Jaipur is a fascinating city [location]. One thousand years ago the Hindu kings built a huge fort and palace, surrounded by an 18km wall, on the nearby hills. They ruled the area for 900 years, and the current king is the 40th generation of the same family! About 400 years ago, they moved their palace to the valley – due to difficulty in maintaining a good water supply in the hills – forming the planned city of Jaipur. The current maharaja (king) is, of course, only a figurehead, but the forts and palaces are stunning. Read on!
We visited the famous Amber Fort, including the palace there. We rode on the backs of elephants from the base of the fort up to the palace. What fun! The elephants and their drivers were so colorful. The palace was very impressive, and must have been spectacular in its day.
We saw the “water palace” of Jal Mahal, in the man-made lake they constructed several hundred years ago. We drove past the Hawa Mahal, or “palace of winds”, with 953 screened windows that allowed the palace ladies to look out upon the activity in the streets below.
We visited the Jantar Mantar, an impressive 280-year-old observatory made of sandstone and marble.
We visited a gem shop, where they make precious stones and sell jewelry, and a textile shop, where they make block-printed fabrics and beautiful wool carpets.
I’m running out of time… sorry not much detail in today’s entry. See the photos for more!
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