The road to Jaipur was not more than 180 km, but the temperatures were still exhausting. But if you pass the slums at the edge of larger cities, you forget your own hardships immediately. Simple accommodation, made of branches and black plastic film, without running water or toilets, day-laborers or migrant workers live at 50 ° with their families on fallow land at the gates of the city.
Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan and with about 5 million inhabitants in the region. Jaipur is also referred to as „Pink City“ because of the uniformly pinkish paintings of the old town buildings. Pink is traditionally the color of hospitality in Rajasthan – in the second half of the 19th century all the houses in Jaipur were so painted because the Crown Prince of Wales came to visit.
The most famous building in Jaipur is the Hawa Mahal – the Palace of the Winds was built at the end of the 18th century. The many oriels along the facade served the court ladies of the Maharadjas to observe life on the street – as they were not allowed to leave the palace.
Directly behind the palace of the winds is the city palace, which houses a museum. We did not feel like visiting a museum but took the time to wander through the city.
Life takes place directly on the street. Everyone runs his business on the roadside, for the people here is this life situation self-evident. Fascinating are the craftsmen and service providers, who do their daily work with simple means. I had a special respect for the boiler-smith, who was just using a simple, hand-operated air pump, some charcoal and a hammer to conjure a huge kettle between the pedestrians. But also the hairdresser, the key-maker, the sewing machine mechanic or the band-knotters understand their craft of the finest.
Nigel had a health problem, his left lower leg suddenly swelled. To determine the cause, we were looking for a state hospital. I previously had such a pleasure several times. For him, it was the first experience of this kind, so he was disturbed accordingly. The chaos in the initial care unit is legendary, as in every Indian hospital. The hygienic conditions were beyond all imagination and the ranking for the intake of patients a mystery. Discretion does not exist. Collapsed lie untreated next to people with sore throat, children burnt all over the body beside an old man with a heart attack and in between screams relatives and hospital staff in full volume around the bet. If you survive the intake procedure, you will be treated free of charge.
Fortunately it was nothing serious, with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medicine he should get cured soon. In the evening, on a walk through the city, we passed the Palace of the Winds again.
By motorbike it is very easy to explore the area independently of public transport or tuk-tuk drivers. Also in Jaipur there is still a fort on a castle hill and in a small lake outside the city you can find the Jal Mahal Palace.