The train ride to Jaipur was pretty quick or maybe we just thought it was because we were still giddy from our safari sightings. Once we arrived, we went through our reception and then departed for our afternoon and evening in Jaipur.
We will be starting out at the Amber Fort. Along the way to the fort, we pass through the city and see the Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds. It was built in a way that the women could see out through the angled window openings, but they could not be seen by the men below.
The last portion of our journey to the fort will be by elephant. As our bus arrives, the elephants make a dramatic entrance parading to the embarkment platform.
We get a helping hand from the handlers to board, a send off picture and then away we go.
It’s a fairly steep, zig-zag climb to the top. Our elephant was a younger one named Carey. At 30 years old, she is considered younger. The elephants work from an age of about 25 to about 65.
Our Carey was a speed demon. We were passing the others and though we left about fifth, we were the second one to reach the departure platform. Personally, I think she rushed just to get us off.
The Amber Fort is a huge complex. There is not only the fort, but also a palace, lake and gardens. The huge walls surrounding the fort look like a smaller version of the great wall of China.
Our guide for the day walked us through, explaining the history of the fort and the Maharajas that lived there. After exploring the fort, we moved on to the palace
How do you get to the Palace? Pillage, invade and conquer. None of that practice stuff!
The living quarters were just the right size for the Maharaja and his 12 wives. Oh, and his 300 concubines. Busy man!
Next stop was lunch. There is a cafe called the 1135 AD Cafe in the fort and we had a very nice lunch.
After lunch, they loaded us into jeeps to head back to the bus. As we had ascended via elephant, there were people taking pictures of us and they showed up as we were leaving to sell you the pictures.
Lots of haggling going on as they were asking 1000 rupees for the set ($15). As the bus was getting ready to pull away, people were getting their photos for as low as 100 rupees.
Our next stop would be the city palace in Jaipur proper.