Friday, 6 February 2009

Jaipur - Day 1 - Amber Fort

After a short stint at the Hawa Mahal we drove to Amber fort. On our way to the fort we came across a few shops selling savouries (these looked so different compared to the usual ones we get across various other places in India). From our guide we came to know that these were the local specialities and were found only near Amber fort and not even in other parts of Jaipur. Then how can I miss not sampling them ? It tasted similar to the usual ones except that they were big made :)

This is the Kali temple in the fort where the king prayed before any war.
The walls of the Amber fort are bulit similar to that of the Great wall of China. There are 3 ways through which you can reach the fort - an elephant ride, drive up or trust your own legs and walk up the slope. I opted to take the elephant ride and we entered the fort sitting on top of an elephant , jus' the way the King or Queen would have years ago - It did feel really majestic :)

If your planning to take the elephant ride to the fort be sure to be there on time as there are no elephant rides after 1pm and the demand for the ride is high as told by our guide. We were fortunate enough as we didn't have to wait for too long.

The architecture of Amber fort is a mixture of Rajput and Mughal architecture using red sandstone and white marble. All the paintings that you would see here are made out of natural colors.

The mirror work is extraordinary in the Sheesh Mahal which according to its name glows with thousands of pieces of mirror. The moment a ray of sun or moon falls on these mirrors, the entire palace begins to radiate.

There were 12 seperate house like thing with hall, bed room the king had 12 queens. Since one of the queen was from Kashmir and availability of saffron was scarce. The king set up a garden where he could grow saffron but in vain.

The two big utensils are used for frying and the long pave where these are placed are sometimes used to let elephants fight with each other while preparing them for war .

There was a Cafe coffee day as well where you can rejuvenate yourself after hours of walking around the fort.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Jaipur - Day 1 - Hawa Mahal

After enjoying our sumptuous breakfast it was around 9 ish when we planned to tour the pink city and Ms.Nidhi was our guide for the day. She was very friendly and it was more like travelling with a friend .

Our first visit was to the Hawa Mahal - Wind Palace .It is one of the most captivating piece of work by the Rajput rulers. In earlier days the women of the Royal family were not allowed to mix with the general public but that did not keep them away from the day to day happenings . The court room had special chambers for the women to watch the day to day proceedings .

Hawa Mahal was the window to the outer world for women of the royal family :)