A knock comes on the door

Wednesday, still in Jaipur. Despite the cleanliness and the wide streets, we are still in India, and Jaipur still has cycle rickshaws. We have seen camel carts, and working elephants, and horses and donkeys and monkeys. Indian Interlude wouldn’t want readers to have the wrong impression.

We start the day with another walk in the old city, in an area known as Modikhana, named for the trader communities. We see tinkers making kitchen utensils, an area which used to house film distributors but which is now a pharmaceutical wholesale market, the early morning street food, and an almost unique Krishna temple. We take tea with an antique dealer, whose family was invited to the city, and indeed India, generations ago as weapon makers. We see more of the bazaar and its sense of order.

We spend the afternoon touring two of Jaipur’s forts. We start with Nahargarh, the main feature of which is Madhavendra Palace. This is a complete connected maze of rooms, terraces and courtyards, with each of 12 queens having an identical suite.

Then to Jaigargh which is very impressive indeed, and much more a military fort. This fort also produced weapons, with its own iron smelter and cannon foundry. There is a collection of cannons on display, each has a name, and each is accompanied by a description of its war service. This reads like a footballer’s career summary – which battles the cannon fought, against whom, and the outcome are each listed.

We follow with a mid-afternoon lunch at somewhere quite ordinary. A late shopping stop and we call an end to the day. An early-ish start awaits tomorrow, with more Jaipur, and then a road journey to New Delhi.

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