Friday, February 19, 2010

Outskirts of Jaipur

February 19th was our last real day in Jaipur as our flight out on the 20th was in the early morning. We grabbed breakfast and headed out with our all-day auto-rickshaw. First we headed out towards Jaigarh Fort. The auto-rickshaw wound its way painfully up the reasonably steep road towards the fort. At one point we stopped and got a nice peek out at the water palace from the road.

As we pulled into Jaigarh Fort we began to notice it was really frikken hot. Luckily the price for chilled beverages inside was ludicrous by local standards, meaning roughly on par with a good quality grocery store in North America.

Some of the views from Jaigarh look out of walls along ridges, very similar to what we saw at the Great Wall (see post).

Other parts of Jaigarh make one really appreciate good old fashioned North American soft drinks. Bad for you or not, nothing beats the first sip of really cold Coke on a really hot day.

For no reason we ever discovered one part of the fort encloses a rather useless looking patch of rocky ground and desert shrubbery.

Jaigarh also contains the Jaivan Cannon, a monstrous old-style gun powder cannon that could throw a ball 10+km (10 is the lowest claimed range). One has to imagine it was horrendously inaccurate but perhaps if it ranged far enough to hit something large and immobile (say a castle) you could gradually adjust aim and hit something.

Just as we were getting ready to leave we realized a narrow passageway led back into a kind of garden palace complex.

From here one can get a nice view down on Amber Fort.

After this we headed for Amber Fort. From the roadside along the way you can get a nice view of how Jaigarh (left) overlooks Amber (right).

The entrance to the Amber Fort is not entirely without pigeons.

In front of Amber Fort sits a remarkable garden in the midst of a dry former artificial lake. This must have been magnificent when filled!

The way to the entrance is baking. The shade when you finally reach the gate is wonderful.

Around the fort are some fairly interesting looking less maintained structures.

Once inside a flight of steps and the requisite fancy archway guide you further back into the fort. Amber is quite substantial.

Many of the interior doors are pretty impressive too.

Amber Fort has a Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) near a nice garden.

The pillars and interior surfaces are painstakingly decorated.

Once up on the walls you can look up to Jaigarh.

On our way down Pavan started chatting with some of the elaborately dressed visiting ladies and we wound up swapping pictures.

One last look and time to go.

Outside a new type of monkey was enjoying some coconut.

On the way back we stopped for a glimpse of the water palace but unfortunately it was closed for renovations and we couldn't enter.

Along the shores salesman offered head-born goods.

After this we headed home to rehydrate and have some dinner, despite our auto-rickshaw drivers enthusiasm for taking us to shopping facilities. On the morning of the 20th we had to get up at something like 4am to fly to Chandigarh so we crashed early.

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