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While dove flying in front of Hawa Mahal Palace, Jaipur, India


Jaipur. The jewel-like pink city of Rajasthan, even the name is evocative of exoticism, and how we love this kaleidoscope of a city. The walls of the old city are a gentle reminder of the glamorous days of the past, regally guarding the old town in tones of rose and ochre. It is like being inside a watercolour, where the brushstrokes are washed over paper and everything bleeds softly into everything else.

Vibrant details are everywhere, your eye constantly caught, an intricate patterned ceiling, a decorated horse with pink hooves pulling a festooned cart, a gathering of sari clad women, beautiful as flowers. There is no respite from the sensory overload in India, it is so gloriously alive and vivid.

One of my favourite things to do is come down the main road early in the morning to see the sunrise at Hawa Mahal, when the city is still shuttered and sleeping. The minute the work day starts, the roads are joyful chaos, camels and cows and handcarts and traders selling everything from leather sandals to bedspreads to copper utensils. Hand made, usually, and elaborately designed, like so much in India. I have never seen anywhere that pays such attention to beautifying the mundane, which is one of the many things I love about this incredible country. Everything, from cattle trucks to bollards to trees, is decorated in some form, appreciated. It elevates the daily object into a piece of art, or a shrine. As a creative, I love this, and this continent pulls me back time and again, with its multi-coloured strands woven deeply into my heart.

There are some magnificent heritage sites here, the Palace, obviously, but there is also Rathambore (now a Taj Hotel) and the aforementioned Hawa Mahal, then the beautifully named 18th century Astronomy center Jantar Mantar. You can, if you venture out of the old city, visit some gorgeous old forts, hang out with Elephants at an ethical rescue center, or just go and spend a night at the beautiful Villa Palladio.

We have some of our fave places listed below:
Drinks and insta-gogging, go to Bar Palladio for drinks
Stay the weekend at Villa Palladio
Have lunch at Rathambore
Drinks at the bar within the palace - Baradari
Sheesh Mahal- hall of mirrors
Go look at the Albert Hall Museum
Drink chai tea everywhere!
And as with everywhere I’ve travelled, my favourite thing is to hunt down art, or design, or interesting bits of pottery or stones or fabrics.

Jaipur is a treasure chest for magpies like me and there are some wonderful places- The Jaipur Blue pottery shop in the old town, the gem market or if you prefer a little more refinement - The Gem Palace - countless little shops that line the main road in the old town full of blockprint fabric, juttis (shoes) brass ornaments, marble and furniture. We’re bringing out a Jaipur guide soon so keep checking our instagram :)

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