Wednesday, 11 July 2012

STORMING THE HILL FORTS OF JAIPUR



Monday morning and my memsahib had set her heart on an Elephant ride up to Amber Fort. 

For me this gut-wrenching experience was equivalent to aircraft turbulence without the aircraft for protection. The slightly build elderly Japanese couple in the elephant immediately in front of our elephant seemed to be slipping of their seat and a horrific angle to the elephant’s back! This did little to allay my terror. Memsahib had a whale of a time and willing parted with 100 rupees for the photograph on us on the elephant, my temporary mortification captured so well on film.

The Amber Fort is a ochre citadel established in the 1600’s on the remains of something much earlier. This bastion massive in scale and opulence – the Shila Devi Temple has gates of silver.  There is layer upon layer of apartments, corridors and stairways for private living or public audiences. 
Watching over the Amber Fort is Jaigarh Fort. This fort was for housing the military. Inside and on proud display is the Jai Van canon cast in 1726. This canon fired only once, the noise of this great weapon allegedly cost lives and endangered pregnancies.  



Onwards and higher to hill top fort of
Nahargarth. The Tiger Fort.  Inside the is the jewel-like Madhavendra Palace. It was build by Sawai Ram Singh II 1835- 1880.  The Madhavendra is a small palace smaller than any we’d seen thus far. Lavish inside, parts of it are being lovingly restored. The location affords amazing views down onto the city of Jaipur. Very quite and pleasingly bereft of guides and tourists.



Our tour des fort (sorry) complete we returned to the city, camera and sketchbook replete.