India diary, day 3

In June/July 2010 I spent ten days travelling in Rajasthan, India with friends; this is my diary of the trip (full list of entries here).

Quite a day today!

First, we drove out (supposedly before the worst of the heat, but certain people didn’t get up early enough…) to see Jaipur’s fort.

Then, back to K’s grandparents’ place for a splendid lunch laid on by caterers for us and a large number of visiting members of his family including my first taste of an authentic Indian curry (chicken, obviously, not beef). Delicious!

After hiding from the heat with my book for the rest of the afternoon; as darkness fell we dressed up and ventured out for one of the highlights of the trip: the last night of a genuine Indian wedding (apparently they typically last several days!). Friends of K’s family were getting married in style with 300 guests, and we caught up with the wedding procession marching up Jaipur’s equivalent of the A34, much to the annoyance of passing traffic.

It had elephants, a man on stilts, a marching band, 300 dancing guests, a lot of electric lights, and a man throwing fireworks into the air overhead.

After going round the block a couple of times, the procession marched into the grounds of the hotel where the dinner was being held. As we gorged ourselves on a wide range of delicious Indian food, TV cameras whizzed overhead on wires, televising the whole thing to screens on stands around the place. I felt quite sorry for the bride and groom, sitting on the grand stage at the front, being congratulated by and photographed with all their guests in turn – no chance to get at all the food!

Returned to our hotel thoroughly full and with lots of happy memories of an amazing night.