Today we were in Jaipur, part of the Golden Triangle – sightseeing is usually early, with an 8.30 start, so you do the hard work before it gets too hot.
First up was Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) – built in 1799, it is part of the City Palace, and is really just a facade built to allow the women of the palace to see the street without showing their faces.
Next up was the fabulous Amer Fort (or Amber fort, as it is also known).
Next we had a tricky ethical decision to make, the usual way to get up to the fort is by elephant. The Mahouts do seem to care well for their beasts though, and much shorter hours are now worked, so in embracing the culture, the lure of riding an elephant was too much, as it may well be the only chance we will ever get.
I do wonder how ancient troops fought from the backs of these magnificent animals, as it isn’t the most elegant way to travel!
The fort itself, built in the 16th Century, is very imposing, with huge courtyards and fine decoration.
Succesive Maharajas added to the building in different styles.
There are some particularly famous parts of the building, including the Hall of Mirrors…
…and the wives quarters.
The views from the top are spectacular.
After Amer Fort we went to the City Palace, essentially a large museum. The white building in the picture below is his living quarters, which we could have visited, but at about £100 for the privilege, we thought perhaps not!
Photos weren’t allowed in the main sites, but we did see the throne room where dignitaries were met. We did, however, get a photo of the giant silver containers the Maharaja used to carry water of the Ganges with him on his travels, including to London…they are about six feet high, and there are two of them!
Finally we visited Jantar Mantar, a large garden with an amazing colection of astronomical, astrological and time measuring devices built in 1738.
We got back to the hotel at about three, as the sun was fierce by this time, so now we are putting our feet up before our journey to Pushkar tomorrow.