Sunday, 17 March 2013

Planning India and Elegant Journeys

I wanted to do a post which reflected how we planned our trip to India and why we went about it as we did. Generally, when I plan any trip abroad I do it myself sorting out hotels and flights separately and I can't remember the last time I used a travel agent. However, with India I felt that it was too big a task, particularly considering the short-length of time available to us and the number of places which we wanted to visit. We decided to do an organised tour (for the first time ever!) but my Mum was very reluctant to do it in a large group as obviously this limits any flexibility. We both assumed that a private tour with a driver would be too expensive but were surprised when we started looking that this wasn't the case. In fact, some private tours were actually cheaper than larger group tours! There were a number of different options which we found online so we contacted quite a few different companies to get quotes.

Elegant Journeys ( - NOT .com) replied really quickly. We had been incredibly impressed with the wide range of itineraries available on their website, plus there was the option to do a 'Tailor-made Tour' which appealed to us as it enabled us to go to places which aren't on the traditional tourist route. On most other websites, the main focus was the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) but there were numerous other places we wanted to go to, namely Mumbai and South India. Elegant Journeys offered the opportunity to also fit these in along with Varanasi and Khajuraho.

To give you a bit of background on the company, Elegant Journeys is based in India and the owner is called Vivek Wadhawen. Obviously, we were fairly apprehensive about sending a large amount of money to a company on the other side of the world with nothing except a few emails to assure us of their legitimacy. We scoured the internet for reviews on them and were reassured that there was not a single bad piece of feedback on them. We were also reassured by the prompt and informative email replies so we decided to go for it........

I kept an eye online over the next few months, particularly before paying the balance, to ensure that no bad feedback was posted, but it continued to be overwhelmingly positive. Any questions which we had about the trip were answered promptly and we remained in regular email contact with Vivek. Upon landing in India, a representative of Elegant Journeys was waiting with a sign at arrivals. He assisted us with our luggage and we got into the car which was comfortable and air-conditioned. The driver (along with every other driver which we had throughout India) was incredibly careful and safe which was a HUGE relief considering the driving on Indian roads. Vivek came and met us on the morning of our first full day to run through the plan with us, and he also came to see us at the end when we were back in Delhi before flying home to ensure everything had gone well.

The tour basically ran without a hitch and considering the amount of travelling we did, this is definitely something we wouldn't have been able to achieve alone. The hotels were all of a satisfactory standard, the guides in each city were knowledgeable and spoke good English, after each internal flight we were met promptly, the cars were all of a high standard and essentially we were simply able to enjoy our time in India without being concerned about getting ourselves around. We were also able to be flexible when we were there, for example, when we were jetlagged at the beginning, we could re-arrange the sunrise activities or if something didn't appeal to us, we could switch it for something else. We had complete control over our itinerary and this really was priceless. Vivek rang us every other day from Delhi to ensure there were no problems. We also were free to contact him if anything went wrong. As well as this, we were provided with a list of telephone numbers so we could contact a local representative in each city which we were in.

I genuinely believe, that for us, this was the best way that we could have seen India. It meant that we could make the most of our relatively short time in the country and it took away all the stress that would have come from doing it ourselves. I couldn't recommend them highly enough and if you are planning a trip to India, contact Vivek and I'm sure he will be able to plan your perfect trip! (

Home sweet home!

We spent our final day relaxing lakeside at a hotel in Kumarakom. 3 flights, a quick stop in an airport hotel and 36 hours later we made it back in one piece.....jet lagged, tired but glad to be back to normality! I wanted to do one final blog post about India just to sum up our experience and to give a few tips to anyone thinking about going. I'm also going to do a separate post about Elegant Journeys who organised our trip and the best way to go about organising it just so this post isn't too confusing.

India is an amazing country- the people, the culture, the history, the food.....there wasn't a single thing which I didn't love. I'm so so glad that we went and saw as much as we did and for anyone thinking about going I would 100% recommend doing it. It's a real eye-opener and a proper assault on the senses. You will see a million and one different things that are of interest.....everywhere you look there will be a new and different sights, smells, sounds etc. What I would say though, it's important to prepare yourself mentally for the challenges which come with visiting such a huge and different country! Getting anywhere is a challenge   and you will get hassled EVERYwhere. As a tourist you will be asked for money everywhere you go. Indian bureaucracy is a pain in the arse, nobody does anything to a schedule, nothing is particularly well organised and you just have to take everything as it comes. Go with a positive attitude, flexibility and take each day as it comes (trust me, in England I am NOT this kind of person- I had to adapt) and I genuinely believe that you will love it.

