During the last few years, I frequently used the Indian Railways and was always very happy with its organization as well as comfort. My first train journey in India was overnight from Bhuj in Kachchh to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Travelling across the vast expanses of semi-desert in the rocking coach was a great experience. Early in the morning I arrived in bustling Jaipur and a whole set of new impressions were awaiting me! Jaipur with its more than 3 million inhabitants is also called the Pink City as most of the buildings in the city centre are painted in reddish colours. Since I had only few days before moving on to Delhi, I participated in a city tour organized by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC). During this day, a bus and guide took a group of international as well as Indian visitors to most of the must-see sights. It began with a short drive through the old town with its shops and the marvellous Hawa Mahal. After short breaks at the Laxmi Narayan Temple and Albert Hall, we visited the impressive Jantar Mantar, a collection of huge astronomical instruments dating back to the first half of the 18th century. After strolling through the magnificent City Palace, the seat of the Maharajas of Jaipur, we left the city. But the tour was far from over and it was quite incredible how one enormous palace or fortress followed after the other: the Jal Mahal, the Jaigarh Fort, the Nahargarh Fort, and the final jewel of it all: the Amber Fort.
Eventually I had to leave this city of wonders and took the bus to Delhi, but this last stretch of the journey will be described in this post only.