Kat in India

A graduate student at SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute, Kat is participating in SMU-in-India during summer 2010, doing in-class coursework in Ahmedabad, as well as two weeks taking field trips.

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Jaipur, City of Jewels

K3.jpg When we got to the hotel in Jaipur I was completely amazed. We stayed in a beautiful five-star hotel – Jai Mahal Palace. It was incredible. They had an enlarged set of chess out on the courtyard – too bad I didn’t have time to play!

Jaipur is known for their jewels, and so of course the first stop we made was to a local jewelery shop. Everything in the store is handmade, and we were able to walk down into their workshop where all the jewelery pieces are made. It was so neat to see the methods used to make the most exquisite pieces of jewels!

K4.jpg In the photo (right) is the Laxmi Narayan Temple, which is devoted to followers of the Hinduism faith, but all other faiths are represented on the outside of the temple. The entire temple is constructed out of white marble and the detailing is incredible. The temple was finished in 1985, but there is always ongoing maintenance construction. It was a beautiful temple!

K5.jpg The next day was a busy one. We started off with a tour around the Old City part of Jaipur – Pink City. Jaipur was the first city actually planned before it was built. The buildings in Old City were originally a yellow color, but when the Duke of Wales was scheduled for a visit the King commanded all the shop owners in Old City to paint their buildings pink – a sign of hospitality. The king liked it so much he set a decree for the walls to stay pink.

K6.jpg There is a section of Pink City where the festival dances took place in the street, and the King had built a special section in the building where each of his wives could sit in a room on their own floor to enjoy the festivals. He separated them as much as he could to avoid any bickering among his five wives.

The palaces are an incredible site! I cannot believe how intricate each detail is on the buildings in the cities here in India. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but the detail and work that go into building these monuments is incredible!

K8.jpg Then we venutred on toward Amber Fort. We got to ride up to the entrance of the fort on an elephant. It was so much fun! Our elephant’s name was Kareena Kapoor – which is the name of a famous actress here in India.

K9.jpg This picture (right) is at the top of the fort before going inside.

We also toured the Jantar Mantar Observatory, City Palace in Jaipur. It was so neat to see all the different structures built to tell time, season and so much more. The structure (below left) is a sundial that is accurate down to 20 seconds!

k-sun.jpg There was even a section of the observatory where you can see the astrological sign structures aligned next to other signs. In the Indian culture they use the astrological signs as part of placing for arranged marriages. They say that your marriage will be successful if your sign is close to the other person’s sign.

K10.jpg Our last stop was to the Monkey Temple. This is a beautiful temple where there are thousands of monkeys. We walked around the temple and fed the monkeys peanuts.

Tomorrow’s a busy day. We arrived in Agra this evening and will be departing the hotel at 5 am to visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise. It’s going to be a beautiful, but exhausting day! I’m hoping to upload pictures as soon as we get to Delhi tomorrow evening.

Looking forward to continuing to share my journey with you!

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