Aside from seeing the Taj Mahal, our next priority in India was to see a wild tiger! After some research, we decided to head to Ranthambore National Park where many tourists have caught a glimpse of a wild tiger. Since Jaipur was between the two destinations, we thought we’d to take a day to see the “Pink City.”
Our first priority in Jaipur was to find a place to stay. We went to a few different places in our guidebook, but none of them would bargain down to our price range so we headed off in search of lodging on our own. The first hotel we came to seemed decent and the manager arranged accommodations that suited our budget ($6.50/night). The roof-top restaurant seem nice, but we opted to dine at a local place instead.We left our bags in our room and headed out to catch a local bus into the city center. While we were walking to the bus stop, an auto-rickshaw driver came up to us and wanted us to hire him to take us around. We refused and told him we were going to take the local bus. “Local bus not for tourist. You must take auto-rickshaw. Local bus very hot and many many people!” We ignored him and kept going. He finally gave up and shouted at us as he drove away. After our chat with him, I was thinking that the bus would probably look more like a pickup truck with twenty people packed in the back of it. But, we were pleasantly surprised when our bus pulled up. It was large, air-conditioned, and spacious. Plus, the bus tickets only cost $0.16/each on the way there, and $0.11 on the way back!So, why is it called the “Pink City”? I was wondering the same thing until I actually saw the city… The majority of the city has been built using a pinkish-red sandstone. Hawa Mahal, Palace of the Winds sits in the middle of the city. The streets lining the city are packed with vendors selling various goods. For dinner, we ordered special thali, an assortment of different Indian curries. We finished our sight-seeing, and then headed back to the hotel to get some rest before catching our train the next morning. Jared made a new friend along the way… We rested up that night and headed out on a train to Sawai Madhopur the next morning. Stay tuned to hear about our tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park!