In this sixty-fourth archive story by Kristian Bertel, we take a look at the Indian roads and the Bapu Bazar in Jaipur in Rajasthan, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Chaos is the word that best describes Indian roads as seen at the Bapu Bazar in this archive story. A trip in a taxi can be a hair-raising experience, let alone trying to cross a road as a pedestrian. There is a system in place whereby smaller vehicles usually give way to larger vehicles, and the largest vehicles rule the road. Drivers weave all over the road, and overtake from both sides. To actually cross a road, you will have to brace yourself to walk out in front of oncoming traffic.
Chaos is the word that best describes Indian roads as seen at the Bapu Bazar in this archive story. A trip in a taxi can be a hair-raising experience, let alone trying to cross a road as a pedestrian. There is a system in place whereby smaller vehicles usually give way to larger vehicles, and the largest vehicles rule the road. Drivers weave all over the road, and overtake from both sides. To actually cross a road, you will have to brace yourself to walk out in front of oncoming traffic.

Bapu Bazar in Jaipur

This place is famous for economy shopping however, if you do not bargain, you will end up paying more than double of what it is worth. Here, you can find Rajastani items as well as other items in sarees, dress materials, bed sheets, imitation jewellery and so on. If you are familiar with bazaars in Asia, well, this is exactly that. Do not ever think you are ever getting a bargain – the street touts are far superior to you at bargaining and negotiation. Unless you really know your fabrics, gemstones and so on, this is a great place to get ripped off. Conversely, if you approach the experience knowing that everything is cheap garbage, then your expectations will be met.

Bapu a colorful bazar in India
If you take one look at the glorious stucco buildings that line Jaipur's wide streets, you will understand why this is nicknamed 'The Pink City'. Spend your days exploring City Palace, Hawa Mahal and Amber and Jaigarh forts. And if you are looking for a unique souvenir, head to one of the bazaars, where you can pick up a pair of camel-leather slippers. Bapu Bazar is colorful with all the skirts, punjabi suits, sarees, bags, shoes, put on display. The photographer also loved how lively it was. The photographer enjoyed shopping there and he mostly just looked around. At one point I became unsure about the idea of shopping there since most sellers were very, very persistent and I did not really like haggling and all. People who love bargaining would really love this bazar. Highly recommended to get ghagras, bangles and so on at really cheap prices. Bapu Bazar is located within the old city area between the Sanganeri Gate and New Gate.

Bapu Bazar is an ever busy bustling Jaipur shopping market. There is no vehicular traffic on this road. You can buy all things quintessentially Rajasthani here – Salwar kameez sets, bedspreads, cushion covers and fabric. Block prints and vegetable dyeing are very typical of the state of Rajasthan. Sanganeri prints, Bagru prints, Sanganeri and Bagru print, named after the villages where the dyeing is done Batik prints and Bhandhej prints, all that Rajasthan is famous for, are available in the form of Salwar suits, dress material and bedspreads. Link Road is an extension of Bapu Bazar and is good for artificial jewellery and lac bangles. You can also shop for famous Mojri jutis. These shoes are made from soft camel leather. And do not miss stopping at a store for after dinner Jaipur Supari and Churan which is a tangy sweet and spicy Ayurvedic digestives, Rajasthani Papad, which is a lentil based savory. and Aam Papad, which is a mango based condiments. Besides this, they also stock Rajasthani herbal henna that is used for hair colouring and Mehendi, which is traditional art of painting on hands and feet. In fact, you have Mehendi artists on the road outside the shop. You can try and bargain in many shops. You will get much cheaper rates and choice here than anywhere else. The trick is in bargaining hard as every second shop is selling the same craft. If you buy any sarees or bed covers, do check the length as the size may not be the same as what the shopkeeper is telling you. If you like any particular print then go ahead and buy as there are so many shops that returning to the same one may be difficult.

Traffic on the Indian roads
As a photographer and traveler in India it is hard to ignore that the traffic is really congested. The frequency of traffic collisions in India is amongst the highest in the world. In India it has been revealed that every year, more than 135,000 traffic collision-related deaths occur in India. According to road traffic safety experts, the actual number of casualties may be higher than what is documented, as many traffic accidents go unreported. Moreover, victims who die some time after the accident, a span of time which may vary from a few hours to several days, are not counted as car accident victims. Driving a car on Indian roads is like being in a bumper car surrounded by three-year-olds in other bumper cars who are coming at you from all different directions. You spend most of your time praying that you will not hit anyone, although accidents are inevitable. In India, there is no such thing as a car that is in perfect condition most of them are banged up and subsequently patched up. Traffic in India is a kind of organised chaos. It iss astounding that anyone ever gets to their destination in one piece, but somehow it all works. To those of us who witness this madness by being a brave passenger chauffeured around by an expert Indian driver, it appears as though a god-like level of skill is required to maneuver through the crowded roads.

The randomness you encounter on Indian roads is primarily generated from the fact that you are not only driving among cars, but you are also in the midst of bicycles, wandering humans, animals and random objects like a stray seat cushion. Your goal, in getting from point A to point B, is to dodge all of these obstacles. India's snarling traffic jams can leave cars crawling at under five kilometers an hour making it almost faster to walk than drive. Now, ever lengthening commutes are pushing the country's famously price-conscious consumers to upgrade to cars that are easier to drive. Most notably, more are buying pricier models that sport automatic gears and moving away from the manual stick-shifts that have long held sway over Indian roads. Traffic congestion is a condition on transport networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction between vehicles slows the speed of the traffic stream, this results in some congestion. While congestion is a possibility for any mode of transportation, this archive story is focusing on automobile congestion on public roads. As demand approaches the capacity of a road or of the intersections along the road, extreme traffic congestion sets in. When vehicles are fully stopped for periods of time, this is colloquially known as a traffic jam or traffic snarl-up. Traffic congestion can lead to drivers becoming frustrated and engaging in road rage. "- Mathematically, congestion is usually looked at as the number of vehicles that pass through a point in a window of time or a flow", the photographer says.

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of a bazar street in Jaipur. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.