The Real Rajisthan

The Pink City, Jaipur

I soon learned why  it takes 30 mins  to travel 5km  anywhere in India.  Mustapha, the driver of our private coach for the week, drove patiently towards the swarming traffic on the roads leading to  The Pink City. It was a few days before the Holi celebrations and everyone seemed to be on the point of collision.

No guide books can prepare you for the chaos of  3 wheeled tuk-tuks, bicycle rickshaws, creaky swaying old buses, vintage cars, 4 wheel drive vehicles, cyclists and motorbikes laden with enormous loads. We saw camels and bullock pulled carts, scooters with a driver and up to 4 passengers, wandering dogs, holy cows, and beggars. It is not unusual for traders selling all manner of produce, to stop traffic to sell them something. Women and men are wandering around carrying enormous packages on their heads, they are deftly weaving in and out.

 

tuk tuks

 

snake charm

There inside the entrance was something I thought I would never see. A snake charmer really can get a snake to pop its head out of the basket!  Hawkers were doing a brisk trade selling packages of brightly coloured powder. Inside the Pink City I can hear drums and wander to where people are jiggling their hips. I  cant help but join in the spontaneous outbursts of dancing.  The Holi celebrations have begun.

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Bagru village is  off the tourist trail, it is a place of textile printmaking, dyeing and block making. Shy women spy on us from doorways, and gregarious children and pigs dyed blue,  follow our 23 strong group around the village.  Indigo Blue paint snakes through open drains everywhere.

Hand Block Printing Bagru village

Resist stamping before dyeing