Tikam, the 19th Century Street Photographer

If you visit Jaipur you'll be sure to walk along Hawa Mahal Road; a bustling street in the Old City that connects the City Palace with the Palace of the Winds and that is located right next to the Johari Bazar, the heart of the local gold and gemstone markets. This area is a great way to explore architecture, collect souvenirs and experience market life, and as such it's a tourist hotspot that is home to many traders and quirky businesses that speak to the needs of India's many visitors.

One resourceful and innovative entrepreneur has spotted an opportunity within our collective obsession for photography, selfies and photo souvenirs, and has set up on the street with his grandfather's 150(+) year old Zeiss camera. Located just outside of shop 120, near the Jalebi Chowk gate of the City Palace, Mr Tikam Chand offers street photography with a 19th century twist, and will take your portrait with his traditional camera gear and develop the photograph right there on the pavement as he has done for a lifetime. 

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Monkeys in the Palace

Thanks to the reverence that Hindus place on these creatures, they live (almost) harmoniously alongside local people and all the other city wildlife -of which there is a lot! The people are wise to the monkeys' tricks and as such know how to operate in a way that allows the monkeys to do their thing with minimal disruption to the lives of the people.

And I find that pretty admirable; how the locals here are happy to let nature meet the urban landscape, and treat their animal friends as (almost) equals. It's pretty different to our western culture, where generally we feel the need to tame any creature that we interact with on a regular basis. Observing the city wildlife is a beautiful teaching in how to live among nature, rather than feeling the need to constantly be controiling everything, and everyone, around you.

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Secret Local Lunch Spots #1

“Sita Ram’s Restaurant” -named specifically for this blog post as he’d never needed a name for it before, is situated just outside of the Udai Pol palace gate (near Jaleb Chowk) within the parking area and among some other chai and snack stands. There’s only one thing on the menu at this simple pop up food stop: Palek paratha and curry, served with red and green chilli chutneys and curd.

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