Friday, September 18, 2009

The Amber Fort Palace

We called Wednesday a preparation day and took it off and played tourist in Jaipur. We enjoyed visiting the Amber Palace (or fort), a 17th Century observatory, and some other sights. On the way to the Amber Fort, we stopped to take pictures of the ridge and the forts and along came a guy with a cobra. Here the Sister has the snake on her shoulder.

Here's a real charmer ... the Sister of course!!

The forts we stopped to take pictures of ... there is wall that goes all along the highest ridge line that surrounds the valley that Jaipur is in. The wall connects 4 forts that were built up there. This video shows 2 of the upper ridge forts. The Amber Fort is much lower.

The Queen on her elephant. You can ride an elephant up to the Amber Fort Palace. We can now say we've done that. Kind of like being in a small boat on a water body with large swells. After I shot the video, I joined her on the elephant.

A video of the elephant staging area for the trip up.

The ruins of the first palace are in the left middle of the picture. The video that follows pans this entire area.

Interesting to note that the forts and palaces are all from the Mughul era, a time when the Muslims ruled most of India, but there is only one mosque and many Jain and Hindu temples in the area now.

When we left, the car met us halfway up on the backside. This is a picture from the car of one of the ruins show above. But note what appears to be glass in the top floor windows, maybe not the complete ruin we thought. The ruins date from the 10th century AD.

The pictures that follow are in a more or less random order, but they were all taken inside the palace area of the fort.

Looking at the royal residence area of the Maharaja.

Solid marble columns and arches. The stone work never ceases to amaze me.

Inlaid work in the ceiling.

We decided that this would be a fantastic place to play hide and seek. It is full of stairways and passages.

This is a lower courtyard where the elephants drop the tourists off.

Is this an elephant's water bowl or something to cook soup in for the masses?

What a fun day in Jaipur that finally ended when we had to begin the trip home. We stayed overnight in Gurgaon and then visited a huge mall in Delhi that has a recently opened Hard Rock Cafe in it. Sister Tanner now has her HRC Delhi shirt and I've got a new hat. We had a great lunch with Praveen who was driving us back to Noida. It also gave the 2 district youth presidents time to start their planning prior to Saturday's big meeting on the up coming youth conference.

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