For all the talk of India’s “Pink City”, I noticed overwhelmingly that Jaipur was more earthen sandstone facades and cream hues than the pink Paul Milinsky dreamscape I’d envisioned.
After some preliminary Googling, I found that the city had been painted pink in honour of the visit of Edward VII and the name stuck. Though the paint has since dulled and shifted form to a more rust red, the ghosts of a colonial past still linger in everything from the understated regality in the pace of the city to the influence it has on the architecture and stylistic choices of the city to this day.
So much so that the bistro adjacent to the “haveli” we were staying at channeled a decadence of the kind that would make Marie Antoinette proud. Everything from its mint green paisley wallpaper to the vintage Baroque armchairs seemed reminiscent of an afternoon’s tea at Laduree in Covent Garden.
I read somewhere that Jaipur retained the haunting charm of Indian royalty and it’s not hard to see why. All the roads that lead up to the Galtaji Temple, were lined on either side with striking repoussé set beside inlay work in pink sandstone facades, so beautiful that it felt criminal to have them out on the streets instead of preserved in a section of the Met.
Each section of the city we visited proved to be more resplendent than the other. The forts set against the backdrop of rolling hills, seduce your mind into slipping through the years back to an era of kings, queens and epic battles. Each palace exuded a unique charm, oozing naked opulence that birthed a frenzy in me to capture every inch of its pristine brilliance.