How The Pink Streets Of Jaipur Transformed Me To A Different Time
From elephants to snake charmers, the pink city transformed me to a different time, and it’ll take you there to.
Jaipur is one of those places that seems to have gotten stuck in time, and it is very unlike the rest of the country. For many, when India is pictured, cows and elephants come to mind. It is because of this that initial introductions with the country can be different to expected. However, once the bumpy journey down from Delhi comes to an end, that image you associate with the word India very much comes to a head.
Jaipur is a stereotypical Indian movie from 50 years ago. The second you walk through the old city gates, you are transformed to an age of elephants walking the streets and snake charmers playing their Pungi’s.
The best way to describe this city is sensory overload. From the moment you enter, til the moment you leave, your head is constantly turning from all of the smells, sights and sounds.
Jaipur is one of the very few remaining cities, where men in Turban’s line the streets with Pungi’s and baskets of poisonous snakes, charming the day away. If you’re game, be prepared to sit next to the basket within striking distance of the Cobra, placing all of your trust in an ancient Indian art.
If you hadn’t yet seen a roaming cow, camel and elephant, Jaipur is where it will happen. In this city, the traffic moves for the animals, not the other way around.
Whilst the riding of elephants is never condoned, one has to awe at the beauty of these creatures as they steadily make their way down an open road, decorated in jewels and paint. It is at this point you realise your transformation into a simpler time, very different to your own.
Known for ancient palaces and forts, Jaipur backs this with ancient Bazaar’s, offering a glimpse into shopping in old India. Jewellery and fabrics are a specialty of Jaipur and bartering is part of the game.
Bartering is not only normal in the city’s Bazaar’s, it is expected, and there is an art to it. When looked at from both parties, the seller is just trying to get the highest price possible, and us the lowest, it is a brutally competitive game. In India, you have to start low, if you don’t, you will overpay. However, be wary of going too low, Indian’s are proud and an offensively low offer will only cause anger.
Jaipur is a place you have to see to believe. And in seeing it, you will be taken back to a time before vehicles replaced animals, and before poisonous Cobras were struck from Indian streets. A time where bartering is a mix between a delicate art passed down from father to son, and a brutally competitive sport.
What is perceived by many as chaos, should instead be perceived as ancient beauty. Switch off your phone and take only a camera. Walk through the gates of the old pink city and immerse yourself in an essence of culture. Let Jaipur transform you to a very different time.