A few practical things to note which I wish I'd known/what I did know from reading other blogs/forums.........

1) You will get stared at A LOT. Try and mitigate this as much as possible by dressing more modestly where possible (especially as a female). What we found was that in larger cities- Delhi and Mumbai and in tourist hotspots- Jaipur, Agra etc. you can get away with a bit more. Here I wore knee-length dresses with short
sleeves (not strapless) and I seemed to be OK. In Kerala, Varanasi, Khajuraho etc. (anywhere which isn't on the typical tourist trail) I got much more attention and it was here I wore mainly trousers, longer cardigans and maxi dresses etc.

2) If a guide takes you to a 'demonstration' of a particular handicraft e.g. carpet-making, silk weaving etc. it will be a guise for a hard sell to try and make you buy the product. It's really interesting seeing things being made but it's also fine to say that you're not interested in going. If you do go, be happy to say no when they try to sell you the product, or if it's something you genuinely want, haggle. In general we got about 30% knocked off through some fairly hard negotiating. Start low because you can always go up but they wont let you go down! And walk away if the selling gets too aggressive....chances are you'll find similar (although lower-quality) items in the many markets and from street sellers.

3) On a similar note, take space in your suitcase! There are some amazing souvenirs to be had- you can see why India really is the capital of manufacturing. Textiles, paintings and carvings are probably the most readily available and while there is the usual array of tat there are some incredible and cheap keepsakes to be had!

4) It's pretty much impossible to avoid the poor sanitation. Take a lot of hand sanitiser (use it particularly after touching the money which is filthy) but don't spend the whole time second-guessing everything you're eating because the food is AMAZING and I think I got overly-concerned with hygiene which stopped me enjoying it as much as I should have. Golden rule which we stuck too.....only eat boiling hot food unless you can wash or peel it yourself. I did get ill but to be honest I've got a crap digestive system anyway and any little thing sets it off. My mum stuck to this rule and she was absolutely fine the whole time. However, DON'T touch the tap water for drinking....not even brushing your teeth. Stick to bottles and ALWAYS check the seals haven't been tampered with.

5) Tipping is a massive part of the culture in India so factor this into your budget. A lot of the workers completely depend upon tips to supplement their meagre incomes so everyone will be after a tip. It's unavoidable so make sure you work it out in advance and take enough money.

6) Food is cheap! We went to some lovely restaurants and in most decent hotels you won't pay more than about £10 for 2 courses and soft drinks. If you go to restaurants outside of hotels you'll pay half that and if you want to risk the street food you could eat a good meal for less than £1. On the converse, alcohol is expensive and not readily available. Expect to pay between £4 and £5 for a glass of domestic wine and £20 for a bottle plus tax (33% on alcohol) generally isn't included on the menu price. Domestic beer is cheaper (normally Kingfisher) and for a small beer it'll be about £2-£3.

If I think of anything else I'll add it in later, but for the time being they seem to be most prevalent! We really did have an amazing time and as a destination I would hugely recommend it. Go with an open mind and immerse yourself in the culture and you'll have the best time.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


I'm currently writing from a lakeside resort hotel in Kumarakom which is a small town in the Southern State of Kerala. We've spent the last few days in Kerala- first in Cochin, then on a houseboat along the Keralan backwaters and finally at our current hotel. Southern India is completely different to Northern India. Firstly, the climate is insane. The humidity is about 90% as I can tell as every time I walk outside my hair sprouts into a particularly fetching ball of frizz and you instantly feel the need for a shower. The scenery, as a consequence, is much greener and there are coconut palms everywhere! The south doesn't have the same vibe as the North either- religion and spiritualism are much more apparent in the North and even the language is completely different. It's not as busy or hectic- it's much more chilled out and relaxing!

