Jaipur is a lovely city! It is amazing how different each place we visit is. One of our ladies said there is nothing homogeneous about India. She is so right! The diversity here is incredible.
We visited a his hugely impressive ancient astronomical observatory built in 1734 , near the City Palace.
We also visited a traditional block printing factory. It was quite something to learn that this process includes the use of cow dung. What we all could not get over get over is how much they use this readily available renewable resource over here. There are no limits to the creative ways the Indian people have found to use cow dung! This is a very good thing as there are cows everywhere. And since they are considered holy there is very little beef consumed in India and therefore little to control the population. So there is plenty of cow dung to go around and more creative uses than you can imagine.
Our highlight in Jaipur was our elephant ride to the Amber Palace. Our elephant was a lovely 30 year old girl named after a Hindu Goddess, Lakshmi. It is good to know that the government is now monitoring the care and use of these majestic animals. In past years past each elephant would carry up to 6 passengers and make up to 8 trips per day. This caused some serious issues with their health and temperament and for a short time the government banned these rides. Tourism was adversely affected so now they only take 2 passengers and ony 4 trips per day per elephant.