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27 May 2013

Incredible India with Senheng: Jantar Mantar Observatory - City Palace Museum - Bapu Bazaar [Part 2]

Picking up Taj Mahal @ Agra, India
 In my first India trip post, I've talked about my visit to several place as below:
  • [Day 1] Basically spent time in the plane. Flew from KLIA - Singapore - New Delhi
  • [Day 2] Photo session outside of Qutub Tower, India Gate, drove past the President and Parliament Houses, government buildings and embassy area. Went to Badminton Semi-Final.
  • [Day 3] Tour to Old Delhi and drove past Red Fort. Visited Jama Mosque and went to Siri Fort Sports complex to watch the Final Match of India Open 2013
  • [Day 4] Traveled from Delhi to Agra. Visited Agra Fort, Taj Mahal and Mohabat Taj Live Show. Stayed in Jaypee Palace Hotel
If you've missed out the first blog post about my visit to Taj Mahal, you should read it first =) All right, I shall continue with my India Trip [Day 5]! Since I got feedback from my friend saying that my previous post was too long, I will just decrease amount of photo I wanna share to day and it will be all about what happened during our fifth day in India!

[Day 5] Depart from Agra and heading to Jaipur to visit the City Palace and Observatory. At night we then went to the local market Bapu Bazar @ Jaipur for shopping.


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Muralidharan Lee, also know as Lee. He is our funny and entertaining tour guide during our India trip. I like the jokes and life philosophy that he shared - "Don't worry, be happy" is definitely a good motto of life

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A lady using his head to carry 'holy shit'(cow dung) by the 'holy cow'. They were drying the cow dung and make it become pie shape and later use it as manure/agriculture fertilizer

Since I don't usually travel to India (this was my first time), I've decided to spot what I can while sitting on the bus and capture the scenery/people I find them interesting. In my opinion, it is definitely worth it to sacrifice your sleep for awesome photos


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
You smile, I smile

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Mother and daughter smiled back after I waved and smiled to them =D
In first few days of our trip in India, I was having jet lag and don't really have the energy to greet the local. However on day 5, I have slowly adapted to the time in India and tried to greet every local I met while our bus passing by them. As what my tour guide (Lee)said, it is true that if you smile to them, they will smile back at you. Even if you wave at them, they might wave back too, just like the mirror =)

Here's a series of portrait photos I manage to take while we were on the bus:


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A children with his grandparents I guess? =)


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Simple life = Easy to have happy smile


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
I waved and smiled, they did the same thing =)


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Right before the guys almost fell during the turn, they posed for my camera =D


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Local people selling food and drinks at the toll area.
I gotta share some story with you about the photo above. At first the kid in blue checkered shirt wasn't smiling at all and just looking around at us wonder if we want to buy bottled water. I then waved and show my camera wonder if he would allow me to take a photo of him. He nodded his head after a while but suddenly his buddy (in purple shirt) shown up in front of him and 'photobomb-ed' this photo. Oh well, I am glad I manage to capture TWO smiling face instead of just one.



Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A cow eating the food residue on the street besides a vehicle with beautiful eye painted on it

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Passing by the village and found this green farm with yellow flower plants blooming under the hot sun
Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
An organic block that was made of cow dung. Look at the designs printed on it =)

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A girl transferring dry grass that can be used to feed their livestock

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Camel spotted along our bus trip to Jaipur


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Organic banana served on the bus. Thanks to him for providing us enough bottled water along the whole trip

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Brought Akiraceo along for my India trip. If you think this phone case is cute, get it at Miaowafupafu Online Store =D

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A colorful horse cart for wedding

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Stopped at road side to buy some local handicraft. The price is definitely cheaper than what you seen in the city

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Got myself the carved marble elephant statue at Rs 200 only (RM12)
Each and every elephant is unique in color and shape

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Stopped by  Udai Vilas Palace Hotel, Rajasthan for a quick toilet break and spotted this lizard enjoying the hot weather

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
I find him cool to be captured by my camera. That red turban paired with red classic glasses
We made a stop at a restaurant for Pakoras snacks break. I asked the man above if I can take a photo of him and he was telling me that I will be charged after that. I said no, feeling sad but then he allowed me to shoot a photo of him for free just for this time. That's the thing about people in India sometime, they will try to make money in any possible way to make their life better =) Why? Because we are considered rich tourists who traveled all the way from Malaysia to India.