To be completely frank, I wasn't impressed with Cochin. It's a busy port town and it is much more modern and European-looking than anywhere else we have visited. I was really expecting to love South India but in the new part of the town you could quite easily be in an other large city in the world and there isn't anything unique or interesting about it. The old town is marginally better- there's a few things to see. The Jewish part of the town is interesting and pretty and the old synagogue there is gorgeous. Along the waterfront, there's a large number of fishermen using traditional Chinese fishing nets (all manually operated) which is quite an interesting sight. We also went to another open-air laundry (I don't really understand why we keep getting taken to these, although they are fairly interesting) and I felt this iron which is so heavy I couldn't pick it up and it works by filling it with coconut shells and setting them on fire for fuel!!

There were two highlights of the day which I did really enjoy. The first was for lunch we got to go to Indian couples house (Anto and Leela) and they prepared lunch for us in a typical Keralan style. The food here is amazing- completely different to the North as everything has coconut in it and there is much more fresh fish. The second, was in the evening when we went to a Kathakali dance performance. Kathakali is an ancient form of Indian dancing with elaborate costumes and make-up (we also got to see the dancers apply this) and a complicated string of gestures symbolising different emotions. That was pretty interesting as it was completely different to any other form of dance I've ever encountered. I'm not sure if I'm doing Cochin justice, but as I say it wasn't a patch on other cities which we have visited and I definitely wouldn't be anxious to return.

The next morning, we drove to Alleppey (about 90 minutes away) for something which I had been really looking forward to. A trip along the Keralan backwaters on a houseboat. In Kerala there are a series of working waterways where there are large numbers of fishermen and small villages. It's absolutely stunning! We had the boat to ourselves apart from the 3 crew members and the landscape and the scenery are amazing. There were rice paddies, coconut palms, gorgeous tropical birds, cotton trees and so much lush greenery everywhere! Watching the sunset across the water was amazing and the daytime on the boat, we both loved!! As soon as it got dark though, we both struggled. We had a choice of either eating our dinner in the pitch black, or turning the light on and being swarmed with a thousand insects (no exaggeration!!). I found about 3 disgusting grasshoppery things in our food (bowk) and even though the food prepared by the crew was delicious, it didn't really inspire much of an appetite. When we went to our cabin, the room was filled with insects (I know it's not surprising given that we were on a boat) and the bed was like a boulder. Basically, if you ever find yourself in Kerala, DEFINITELY do the houseboat but maybe just do the day trip rather than the overnight trip if you want to get some sleep!!

The hotel we're at now has got a beautiful view of the largest lake in the Backwaters. We got dropped off by the boat this morning and we have a blissful day in which to do absolutely nothing!! I've booked an Ayurvedic massage this afternoon which is something Kerala is famed for and then I'm heading to the pool to finish the trip in style!!! Home in 2 days and I'm so sad to be leaving but I've had the best time ever so far! India truly is amazing!

Sunday, 10 March 2013


As I write this, I am currently on a flight from Mumbai to Kerala which is in the very South of India (obviously I won't be uploading it until we have reached our destination). It's an air India flight and the uniforms of the stewardesses are AMAZNG by the way. Gorgeous saris which by far beat the suits and cravats worn by British Airways staff! We have spent the past 2 days in Mumbai so I thought I would use the next hour or so of downtime to update you about our time there.....

Mumbai is so incredibly different to everywhere else we have been in India. It is infinitely more wealthy than anywhere else we have been but at the same time we have seen more crippling poverty there than in any other city. It is the economic and commercial capital of India with a population of over 20million people. It is largely high rise due to the limited amount of land on offer for its vast number of inhabitants and parts of it look incredibly western. In fact, Marina Drive, the area near the beach, looks remarkably similar in terms of scenery to Ocean Drive in Miami. However, in amongst these buildings are hundreds and hundreds of corrugated iron shacks which make up the slums of Mumbai and walking the promenade at Marina Drive are numerous children begging and selling various trinkets. The contrast is stark- much more so than we have experienced in India so far, and incredibly apparent. We needed only to look out of the window of our hotel to see the difference in people's lifestyles in the city.

Our arrival in Mumbai got off to a bad start. After having been awake since 5am we landed at the airport and there wasn't anyone to greet us. A kindly Indian man used his phone to call the representative who had been meant to meet us and informed us he was on his way as there had been a mix up. We were then greeted by the driver Vinu and we drove to another place to pick up the guide. Indian people are incredibly eager to ensure that nothing goes wrong for tourists (tourism is the second largest industry in India after all) so we were offered multiple apologies for what had really only been a minor and largely insignificant inconvenience!! Upon arrival at the hotel everything was fine and we went out to tour.

