Incredible India…. Pt 2!
After seeing most of the sites that Delhi has to offer ….. except the Lotus Temple….
It was closed for a week for some unknown reason….. :O(….. i really wanted a picture….. :O(…..
Sorry, i’ll start again.
After seeing most of the sites that Delhi has to offer, we decided to hop on a train to Jaipur!
And, as i said in my last post, if you havent done your research, booking the tickets and getting on the train is going to be a hardcore mission.
BOOKING TRAIN TICKETS
There is a separate office at the station where tourists can book train tickets. It is on the first floor, and you can get
to the stairs by heading towards the main entrance of the station building, but before you get to the security check point,
head to the left, you should see signs highlighting the way from there.
Getting to this office can be a bad head. Many people will approach you offering “friendly” advice about where to go for
the tickets, Just smile, say ‘thats ok, thank you’, and keep walking towards the station! People will tell you lie after lie,
saying things like the office is closed today, the office closed down weeks ago, the office burnt down, etc, etc. They are
all lies. If you listen to them you will end up at some “Government *cough* Approved *cough*” office, where you’ll end up paying alot more than you need to.
Once you make it to the office, things are alot easier. You are required to fill out a form for each destination. Its pretty good, you can get tickets for all your train journeys in India here, if you’ve planned that far ahead.
Expect to spend a good half a day there, as the workers are far a few between and the queue gets quite long.
I was very lucky the first time i went through this.
Having not done my research, and people approaching me telling lie after lie about the international office, i found myself very confused and unsure what to do or where to head. Luckily, the girl i was travelling with did know about these cons and told me just to ignore them and keep moving forward. It took us a while but we finally made it to the office.
Also, when you attempt to enter the station and find the platform your train departs from dont let anyone see your ticket.
People will ask to see it and then tell you that they are sorry but that train has been canceled. Again, this is most likely a lie.
Once they’ve told you its canceled, they will offer “friendly” advice about where to go to get new tickets.
If someone does do this, just smile and nod and say its fine, no worries, and head out onto the platforms. Once you’re past the
security check point, there is more offices, guards and info posts, just ask someone which platform you should head to.
As with alot of things, once you get all the bad crap out the way, things get pretty good.
One very good thing about train travel in India – they keep feeding you!
Depending on how long your journey is, and what time of the day, you get breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks in between, and
constant tea packs! Love it!
After, what seemed like hours, ducking and diving to avoid touts, to buy our tickets, and locate the right platform
to board our “canceled” train, we finally arrived in the Pink City!
Said to be one of the finest planned cities in India, Jaipur – The capital of Rajasthan, has plenty of historical sites and scenes
to keep the average backpacker entertained for a couple of days.
SEEING THE SITES
As with Delhi, we opted to hire a TukTuk driver for the whole day to take us around the various sites.
It cost us about 1,000INR (about 20USD), but you could probably get cheaper, we didn’t haggle too much.
The PROS – You get to see alot of what Jaipur has to offer in one fell swoop
– You don’t have to haggle with each TukTuk driver as you go from one site to another
The CONS – The TukTuk driver will more than likely take you to shops and warehouses so we have “the opportunity” to buy authentic goods at wholesale prices (at which the TukTuk driver gets a nice commission from). This is abit of a pain in the arse, they make it very hard for you to not buy anything. But just smile and nod through it all and if you really dont want to buy anything you don’t have to. I often just look for the cheapest novelty thing i can find and tell myself its my souvenir for this trip.
Located 11kms outside of Jaipur, we decided to visit this site first in the morning so that we could see the elephants heading up to the fort. There is an option to ride an elephant up to the fort (up until 1pm), rather than walking, but we decided it was good enough to see them, we can walk up to the fort.
Jal Mahal, meaning ‘Water Palace’, is located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake.
The palace is actually a 5-story building, but 4 floors are hidden under water when the lake is full, only the top floor is visible.
It is considered an architectural beauty built in the Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture.
the ‘Palace of Winds’, designed in the form of the crown of Krishna, it has 953 small windows that were originally used to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen.
These are just a few of the sites that Jaipur has to offer. There are many more, along with numerous Bazaars and museums.
Well worth a visit!