It’s been a while. I’m here, updating about my recent trip in India. There’re some food or stuffs that i don’t quite know the name of it, so please bear with me or correct me if you know the exact word ! Thank You in advance!

Day 1 Malaysia -> Delhi

We arrived at Delhi in the evening. Flight there was quite unstable, as we had to flew through the sea , but overall it was fine. I must say the Malaysia Airlines has worsen a lot , in terms of service, and food. It was so so much better when i was younger. Oh by the way, the security check in india was very strict, so be prepared !

When we arrived we were greeted by a representative from our tour company, he then brought us to our hotel.  

Here’s a picture of our hotel : 

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Hotel service was good, the buffet doesn’t have much choices but it was alright for us. Their food was fine. There isn’t much to do in the hotel. There’s only a standard chartered bank located opposite of it ,around the hotel are houses or hotels.

After checking in we decided to go on a walk at the GK-1 Market. It’s located just behind the hotel, reachable within a 15-20 minutes walk. The weather was good so the walk wasn’t tiring at all. You can asks the hotel management for the directions. If i ‘m not mistaken, just go on your left after you left the hotel until you reach the traffic light . Then turn left again and the market will either be at your right or left. You will see a crowd there anyway.

 

GK-1 MARKET

The market is quite similar to our very own Masjid India. There’s Levis , Dunkin Donuts, KFC , United Colors of Benetton there. There’s a few decent mini market there, don’t forget to get your mineral waters there as they don’t really sell it in the hotel . (Just in case you’re staying at Madhuban) 

 

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People queuing up for food.

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The street,

 

 

 

 

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 Craftman making jewelleries . There’s a few of them along the street. Not sure whether they’re from the same company or not.

 

 

 

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This uncle’s business quite good because i saw a few of them queuing up beside his mini cart. One of them even asked me to try it and said that it’s good. I didn’t dare because i’m afraid that my sensitive tummy couldn’t take it.

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You will see similar parks like that around India . There are some who treated it as their shelter. Some even bathe in there. 

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I must say they didn’t quite follow what the board says.

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India have been getting some serious attention when the rape case  spread out.

 

After strolling around the market for approximately an hour, we headed back to our hotel.

Along the road: 

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Some very beautiful looking house.

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We came across quite a few bikes like that selling brooms and mops along the way. 

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This very cool store.

There’s a variety of channels for you in the hotel.  Tv channels i mean (Star World, ESPN , AXN , Disney , Cartoon Network , CBS, Fox , Zee , and more.) 

 

Our supper of the night:

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Papadum ! Yum 🙂 It’s different than the one we have in Malaysia , so give it a try ! ImageImage

Toilet signs that was quite amusing. Image

 

And that’s all for my first day in India. Will update quite soon !

FYI , we followed a private tour just for our family. And i also recommend that because on the way back from India to KL , we came across a few travelling group , almost all of them were complaining about their unpleasant trip.  There’s a driver that brings us everywhere.