Our first stop was a huge open-air 'laundromat' which was crazy! It stretched as far as the eye could see with hundreds of workers washing, drying, beating, steaming and pressing clothes into shape. Apparently it has been going in the same manner for over 200 years with generation after generation taking over the family business. Next stop was the Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi where he stayed whenever he visited the city. This has now been converted into a museum on the life and work of Gandhi. Apart from the bare bones of his role in Indian independence, I am shamefully ignorant about the life of the 'Father of India' but like in Delhi, the significance of his legacy is clearly still revered by the people of India. Images of Gandhi at every stage of his life were displayed along with images of some letters and words which he is noted to have sent/spoke. Two of the most interesting exhibits were a correspondence between Gandhi and Hitler with Gandhi imploring Hitler to avoid war, and a series of dioramas telling the story of Gandhi's life.

As the day progressed, we continued to drive and walk around Mumbai. The British influence from the times when India was under rule of the Empire is incredibly apparent in the architecture and design of the city. There are more Anglican churches than anywhere else and most of the offices wouldn't look out of place in London. There are also numerous places such as the Gate of India and the Prince of Wales museum which are clearly a part of colonial history. As a Brit, you cant help but wonder what the peoples attitude to the UK is (not that they would ever tell tourists I dont think). Obviously India suffered under British rule and that is very recent history. While at school we were obviously taught about the glory of the British Empire, something tells me that in Indian education this depiction is somewhat different.

Something else that we noticed walking around is that Mumbai is far more Western and liberal than any other city which we have visited. The dress is more likely to be jeans and a t-shirt than a sari and we saw numerous young (unmarried) couples holding hands or cuddling in public.....obviously this wouldn't be of any note in Britain but it hasn't been something we've seen in other cities. We definitely got stared at less which is probably because there is more of a melting pot of cultures than in other cities. Saying this however, when we went to the Hanging Gardens (which were stunning) we did encounter several school groups having a picnic. We obviously were still something of a spectacle to the children of Mumbai as they followed us around the whole area with huge numbers of them wanting to say hello and shake our hands!! They also wanted us to take their pictures, something which was clearly a novelty!!

At the end of our first day in Mumbai we got chatting to our driver, Vinu, and he has such an amazing life story. His father died when he was 12 and as he had been a farm-worker with no land it left his family in an incredibly difficult position as his mother was unable to earn enough money to support him, his brother and his sister. At the age of 12 he moved by himself to Delhi and started begging as he couldn't get a job due to his age. At 14 he managed to find work as a busboy in a restaurant in Mumbai and he sent all his wages home to help his mother. At 16 he taught himself to drive and got his current job as a driver for a tour company. He now has a wife and two children in his home village who he sees only twice a year as he continues to work in Mumbai to support them, his brother and his (ill) mother. He spoke with a huge amount of pride about his two sons who he is paying to educate so that they never have the struggles which he had and he clearly has a massive amount of ambition that they get an education and subsequently a good career. His English was excellent and he explained that he has learnt it through talking and listening to tourists. He expressed his greatest wish to be his sons being able to work in the UK. Obviously, this story isn't going to be unique in India but it was so interesting to hear his views on opportunities in India and poverty. He was another person who advocated not giving money to beggars as he explained that by giving beggar children money, it is incentivising it for their parents not to send them to the free school which are now available for them!! India is perspective-altering especially when speaking to local people about their views (I probably sound like a complete arsehole writing that but it is true) and it really makes me appreciate the wealth of resources which are available for us and how lucky I am.

Moving on, our second day was again with Vinu and he took us to some less touristy areas including the harbour where the fishermen bring in the mornings catch and around the active temples. We were lucky because today was the festival of Shiva so all the temples were beautifully decorated with flowers as an offering to the God. We also went to this crazy shop where the shop keeper kept calling me a beautiful Victorian Angel(??) and squeezing my face (less fun)!!

Mumbai was definitely an eye-opener but it was also an amazing city. I'm dead excited to get to Kerala as everyone we have spoken to has said it is beautiful and I think that it is again going to be a completely different experience, stay tuned to find out......

P.s. apologies for the huge length of this blog!!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Udaipur.....the Venice of the East

So yesterday we did a tour of Udaipur and it is the most BEAUTIFUL place. It's much smaller than any if the other cities we've been to (except Khajuraho) with a population of about 300,000. It's also the cleanest as apparently the municipal council have got a big drive going to keep the streets clean! Definitely the first we've seen of that in India.

