Wednesday, January 23, 2013


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 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 view from the top was beautiful.

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.    I abhor snake charmers.  I abhor cobras.  I could have happily have missed this detail at the Amber Fort!


Judy Wise said...

I couldn't agree more about the cobra and the snake charmers. I think it's hideous that people take their lives into their hands to make a living. Ugh and the poor snakes. Stinky snakes. They need to be left alone by all means. It's a bad business. Now my feathers are ruffled!

But it was a fabulous post. I wonder what the elephants are thinking when they get themselves prettied up with chalk. I wonder if your elephant didn't feel less special. I think his human was thoughtless. We should all be allowed to move slowly. And wear pretty paintings on ourselves or bangles or other things to make us feel fabulous. I would love to hug an elephant.

But not a snake.

Thank you so much for the great pictures. (I love the turbans too.) xo

diane b said...

That would have been a bit disappointing to be racing past everything and not be able to take shots but you seemed to get some good ones of the walk up. There were many elephants making the trip. It is good that you can joke about it now. Love the colours in the umbrellas and the elephants make up.