Jaipur, an open zoo!
Jaipur is one of the city in India where you will find the most variety of animal species within its walls. Indeed Rajasthan is quite a conservative state and as in Hinduism people believe in Karma, it's part of everyone daily life to take care of animals in order to get a beautiful afterlife!
Let's have a view of Jaipur's many animals:
There is two main species of monkeys in Jaipur city, the Grey Langurs also called Hanuman monkeys, mostly in Amber and the Rhesus macaque that can be found anywhere in the Pink City. The Grey Langurs can be recognized by their black faces and long tails, they're actually really friendly and are used to the company of men, so don't be scared to feed them, some times they will even jump on you !
The Rhesus macaques on the contrary are bad news. They can be spotted by their pink faces, those ones can really be aggressive and are well organized. Don't get near and keep your doors locked or they'll definitely come inside to find some food. They can be seen everywhere in the city and especially in Galta Ji temple also known as the Monkey Temple. If you want to learn more about those ones we invite you to check the National Geographic's show ''Monkey Thieves'', about a gang of Rhesus macaques in our beloved city.
Rajasthan being a desert state, you can bump into a camel while strolling in the pink streets of Jaipur. Indeed those animals are really important in Jaipurites' daily lives. The Raikas are the tribe that breed and keep them, they take pride in their jobs and have a special connection with their animals. In the state capital they're used for various shores, mostly for the transport of heavy goods in carts. Nowadays camels in Rajasthan are endangered and in order to save them the state government passed the Rajasthan Camel Bill in march 2015, punishing camels slaughters and making them state animals.
Like everywhere in India you will meet a lot of street dogs along your way. Some of them are friendly but some of them are not, particularly at night. We know it can be hard to resist to hug those fluffy creatures but be careful, some of us learned it the hard way. However if you get bitten go to the nearest hospital and if it's not that bad, go buy some vaccination against rabbies at the pharmacy. ''Rabipur'' can be bought for less than 500 rupees, you will need 3 to 5 injections depending of how badly you've being bitten. Obviously, same precautions applied if you get attacked by monkeys.
Cute little donkeys are often seen in the old city, they are mostly used to carry heavy loads on their back for construction purposes. Walking in line they are quite funny to observe.
In western countries pigeons are seen as filthy animals but not in India! As we said earlier, Hindus believe in Karma so they feed them often, the same goes with fishes in Jal Mahal. In most gathering places you will find various seeds' sellers to buy from for feeding the birds. One of the most famous places for that is in front of the Albert Hall museum, if you do the Pink Sensation tour with us you'll see hundreds of pigeons flying in groups in the morning lights, breathtaking!
In the streets of Jaipur, you'll see many pigs, they serve as garbage cleaner. Indeed they feast on the waste thrown in the streets, that's why in Hinduism pigs are considered impure. They are bred by Untouchables because no one else wants to deal with those ''filthy'' animals. Being very poor, people from this caste often eat pork.
Goats can be seen almost everywhere in the city but mostly in the muslim areas as people raise them for their meat along with muttons. The funny part is when it gets cold in winter, their owners dress them up with children's T-shirts or shorts!
As you may know, cows are highly sacred in India, it was lord Krishna favorite animal and mean of transport, it's also a symbol of wealth and strength. You will be surprised to see hundreads of cows wandering in the streets, they're actually owned by someone and go out during the day getting fed by people before going back home to be milked. There are mainly two different types of cows, the local ones and the ones imported from Europe, that actually make way more milk than the first ones. Cow has two main purposes: the milk is used for dairy products such as lassi and paneer, the local cottage cheese.
The cow dungs are used as fertilizer or even to produce fuel when burnt. If you do the Pink Inside cycle tour with us, you'll get the chance to share a traditional breakfast with us in Raju's place, home of 16 cows !
If you want to learn about elephants in the Pink city, we invite you to read our article right there : http://www.cyclinjaipur.com/#!History-of-Elephants-in-Jaipur-Northern- India/c1pxa/C51E05E9-3F42-4C80-AB73-FDE141B548D2