Jaipur – A Shopping Jungle

Jaipur, the pink city, is brimming with retail therapy clinics everywhere you look!

P1130252 Being the capital of Rajastan, it is a hustling, bargaining and bustling city of 11 million people.  It is known for its magnificent forts, glorious palaces and it’s shopping. And, that is a personal weakness on such a trip as this! One can have a very reasonably priced experience in India, as the food is inexpensive and accommodation can be found at every level your budget can afford.  However, if your weakness is shopping, then, my friend, the ‘deals’ can suck you dry.

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You name it, and you can buy it in Jaipur. Tailor made clothes, silver, shoes, carpets, furniture, clothing, and on and on it goes.  Quality can be questionable in certain places, so buyer beware.  While the prices can be very reasonable to a westerner, make sure you bargain as much as possible. One note of caution is to beware of the tailor shops.

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Tailor made clothes used to be the way to find the ideal fit for a low price. Based on my experience, the tailor shops were a disappointment.   Most of the clothes I had made, needed altering, we’re of poor fabric quality, and seemed far more costly than they should have been.  I take full responsibility for this, as the tailor shop tenders are shrewd bargainers!

Frankly, it’s expected in most shops to have a haggle and start at 50% less than the original price.  You will go back and forth a few times to a settled and reasonable price.  And it is an art to perfect the haggle. 

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 So, shop wisely!  Don’t be too interested, nor too vested in any item.  One must be open to walking away like it does not matter if you get the item or not. And, I would suggest walking away far more often than I did.  It will save you bundles!  I wish I could heed my own advice.  May you be ‘one with the the rupee’! 

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Pushkar :) A loving, bumpy ride

In western Rashistan is a smaller, quaint town known of Pushkar. The town is full of a more desert way of life than the many cities of India. It is slightly more laid back, and while it still has it’s share of traffic jams, it is more camels than cars shuffling along the streets. Pushkar is famous for its Camel Festival. This Fall season festival brings thousands of people, both domestics, and foreigners, to watch as camels are purchased, and traded for business. Thereafter, there is a week long camel loving celebration!

As my travel is in December, we did not attend the camel festival, but we’re still intrigued by the Proud Rajastani tradition. It was explained to me that the significance of the camel is it’s representation of Love. Why would a camel represent Love? Because love can be a bumpy ride!

I have enjoyed many bumpy rides in my life, and was smitten by my own camel experience on Mowgli. I can’t say that we had a long affair of the heart, but he did not spit at me. That was something. And after it was all over, bumping along the sand dunes of Rajastan, I wanted to do it again! I suppose you could say that Mowgli’s awkward lope captured a wee piece of my heart. If you ever visit western Rajastan, make sure to experience the ways of the camel. It is an experience that your heart will never forget.

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Udaipur – A land of lakes and luxury

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Udaipur is an oasis! There are six ‘king-made’ lakes throughout the city that make this moderately sized town quite famous. After the hustle and bustle of Indian city life, I can see why so many ‘domestic travellers’ relax in Udaipur. After a very long journey from Rishakesh to Delhi by both auto and train, we carried on to Udiapur on a plane. Luckily, the plane was not delayed due to fog, which is the norm for this time of year. And after 15 hours of travel, this lake town was a welcome reprieve.

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The people of Rajastan are all very friendly and welcoming. They are inviting and often offer their own homes for a cup of tea or a chat. This was the case with our waiter, Barat. He called his mother and suggested that his new travelling friends should come to her house for tea on our way to…

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Udaipur – A land of lakes and luxury

Udaipur is an oasis! There are six ‘king-made’ lakes throughout the city that make this moderately sized town quite famous. After the hustle and bustle of Indian city life, I can see why so many ‘domestic travellers’ relax in Udaipur. After a very long journey from Rishakesh to Delhi by both auto and train, we carried on to Udiapur on a plane. Luckily, the plane was not delayed due to fog, which is the norm for this time of year. And after 15 hours of travel, this lake town was a welcome reprieve.

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The people of Rajastan are all very friendly and welcoming. They are inviting and often offer their own homes for a cup of tea or a chat. This was the case with our waiter, Barat. He called his mother and suggested that his new travelling friends should come to her house for tea on our way to Pushkar. This is the way of the Rajistani people! So kind.

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Udiapur has some lavishness to it as well, with some incredible hotels and the City Palace and Red Fort are fabulous to visit. One 5 star plus hotel is in the middle if the main Picola Lake and was used for the James Bond Movie, Octopussy. The City Palace was so worth the admission with the feeling of Maharani royalty everywhere one turned. There is also one lovely little spot called the Pleasure Palace that was the king’s pleasure place. Udiapur has a sense of wealth and a feeling of royalty that is so far unmatched. Didn’t spend enough time here to really see it all. There is a richness to the people that matches the inner wealth of the experience. And I already want to go back

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