Amber FortFebruary 1 in India ⋅ 🌫 16 °C
Our priority for today was the main World Heritage site here in Jaipur: the Amber Fort. It's part of the "Hill Forts of Rajasthan" serial site, which covers a total of six hill forts across Rajasthan (India's western desert state bordering Pakistan). The Amber Fort is the largest, most interesting, and closest to a major city, so it was kind of a no-brainer really!
Took our time with a leisurely breakfast and then grabbed an Uber for the 15km trip out of town to the fort. It's located high up on a hill, and really the "fort" designation is a bit of a misnomer - it's really a palace. It mostly dates from the 15th and 16th centuries, built by the Rajas who ruled the area during that time. It was one of their main palaces although they had several others.
Long walk up to the main gate, dodging the elephants which people ride up to the top. Always disappointing to encounter that, as elephant riding is a pretty awful practice. That said, I think the elephants are treated better these days than in the past, but "breaking" an elephant so it allows people on its back is still pretty cruel. Oh well, not much I can do about it.
We spent a couple of hours wandering around the fort, checking out the various palaces and rooms. Lots of it was still in great condition, as it was used right up until the British occupation began in the 19th century. Beautiful to see all of the Mughal influence as well, with its Persian-style latticework, geometry and other decoration. Lots of good photo opportunities.
One thing we both noticed as well is that although the sites we've been to are crowded, it's almost entirely Indian tourists. There's certainly foreigners around, but I'd say 95% of the visitors are domestic. Entry is pretty cheap for them (I think we paid 550 rupees each/$11, while it's just 50 rupees for locals), so it's not surprising to find a lot of locals. And there are lots of them!
We were basically done with the Fort by early afternoon, so we got another Uber back into town and had thali plates for lunch at the same restaurant as yesterday. Spent the rest of the afternoon on the rooftop of our hotel, using laptops and relaxing.Read more