Thursday, March 2, 2017

Amer Fort in Jaipur

I am back in Delhi with a decent connect so I will resume blogging. I have about thirty hours before I leave for the airport so hopefully I can finish a few. 

This fort is also known as the Amber Fort and lies on the outskirts of Jaipur. Intrepid organized a small air-conditioned tour bus to take us there.


Intrepid employs a mix of transport to take us to various sites. For shorter journeys it is usually tuk-tuks, but this time for a longer journey to the outskirts of Jaipur, we used this small bus similar to what you might ride at an airport.


Our driver who was very good.




The whole mountain top is fortified.


We were going to this fort, a bit lower down the mountain.


Other buses. Unfortunately they all must have been full.



This is another fort further up the mountain. Notice the wall leading up to it which seems to be of similar dimensions to China's Great Wall, except in length.



A snake charmer tried to sell us a flute. Happy has us well trained to ignore touts, hustlers and beggars.




We walked beside a man-made lake below the fort.


The zig-zag pathway up to the entrance. Note the elephants going up and down carrying passengers.


Intrepid has a policy about not riding elephants so we walked up.




Another fortification on the next mountain.






So up we trudged. We could tell it was going to be a hot day. Our water bottles were filled.




For the most part we did not walk where the elephants lumber along. We used steps that crossed their path at intervals.


Finally up at the entrance.


Into the courtyard.


Scam Alert. The cost of entry for foreigners is 500 rupees. I handed over a 2000 rupee note so that I could get some change. The bloke serving me counted out ten 100 rupee notes and then paused. Expecting more than that, I counted the notes, looked at him and at that point he handed me a 500 rupee note which he had hidden in his hand.

Apparently this is a common scam here and other members of our group were treated this way as well..






This fort is enormous and we climbed up to another enormous courtyard.



I cannot remember all the details about what I saw. Our group hired a guide but I found it very difficult to understand him. So I wandered along.


The Ganesh Pol entrance.


Our guide. He may be knowledgeable but if you cannot understand him, pretty useless.





This covered area with columns is magnificent.



One of the columns.




Looking down at the elephants coming up and down. Note the bamboo scaffolding for repairs.



The lake which we had seen at ground level when we arrived.



There is a little window at the top of the Ganesh Pol Gate. Soon we were passing through it alongs with the horde of other tourists.






The Mirror Palace.


Lots of tourists on a hot day. Most are Indian.


Restoration workers.




Convex mirrors that expand and contract with the heat.






Restoration.



Restoration.






The crowds and heat were getting a bit much for me so it was a relief to look at the garden area.



A tower where you could get views over the valley below.








With so many tourists, you cannot get close.


These grates provided breeze but also were used by women to get a view into the courtyard without being seen. 




A monkey long with a wall leading to another fort.


The next fort up the mountain. 




Water would flow down this incline and produce a cooling effect. Only the outrageously wealthy could afford to beat the heat.


My interesting door of the day.






The problem with tackling such a large fort as this is that it all starts blurring together. You have to take in too much visually to be able to remember details.



What this was doing at the exit from the fort I have no idea.


Apparently this gigantic cooking vessel was used to prepared meals for soldiers.


Grace, Alejandro and Johanna.


Another garden that we passed on the way out.


Describes the pillars in the picture below.


It was simply impossible for me to take it all in at once. The size and opulence is overwhelming to the senses. In addition, the crowds and heat make it difficult to get close to certain objects or details. I suspect I would need to do a few visits before I really appreciated the place. 


Note that the scooter on the right has trainer wheels on either side.



On the way back into Jaipur, the driver stopped to allow us to take photos of the Jal Mahal in the middle of a lake. Jaipur has quite a number of attractions and so with limited time, we couldn't go there.






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