Jaipur is called the pink city because, in 1876 when the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) toured India, the King of Jaipur ordered the city to be painted pink as it is the colour of welcome. It is now illegal for the outsides of any building in the old city to be painted any other colour.
We had heard good things about this place before got there - various friends and contacts who had visited and lived there, raved about it and we were not disappointed. We stayed in a small boutique hotel that had been in the owner's family for generations. It was beautifully furnished with antiques and had the most attentive staff, bizarrely attired in military uniforms.
|The gates to the old city|
There is just something about the atmosphere of Jaipur - it was still teeming and busy but somehow just a bit less frenetic than Delhi and less tacky than Agra. The Rajasthani people dress in such vivid colours, the wild pinks and ochres and cyans are a feast for the senses and it seems impossible to feel sad or down in the face of their cheerful disposition despite the inevitable crushing poverty.