Today we were given a real rest as we only had to be ready for 8.30 this morning; our wonderful driver was ready for us along with a new guide for the day. It had been thunder, lightening and rain all night but it had mostly stopped by now.
Sunday morning brought a novel experience, roads that were not jam packed for change were a treat but I fear it won’t last.
Our first stop today was the Palace of the Winds
a magnificent building put up on the main street of the old city so that the Maharaja’s wives could watch what was going on without themselves being seen. The interesting thing is that it is just a facade above the second storey being only the depth of one room. Next to where I was standing was a short, aggressive American with a huge camera screaming at the guy in the green shirt to “get outa the way I wanna take a picture” which I’m pleased to say he ignored; some people are very boorish.
From here we pushed on again as the rain started and headed out to the Amber Fort. I always thought that this was so called because of its colour but in fact the word Amber is derived from the name of the place it was built. To get up the very steep hill to the fort we took an elephant, as one does, and here’s the proof.
This was something of a highlight for Mrs Sixwheeler as she is really fond of elephants and as a mode of transport it didn’t disappoint.
Reunited with our guide at the top we spent the next couple of hours exploring this huge mixture of royal palace, defensive position and administrative centre. There was the great courtyard; the Hindu temple; the winter, summer and rainy season palaces; the various audience chambers; the baths and latrines (still smelly); the waterwheel; the residential apartments but I haven’t got all day and they were all amazing. Difficult to choose just one picture but here’s one of the garden in front of the Summer Palace.
And for good measure here’s a detail of ceiling decoration showing the gold leaf glinting in the light.
By now we were more than a bit ready for some lunch but first made a brief stop to photograph the Water Palace.
This was built by a former Maharaja of Jaipur for his wives who were complaining about having nothing to do; they were forbidden to be seen in public so he built this and they all used to go there for picnics.
There’s just so much to do and see in Jaipur which was an unexpected treat so after a nice lunch we pressed on to the Royal Palace.
I could write a whole blog about this alone but won’t bore you with it at this stage. Among other things we saw the two largest sterling silver flasks in the world, each holding 950 gallons which were used to carry Ganges water for the Maharaja’s visit to London for the coronation of King Edward the Seventh; we also saw the second biggest chandelier in India which caused me to think of the chandelier episode of Only Fools and Horses. Before they installed it they marched two elephants onto the roof to check that it would take the weight.
Finally we went to the Royal Observatory, built in 1728 as an astronomical and astrological observatory. It is a wonder to behold and, among other instruments it has the biggest sundial in India
which is still accurate to two seconds.
And Mrs Sixwheeler then took me shopping.
15 March 2015
One thought on “India 2015 – Day 6 Jaipur”
Wow, I bet you’ve got a lot more amazing photos! Imagine having a palace for the summer, a palace for the winter (which seems quite common throughout Asia) and also a palace for the rainy season!
And I have to ask, are you staying at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?