The Pink City and capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur has it all. Stunning architecture and a rich history. Camels and cars share roadspace. Vast bazars and shopping centres complete with Marks and Spencer. There’s no denying the importance of this city.

Our experience of Jaipur was a bit manic. We arrived in the city via a sleeper bus (cabins reminded me a bit of a fancy microwave, but surprisingly comfortable given the bumpy roads) and found our hotel. After a brief catch up on sleep, we left the city again. We were on our way to Ranthambore National Park to find tigers.

It was a bit of a nightmare finding transport to take us the 100-or-so miles south. After wandering around bus stations and travel agents we finally got tickets for a train. They were the cheapest tickets, so no air-con. But that’s fine, it was only 2 and half hours. There were no allocated seats. No big deal, we’ve travelled with Southern Rail. And the train left at rush hour. How busy could it be?

Tracks of my Tears

After nearly three hours, crammed on a train, with strangers hanging onto us for support, limbs in all directions and still being encouraged to take a selfie, it was like nothing we had ever experienced. I salute the Indian people for their determination and ability to hang on the side of a speeding train.

On our return to Jaipur (which was much more comfortable. Room to breathe and sip a chai. Same class, just midmorning) we were blown away by the beauty of the city. Diwali had started to sneak in. Multi-storey buildings were draped in strings of colour. Houses, businesses, even tuc-tucs shone brightly in artificial lights. Joy beamed across this opulent city in colours as the night set in. It was a sight to see.

Jaipur, the Pink City and capital of Rajasthan – I don’t think we’ll be forgetting our time there in a hurry.

But what happened after the train? Read about our time in Ranthambore National Park here.