Janu of Jaipur
It’s sticky, humid and the air is thick to breathe in. You see more camels than cows, more turbins than sarees and more desert than jungle. The streets shut down every 4 hours, people retreat to their appropriate mosques and the sound of prayer replaces the eclectic sound of traffic and car horns.
This is North India. More specifically, this is Rajasthan. And in Rajasthan, known for its precious metals and stones, we have apparently struck gold.
How to experience Holi
“Happy Holi!” the young girl said as we walked by her in the streets of Jaipur. Her colorful scarf trailed behind her as she walked by and smiled. I’m not sure why I was surprised at this greeting, the Hindu festival of Holi was the main reason that I came to India early. Besides the pictures I had seen of people covered in colorful powder I actually knew very little about the festival. But I was about to get a very quick education.
Janu Jaipur: The Best Guide in India
Janu Khan is a kind hearted, and extremely fun tour guide, based in Jaipur, India. He deserves an international, best guide award, as he is responsible for turning my Indian experience from magnificent to magical. He was so fantastic, reasonably priced, and genuine that I feel compelled by the Universe to write this so that you too might get the gift of traveling with such a great guide.
Janu, An Entrepreneur’s Secret
Three years ago I meet a young man on the platform at the Jaipur Train Station, Janu. My arrival in Jaipur was preceded by three long sweaty weeks of solo travel in India where everyone wanted money. Janu is a driver and he was looking for a fare. I knew I was being hustled but in my exhaustion, I gave in, bargained for a price to the hotel where I was to meet a friend. When he dropped me off at the hotel, none of us had change to break the large bill and Janu said something that took me by surprise. You can pay me later, he said. For the first time in three weeks, a transaction that was not money–centric. He impressed me. I ended up hiring him for the next couple of days and wrote about it here.
Presa en Jaipur
Hoy terminé detenida dentro de un patrullero, en un barrio bajo de Jaipur.
Todo comenzó cuando Janu (el guía que contraté para ver la ciudad), estacionó el auto en una calle cualquiera y un policía se acercó a pedirle una coima para poder dejarlo ahí. Janu se negó, discutieron y nos fuimos sin darle un peso.
Indien: Pinke Gruesse
Heute morgen ging es los Richtung Suedwesten. 6:10 Uhr ab New Delhi Station, nur 3 mal Stop (Kuehe auf den Gleisen), leckeres Fruehstueck (sauscharfe Kartoffel-Gemuesepuffer, Ketchup, 3!!! Pommes, Toast, Marmelade und Butter). Habe dieses Fruehstueck fotografisch festgehalten, aber der Compi moechte es nicht hochladen. Wird also nachgeliefert.
Jaipur – Carpet Diem
We are in Jaipur and we are on a mission – to find a woolen camel hair rug with natural dyes for our dining room. Jaipur is a center for manufacturing high quality, hand woven, naturally dyed rugs in India, and there are many shops that sell rugs but only a few places where they are made. Before we left for India we decided that buying a beautiful handcrafted rug for our home would be our big souvenier and momento from the trip. Now is the time for us to seize the day.
Janu of Jaipur
The next morning, we woke up to meet our driver, Janu… little did we know we were in for a huge treat. Besides being impossibly charming and attractive, his perfect English, which he taught himself, and absurdly impressive knowledge of ALL of Rajasthan made him the perfect addition to our group for the day. He showed us his journals, two notebooks FILLED with tourists singing his praises as we traveled through Jaipur. He also informed us that he was pretty famous on Google, so being the professional googler that I am, I gave it a shot and it turns out, he is.
Teresa and Paul’s World Tour – 2011
The sanctuary of Jaipur
Teresa and I had been in India for about 2 weeks when we made our way from Agra to Jaipur. By that time the sensory overload was beginning to wear more than a little on us both. We had enjoyed seeing the Taj Mahal, but we happy about leaving Agra behind us.
And then there was the train ride from Agra to Jaipur.
We were very proud that we had managed to negotiate the train system relatively well from Delhi to Agra, but the trip to Jaipur was going to be 4 hours long (instead of 1.5 hrs) and it would be a night time train (instead of daylight), and the train wasn’t scheduled to arrive in Jaipur until mid-night.
I’m not ashamed to say, that in hindsight, we had bitten off more than we could chew. In theory it was simple… arrive at the station, wait about 30 mins, board the train, read and play cards for a couple of hours, and then be picked up at the Jaipur station by a car from our hotel… easy.
Pink City of Jaipur
Travel from Mumbai to Jaipur was a 22 hour exhausting move, and I arrived late, sick, tired, and out of money because the India Information and Reservation Centre had yet again failed to get me the money they’d owed me since mid-September and the PayPal transfer wouldn’t arrive for another couple of days and the cost to get to the train station in Mumbai was WAY more than I’d expected. So when I get told that the hotel I was supposed to be booked in had overbooked and I was to be schlepped over to another hotel for the night I pretty much lost all ability to keep cope together and burst into tears.
Jaipur : Jaisalmer : Udaipur
At this point we were going to hire a driver who would take us the rest of the way. No more waiting! We were done. Or so we thought. We talked to the hotel manager who told us he only knew of 1 driver in the entire city, named Janu. Mmmmhmmmm… and he brought Janu to us. However, what he wanted was so far outside what we could pay that we had to tell him no.
Honestly, after a full day of crazy travel and not enough hours of sleep I may or may not have been really rude to him.
Hello Rajasthan, Girlies on Tour!
Am 8. Dezember sind wir in Jaipur, der “pinken” Hauptstadt Rajasthans, nach 16 Stunden Zugfahrt gelandet. Wie vereinbart haben dort schon unser Driver Jaheer und der Tourenorganisator Janu mit einem Namensschild auf uns gewartet und uns sogleich zu unserem Auto für die nächsten zehn Tage gebracht. Schon nach den ersten Minuten im Auto waren die beiden Jungs uns sehr sympathisch, auch wenn wir alles und jeden nach vier Monaten Indien zu Beginn erstmal mit einer gewissen Skepsis betrachten. Uns wurden gleich tausende reviewes und ausgedruckte Blogs in die Hand gedrückt, die uns letzte Zweifel über eventuellen Betrug oder schlechtem Service nehmen sollten. Tatsächlich stand in jedem einzelnen nur ausgesprochen Gutes über Kompanie und Driver, fürs erste konnten wir uns also mal fallen lassen.
JUST A FEW DAYS AFTER THE LAST POST, MY MOM AND I HEADED ON ANOTHER NIGHT TRAIN RIDE TO THE CITY OF JAIPUR, ALSO IN RAJASTHAN. THROUGH A CONTACT WE MADE IN UDAIPUR, WE WERE HOOKED UP WITH JANU, A FANTASTIC GUIDE IN JAIPUR. UNTIL THIS POINT I HAD BEEN SO FRUSTRATED WITH BEING UNABLE TO FIND THE STONES AND SILVER I WAS LOOKING FOR.
WHEN I TOLD JANU WHAT I WAS SEARCHING FOR, HE IMMEDIATELY TOOK US TO THE SHOP OF A FAMILY OF GEM DEALERS. WHEN I WALKED INTO THE SHOWROOM I WAS SURPRISED AT HOW SMALL IT WAS, BUT PLEASED THAT IT WASN’T ANOTHER HIGH END JEWELRY STORE TOURIST TRAP.