Amer Fort

We drove to Jaipur on the newly constructed 6-lane highway and it is quite a ways from the more humble roads in India that I am used to. This toll roads supports high-speeds and a smooth ride. We reached late in the evening of the 2nd.

Next day we went to the Amer Palace (originally 'ambar' as in 'sky'.) Amer as a city has been inhabited for over 1100 years now. However, it gained popularity when Sawai Jai Singh captured it from the Meenas and then went ahead and created his new capital just 9 miles away by the name of 'Jaipur' in about 1720 which has now become a thriving metropolis of some 3 million people (11th largest in India.)

The trip was memorable for many reasons. We got to go up the fort on an elephant which was quite fantastic. The elephants here are really charming and respond to various commands including 'Good Morning' (at which it raises its trunk) and are generally easy going. We got to pet them after our trip which was great. We couldn't believe how scaly and rough that skin is.

The last time I was here was in 1989 on a WWF trip to the Melghat forest that covered Jaipur along with Agra and a bunch of other places. I remembered very little. I did remember the amazing 'Sheeshmahal' pictured above.




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