I still remember there was a boy in the toilet passing tissue to me and was told to give him tips afterwards. Well, I took the tissue and gave him the coins I have in my pocket. Hope it manage to help him a bit. *I am picky in giving tips to people who deserve it haha*



Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Beside the restaurant was a souvenir shop selling all kinds of stuff

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Beside India's god statue, spot the vase and globe model made of camel bones and



Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Monkey god statue

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
King Cobra God statue. Blue represent it's poisonous color

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Passed by this empty hill before we reach our hotel

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Flower ring welcoming us at Fortune Bella Casa Hotel, Jaipur

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Surprised to see there are tons of beggars who stay at the road side. Which is just opposite of Fortune Bella Casa Hotel
That's a mom wiping her baby's buttock~


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A passerby crossing the road

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Kid begging for money/food while we getting on our bus

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A new building under painting. It will be very colorful during my next visit

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Toilet could be anywhere in India

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A building with tons of pigeons on it

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
An old man with his trishaw

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
The most obedient holy cow spotted and listen to my direction on posing
*listening carefully with its ears*

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
He wasashing hand and face after pumped water from the underground
He pumped again so that I can wash my hand as well haha. Thanks buddy

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Walking towards Jaipur's World Heritage Monument - Jantar Mantar to learn more about Indian Astrology
Ticket to enter priced at Rp 350

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
The sphere shape astrology structure @ Jantar Mantar that can be used to predict the location of the stars/horoscope in the sky using the sun lights/shadow
"The Jantar Mantar observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars' location as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides. Each is a fixed and 'focused' tool. 

Built from local stone and marble, each instrument carries an astronomical scale, generally marked on the marble inner lining. Bronze tablets, all extraordinarily accurate, were also employed. Thoroughly restored in 1901, the Jantar Mantar was declared a national monument in 1948.

Today the observatory is a popular tourist attraction. However, local astronomers still use it to predict the weather for farmers, although their authority is becoming increasingly questionable. Students of astronomy and Vedic astrology are required to take some of their lessons at the observatory, and it can be said that the observatory is the single most representative work of Vedic thought that still survives, apart from the texts. Many of the smaller instruments display remarkable innovation in architectural design and its relation to function, for instance - the Ram Yantra." 
- Read more about Jantar Mantar here

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A selfie together with the Jai Prakash Yantra at Jantar Mantar, Jaipur.. Too complicated for everyone to understand the concept behind it. If you like to read horoscope remember to visit this place and the tour guide will tell you what's your lucky number, color or even date on particular date.
Jai Prakash Yantra (shown above)
The design and purpose of this instrument is similar to the Kapali Yantras. As before, a map of the visible heavens is inscribed on the inner surface of the bowls, with additional scales (including the zodiacal divisions of the year) around the rim. A small ring is suspended from cross wires. Its shadow projects the position of the sun onto the inscribed celestial map. 

At night, an observer could sight through the ring to discover the position of any star or planet of interest.

According to my tour guide (Lee), Indians are very particular on astrology and they decide their children's wedding day by calculate the best day to get married. A correct dayday will bless the couple with good fortune and fate.

"Indian Astrology is the most ancient form of astrology. It differs a lot in comparison with the Western astrology.  It correlates the ever changing planetary positions with the fate of the human being. It follows the date, time and place of birth of the individuals to make horoscope or the respective birth chart. It differs from the Chinese astrology as the Chinese people use only the birth year to calculate the prediction. They believe year of birth certainly indicates a special aspect of a circle of sixty year of time. So people who born in a particular year certainly share some common traits of that particular animal as people share under a same zodiac sign. But Indian astrology shares very particular traits regarding character, the future, marriage compatibility, jobs and career and so on."         - read more @ Astrology and Horoscope


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Weather was hot but you shouldn't miss a group photo!
Here's a photo of me together with some friends at the Astrological devices for individual constellation. I've found my horoscope among all 12 of them. Wanna guess I belong to which horoscope?

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Mr and Mrs Choy the loving couple I know during this India trip =)

After visiting Jantar Mantar we then travel to the City Palace. City Palace, Jaipur, which includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces and other buildings, is a palace complex in Jaipur, the capital of the Rajasthan state, India. The Chandra Mahal palace now houses a museum but the greatest part of it is still a royal residence. 