The hotel we were staying in is definitely our favourite so far. It's called the Chunda Palace and it was actually built as a noble residence and has been converted into a hotel! All the walls are hand painted and its very ornate and well-decorated! The rooftop restaurant is amazing and there's a beautiful view of the entire city.

Udaipur is stunning- it's called the Venice of the East because there is water everywhere. Throughout the city there are four huge man-made lakes!! The whole place has got a proper laid-back feel to it. There isn't the usual slew of touts everywhere and it's really relaxed. Our first stop was to the City Palace. It's amazing that all the monuments and buildings are from similar times, but each one we have been to has been really distinctive. This one was more like a European museum with well-preserved exhibits and each room was still furnished. The city palace is a huge complex and the public can only access part of it as the rest is still used by the Royal Family of Udaipur today!! They are responsible for its maintenance and their heritage is displayed proudly with photographs, paintings and shrines to their ancestors everywhere. In one section is an amazing exhibit of crystal furniture (shipped from Birmingham of all the places) which was commissioned by a Prince.

Next we went on a boat trip around Lake Pichola which was my favourite part of the day. The scenery was spectacular and it was really interesting when we approached the residential part of the town on the water as we saw the locals bathing and washing their clothes in the lake......udaipur is cleaner than most indian cities but I still wouldn't be bathing in the lake..... Apparently though, even the locals who do have running water in their houses still use lake water as well as it is considered to be social!! In the centre of the lake is a gorgeous island with beautiful gardens and a stunning hotel which used to be the summer residence of the Royal Family. They were staging a wedding that was due to take place in a couple of days time when we got there and I genuinely cannot think of a more beautiful location to get married!

After we returned to dry land, we had a couple more stops on our whistle stop tour. First we went to the Royal Family's private exhibit of classic cars (yawn!) which isn't really my thing and then we went to a stunning gardens which used to be used exclusively by the harem who were not allowed to have their faces seen by any men except the King!!

The one negative of our two night stay in Udaipur was the second night where we saw two rats in our hotel!!! I hate rats anyway and considering this was a four-star hotel and it was in the cleanest city I got a bit of a shock.....I dread to think how many we haven't seen in other places but as they say 'out of sight, out of mind'. We've just arrived in Mumbai after leaving Udaipur at 5am and we definitely seem to be back in the land of crazy hassle! Stay tuned though and I'll let you know!!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Jodhpur.....the blue city

So today we arrived in Jodhpur after setting off from Jaipur early this morning. It was a six hour drive across the desert to get here and there wasn't a huge amount to see except miles and miles of arid terrain and the usual array of animals. Cows and ox are still a common theme but there are now also many camels due to the area which we are in. We passed through many villages and again got to witness daily people going about their daily rituals. The poverty is still incredibly apparent to both of the smaller towns in Rajasthan, due to the climate local people can only access clean water 1 hour in every 48!! Whenever the car stopped we were immediately swarmed by numerous beggars- most of them children- and both of us sit there feeling incredibly guilty although we have been told by our guides not to give money. This is largely because, the government of India are running a campaign to stop tourists giving money to beggars. By handing money to the children, there is the belief that this is encouraging families to keep them begging rather than allowing them to attend the free schools which have now been set up as it is more profitable for the family. While this makes sense, we both still feel incredibly uncomfortable. However, the vast amount of souvenirs which we have purchased over the last few days have certainly contributed somewhat to the local economy and to the pockets of numerous families we are sure!!

Arriving in Jodhpur, we made our way out into the city. The temperature continues to climb and the dry heat is stifling! The locals wear long sleeved shirts and trousers and the women wear saris which are made of vast expanses of material yet barely seem to break a sweat! Obviously coming from the Uk we aren't used to such extremes of weather! There is a massive military presence in Jodhpur. The city is only 240kms from the border of Pakistan and our guide informed us that the city was nearly destroyed several years ago in a bomb attack, only spared as most of the bombs failed to detonate.

