February 20 – We started our day at about 9AM. Our first stop was at the Astrological Park. The park has many structures that tell time, reflect the position of Jaipur and show just how clever they were when these pieces were built. Many of them, including the large sundial, were built almost 300 years ago! The large sundial is accurate within two minutes in telling the time. Pretty amazing considering how long they have stood.
Next we visited the Jaipur City Palace. It is a huge “campus” and takes up about half of the entire old city of Jaipur. We tour many rooms and buildings; the attention to detail is reflected in the beauty of each column and arch. (See the photo I have embedded.)
Luckily for our group, we were also able to tour the private rooms of the Palace which are closed to the general public. Everyone used to sit on the floor, but when the Maharajah of Jaipur sent a representative to London, it was noted that the British don’t sit on the floor. Hence the Maharajah ordered chairs to be place everywhere and now they ate at tables while sitting on chairs! We had tea and coffee while sitting on a balcony of the Palace. As we sat, several dozen monkeys walked along the rooftops. As they walked over our heads we could hear their clatter and chatter.
Today, our included lunch was at the Rambaugh Palace. It is a sprawling building and was original built for the Maharajah’s wet nurse! The lunch was good and then we were back on the bus.
Our last stop of the day was the Gem Palace (a world-renowned jewelry shop.) Most of our party made some significant acquisitions! The pieces are very special indeed.
We were back at the hotel by 5PM and everyone went their separate ways to relax a little bit. Lyn, Mary and I had dinner together in the Indian restaurant called Rajmahal. The four-course set meal was wonderful and we also got to witness how naan bread is made. (We went up to the kitchen area and watched the chef work.) He invited us to try our hand at making naan, but we declined.
The property is so large that there are electric carts (like golf carts) which shuttle you around. We were driven back to our room and as we approached our front door, there were flower petals on the door step spelling “good night.” On our bed was a butterfly made of towels and flowers. After admiring our bed decoration, we went to sleep with a smile.