The City Palace is in the central-northeast part of the Jaipur city, which is laid in a grid pattern with wide avenues. It is a unique and arresting complex of several palaces, pavilions, gardens and temples. The most prominent and most visited structures in the complex are the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Mukut Mahal, Maharani's Palace, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
The turban guard with huge tummy
PS: He might ask you for money after photoshoot since it is a tourist area

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A guy showing us how he tie the turban onto his head

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Don't miss a chance to take photo together!
PS: My lips was cracked which shown a funny smile

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
One of the beautiful gate found in City Palace

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
An awesome group photo taken by the guard in City Palace

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Picture together with the photographer and my travel buddy, Chin Chye after he took the group photo for us

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Travel buddies right in front of the beautiful Peacock Gate

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Touched the gate knobs for some good luck (Not sure if it works haha)

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Stop by the cafe inside the City Palace for some cool beer.

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
The kid transferring the rest of the beer given to him into a plastic bottle
A guy showing us how they make the printing for sarees @ Jaipur Haat
 
After our visit to the City Palace, we then depart to a shopping stop - Jaipur Haat in Pink City, a place where you can buy colorful sarees, genuine gem stones at one same place.


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
You must learn to bargain for good price

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Variety of gem stones for you to choose


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A beautiful corner of a building at night. Spot the colorful glasses on the window
After visited Jaipur Haat, we then travel again to a local night bazaar - Bapu Bazaar, heavens for shoppers.
Bapu Bazaar is famous for drawing the highest numbers of shoppers in Jaipur. Shoppers can buy a huge number of traditional Rajasthani products ranging from textiles, perfumes, products made from camel skin and many more. Mojari footwear, which is made out of camel skin can be found in the markets of Bapu Bazaar.


Our travel buddy using one of his bargaining skill - "The Pout Mouth"


Remember, bargaining is very common in the shops of Bapu Bazaar. It is a skill that the tourists will need to cater in order to get the best bet. The more the tourists learn to bargain the better will be your buy. 

Since I am not into shopping at the bazaar, I just bring my DSLR that was paired with 50mm f1.8 and focus on snapping portraits on the street. Just a few photos to share:

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A family on one single motorcycle.

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A simple family

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Approached them again for another shoot besides the shop
Better lighting that reveals her striking red saree. Thank you for posing =)

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Local food stall in Bapu Bazaar

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A picture together with two old man who shared a lot stories with me
Thanks my buddy for taking this photo
I don't know where did I find the bravery to approach the two old man who were in their shop selling luggage and electronic device. We chatted for quite a long time and he shared a lot stories with me after knowing that I am from Malaysia. According to him, there is one Tunku's son serving as an officer in the Indian army now. 

Thanks to Google, I found out that the prince who is serving in Indian Army now is none other than Tunku Ismail Idris ibni Sultan Ibrahim Ismail, the Tunku Mahkota of Johor (Crown Prince). Following a family tradition of getting trained in armed forces, with his late grandfather in the Malaysian Army and father in the US Army, Tunku Ismail aspired for a career in the Indian armed forces.  Oh well, he is the first ever Malaysian royal to join the Indian armed forces.

Since my travel buddies were leaving the place after done shopping, I asked my buddy to help me take a group photo before we left. Thanks the wise old man who shared his knowledge with me haha. If you haven't notice only his hair remains black while eyebrow and mustache has turn all white.


Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
Special performance by the villagers at our hotel's dining room
We all went back to hotel for dinner of the day. As usual, spicy curry (mutton) and spicy noodles awaiting us. The chef never expect we Malaysian like to eat that much rice and hence plain white rice is always out of stock. Thanks to our tour guide (Lee) he manage to ask the chef to cook more rice for us haha. I was too tired to take a photo of the food being served though.

That's all for my sharing about the fifth day in India!! Stay tune on TianChad.com as I am gonna share the exciting post of us at Amber Fort. We took a ride on the elephant, took a photo with a living cobra *fear factor challenge* and visited Chokhi Dhani Village that is actually a very huge and unique fun-fair. Yeah we manage to have a camel ride at the fun-fair as well!

Senheng India Trip to Taj Mahal 2013 | TianChad.com
A cobra quietly 'listen' to his master's music


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