Drive to Jaipur and the Amber Fort, Thursday, 12/6/18

The Jaypee Palace Hotel was great, except for the slow internet.  I spent too much time waiting on photos to upload, etc.  Met Laksme at 8:30 to begin our drive to Jaipur.  Today will be our last day with a site tour in India. Tomorrow is just the drive from Jaipur to Delhi.

 Traffic, traffic everywhere A Hindu shrine by the roadside.

As we drove, we began to notice more farms and agriculture.  We’re told it’s potatoes, mustard, some wheat, and some rice. Several places I noticed stacks of disks piled up or laid out.  It was cow dung drying out to later be used as fuel for fires..

We also began to see camels more frequently.  Where there was grain being grown, the camels were being used to pull carts hauling the grain to market.  Almost every animal we see is used to pull or haul something.

 Just another camel pulling a grain container

Many of the villages we passed had a centralized area where water was available for bathing.  It’s a common sight to see someone standing at one of these areas taking a bath on a raised platform, 50 ft. from the road.

The highway to Jaipur is mostly 4 lanes, and seems to be new.  The median has flowering plants.  Only as we pass thru the villages does it get dusty, and the traffic stacks up, especially at an intersection.  Even on a big highway like this, cattle can bring traffic to a halt if they get stubborn.  We stopped after two hours at an Indian version of “Stuckey’s” with a restaurant, gift shop, washrooms, and a place to buy snacks.

Jaipur is built in the hills.  As we get close, the road begins to climb.  First stop in Jaipur is lunch at a small restaurant.  After lunch, check-in at the hotel, meet our guide, and by 2:30, we’re driving to the Amber Fort.

We thought the Amber Fort was named for it’s color, but it’s something entirely different.  Shiva, the Hindu goddess of destruction has 1000’s of names.  The most commonly used name during the time the fort was built began with Amber………. (didn’t quite get the whole name), but evolved into Amber.  It had nothing to do with color?

 The drive to the gate

The fort is just another amazing palace built by a Maharajah with lots of money, who spared no expense getting everything he wanted.  There seems to be a lot of that going around 500 to 600 years ago.  The views of the valley below were great!

The drive back down

After the Fort, we had a short picture stop at the Water Palace.  It was built as a summer palace for the obvious reason it would be cooler.

Next stop was a place where we watched a “block printing” exhibition.  It’s an ancient version of screen printing, with anywhere from 3 to 12 different blocks to add colors to a design.  After the colors are added, a dip in a vinegar and water concoction brings out the colors.

Last stop of the day is the Palace of the Winds.  It’s a façade built to resemble a palace.  It has 953 windows with lattice-work designs that allowed royal ladies to observe life on the street below without being seen.  We’re dropped off at the hotel to eat dinner and get ready for our final full day in India.

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