After Puskkar, we traveled about 3 1/2 hours by bus to Jaipur. The next morning we got up early to get in line at the entrance to the Amber Fort---more correctly called the Amer Fort. You have to arrive early if you want to ride up to the Fort in style...by elephant. Now, I ask you, who wouldn't?
It was readily apparent that everyone wanted to travel up the hill to the Amber Fort by elephant, judging by the line of people ahead of us. The line moved pretty quickly and we all were patient. It was worth the wait, too, to be assisted onto your elephant (okay, you elephant for the ride up the hill, anyway). Nonie and I got a speedy one. Our "driver" seemed in a great hurry to get us up the hill and off his elephant. Maybe it was his tea break time. Maybe he had to make a phone call. Maybe he just didn't like our faces? For whatever reason, we flew up the hill. It was like being in a elephant race, where only one elephant is racing. The others just walked along, leisurely, up the hill, giving their passengers ample time to snap photos. Ah, well, at least we won the race!
Some of the elephants were beautifully decorated with colored chalk designs. Ours was not. He was in too much of a hurry to just stand around, waiting while he was decorated. Our elephant was a speed demon.
|Maota Lake in the background|
The Fort was built by Raja Man Singh I and was the headquarters for the Rajput Maharajahs for the next 150 years until the capital was moved to Jaipur.
The palace within the fort is a beautiful amalgam of both Hindu and Rajput design.
Everywhere you look are embellishments, carvings, marble inlaid into the red sandstone that was the main building material. Floors, walls, ceilings....everywhere there are marvelous little details.
There are four levels to the palace and each of the levels has it's own courtyard. The garden is spectacular, with a pool in the center.
As we were leaving (we sped down the hill in a Jeep, rather than an elephant), we came upon these gentlemen and their cobras. I can not begin to tell you how much I did not want to see them and their snakes.