Our first stop in the well-visited state of Rajasthan was the capital city, Jaipur. It is known as the "pink city" because the maharaja painted the old city pink to welcome a British royal visit years ago, and much of the city retains this colour.

We were welcomed by some seriously annoying touts, and this aspect of the city seemed to stay with us during our visit. Rickshaws, shopkeepers, beggars, and random people on the street constantly hassled us during our stay and were very hard to shake off. On our first day, we went for a walk through the old city but found it very difficult to enjoy due to this hassling. It was a real pity as parts of the city were quite interesting to see, with many tiny shops selling all kinds of goods. People found all kinds of transport options for themselves and their goods.

After our long walk we then visited the city palace, which had been transformed into a very uninspiring and overpriced museum. Then we walked out towards the fort overlooking the city to see the setting sun cast its light over the pink buildings. We could see that most buildings had flat roofs where people congregated, many even playing the national sport, cricket. Wherever we went, people would ask us where we were from. Upon saying "Australia", the next words to come out of the local's mouths were usually "Ah, Ricky Ponting"!

The following day we hired a rickshaw to reduce hassling encountered whilst walking around, and we wanted to go a bit out of town anyway. This proved to also require patience in negotiating a good price, which included visiting shops of the driver's choice. Our first stop was at an observatory built by the man who built the old city, whose descendant is still the maharaja today. This was quite interesting, with a wide range of instruments used to measure the positions of heavenly bodies. It include a colossal sundial which, although undergoing maintenance, is still usable and is accurate to two seconds!

Next we drove out of town to Amber Fort, which was surrounded by a circus of rickshaws, shops, beggars and tourists. The fort was quite interesting and had a wide range of rooms for various purposes. There were also long walls going off in many directions around the fort that were reminiscent of China's Great Wall. On the way back to town, we spied an interesting temple which sits in a lake.

Our final place of interest was the temple known to locals as the Monkey Temple since these creatures congregate there at sunset. They were much more friendly than the monkeys we experienced in Varanasi, so we didn't need to be so cautious around them. The temple had nice views of the city and we were able to see a brief monkey fight which made the climb up the hill to the temple worth the effort.

Then we headed back to our guest house, tired from the draining atmosphere of the bustling city and keen to move on to our next Rajasthan destination, Pushkar.

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