We headed first to a beautiful fort overlooking the whole city. From here you can see why it is called the blue city as 75% of the buildings are painted blue. Each city in Rajasthan is a different colour. The fort is definitely the most well-preserved monument which we have visited so far, with barriers dictating the route which you go around in and (shock horror) queues rather than the usual skirmish to reach the attraction. Inside, are multiple exhibits displaying the textiles, weaponry and furniture of the Maharajas who have lived there in the past. One of the most interesting features was the wall which had the handprints of the women of the Sati. These women were married to warriors and when their husbands died in battle they were burned alive!!

Our next stop is the Jodhpur bazaar which is a huge open air market where the locals do their shopping. It's ultra-colourful and everywhere you look there is something to see!! From the roadside barbers to the food stalls to the sugar cane juicers (can't even imagine what sugar juice tastes like!!) to the brightly coloured textiles and souvenirs, it's a real experience. However, again the filth is somewhat overwhelming. You literally seem to inhale flies as you walk as there are so many of them feeding on the fruit, vegetables and meat which will later be purchased by the locals and on the piles of animal dung littering the street (which will later be converted into fuel to cook with).

A few more stops for photo opportunities and the day is done. Unfortunately we didn't really get to spend as much time here as we would have liked!! Tomorrow onto Udaipur (the Venice of the East and the place where Octopussy was filmed) with a quick stop at Ranakpur on the way.......

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Jaipur.....the pink city

So today we did a tour of Jaipur. As the capital of Rajasthan, which is the state which holds the majority of the Thar desert, the landscape is completely different. The country is much more arid and the climate is hot! Highs of 35degrees today! The city is also much prettier than anywhere we've been so far. The roads are tunnelled through vast hills and an old wall surrounds the whole city. Our first stop of the day was the Amber Fort. Situated at the top of a steep incline, there is one means of transportation which gets the slew of tourists to the entrance.....elephants!!

I mentioned in yesterday's blog that I would be riding an elephant today and I did! I find them to be such amazing animals and was so excited. The reality definitely lived up to expectations and this put me on a total high for the rest of the day. Elephants in India are revered and are considered to be highly auspicious. The elephants at the Amber fort were decorated- their trunks and faces were covered in natural paints and this is because they also participate in weddings in Jaipur. Apparently it is considered to be a bad start to married life to not have an elephant in your wedding procession as they symbolise prosperity!! Our elephant was called Lakshmina and she (all the working elephants are females as the men are too temperamental) was playful soaking our tour guide (Manderkini) in water when she approached!

At the top, we disembarked (with some difficulty) and reviewed our surroundings. The first thing we noticed was the vast number of touts, who seem to be present EVERYWHERE in India. In Jaipur today though, they were particularly aggressive and determined to sell their wares. As mentioned before, as Western tourists we are considered by most to have unlimited resources and of course we most definitely WANT to buy the various tat which they are touting. It definitely becomes wearing after a while, and even though we might actually want to buy certain souvenirs, it is incredibly difficult to do so as if you buy one thing, 10 more people swarm on you identifying you as an 'easy target'.

Past the touts, we entered the Amber fort and it was fascinating. The views of Jaipur were amazing and the building itself was stunning (another awesome Indian monument). Our tour guide today was our favourite so far. She really managed to bring to life Indian history, and as a woman she had some really interesting perspectives on the way of life for women in India in the past. She pointed out the stark contract between the ornate, well-ventilated and large rooms of the men and the grim, small and sweltering chambers of the harem (women's chambers).

Over lunch, this conversation naturally progressed into a discussion of the place of the Indian woman in today's society. I was actually really surprised to find out that about 65% of marriages in India are still arranged. Manderkini was really vocal on her views of East vs West culture and it was clear that she believed that the West has been a negative influence on India in terms of things like dress and sexual promiscuity. It was really interesting to hear her views on certain issues and she had opinions on everything ranging from education to abortion to raising children without being married.......

Jaipur is a beautiful city....we also visited Jantar Mantar observatory and learned about the prevalence of astrology in India. When deciding names for her children who are 8 and 4 Manderkini consulted an astrologer in order to decide auspicious names and apparently most people in India would do the same. Again, I was completely unaware of the significance of this which is still apparent in modern India.

Next was the City Palace which is still the residence of the royal family of Jaipur (a figurehead title as the family no longer have any power- the King is 14)! Here we could really see the colonial impact which the UK had on India during the times of the British Empire, another facet of Indian History which I should really know more about.

Tomorrow we're moving onto Jodhpur and its about a 6-hour drive starting at 7 in the morning so i'm now going to hit the hay.......