AMBER FORT - JAIPUR
Location : Jaipur, Rajasthan
Known For : Amber hue, Elephant Safari
What To See : Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Niwas, Kali Mata Temple
When To Visit : October-February
Elephant Ride at Amber Fort - Jaipur
Elephant is a loyal companion to humans since time immemorial. Elephants are an incongrous blend of daftness and intelligence, an amazing mammal to see in its own environment. Indian elephants are incredibly social creatures who have lasting memories, and show a range of cognitive abilities and cordial social behaviour which most people, especially those who benefit from using elephants, would like to preserve for human beings. Elephant safari in India helps the traveller to travel through such difficult topographical contours where even jeeps dare to trek. Riding an elephant in Rajasthan is a lifetime experience that not only takes tourists back to the royal era, when only the majestic maharajahs used to ride on these august pachyderms, but also helps one to see the far-flung areas of the terrain from a respectable height.
The protracted Amber Fort in Jaipur is a splendid example of combative, adventurous, capricious and also megalomaniac style of living of our gallant Rajputs. Lying at the southern part of the colossal Jaigarh Fort, the famous Amber or Amer fort is among the best hilltop forts in India. Within the sprawling exteriors of the fort, that seem to branch out from the ragged hills, are beautifully carved temples, voluminous halls, alluring palaces, lush green gardens along with a royal ride through the winding ramps that takes you to the hilltop palace, are all mute remnants of the bygone golden era. And guess who scales the ramp? The Great Indian Elephant. Yes, equipped with a "howdah", a large seat embellished with ribons and radiant artifacts for sitting, complete with silky comfortable cushions, and with a stylized canopy over the riders head, all set to embrace the royal flavor, all set to give tourists a royal ride to and fro Amber Fort.
The base of the rugged hills is generally crowded with
tall men with broad mustaches and colorful turbans (mahavats), who offer
an elephant ride through the furrowed terrain to the Amber Fort. Hire one
of those jumbo kings and get ready to witness the unexplored side of life.
Travellers can sit with their friends if they want to chat along the way,
otherwise get the whole mammal to fell like a king. The slow and indolent
ride gives everyone ample time to capture the panoramic sights of the
hilly region with handycams as well as observe minutely the bustling
roadside around. It is best to carry a binocular, so that one doesn't miss
the kaleidoscopic Jaigarh Fort at the hill top. The attractions of and from Amber Fort is multitude.
Ask your 'mahavat' about the folk legends associated with the region and he will tell you mesmerizing stories of love, hatred and politics, that one never finds on the internet. The cobbled road cruise through every pockets of the hill, turning at every unexpected moment. Who knows, how many imprudent Rajputs have travelled through these rocky paths, their horses chucking storms of chivalrous sands with each step. Get some fresh cucumbers, spiced with salt and handmade masala, or one can also buy some of mouthwatering fast foods from the stalls on the roadside. Try to enjoy the royal charm associated with the journey by looking at the discreet landscape; a journey that will, no doubt, transform you into a megalomaniac, be it for a small time being.
Amber Fort - Jaipur
You can climb up to the fort from the road in about 10
minutes, and enjoy a bottle or two of cold drinks, if the climb is a hot
one. Get through the imposing stairway to reach the Diwan-i-am, or the
public audience hall. It is only here that the Maharajah held audience and
received the petition of his subjects. Look at the splendid double row of
columns - topped by a capital in the shape of an elephant - embellishing
the hall. Every door bears some mosaics and sculptures to entice you.
Don't forget to see the royal cart, once used by the ambrosial maharanis
to wander around, surprisingly preserved in original condition. Walk to
the right on an elevated ground to reach the Sukh Niwas (Hall of
Pleasures). As you cross the ivory-in-laid sandalwood door, you can easily
feel a chill in the atmosphere. This is because of the ingenious early
air-cooling system that had a channel running right through the room. Not
a single drop of water was wasted, with the overflow passing through
aqueducts, straight to the palace gardens. Remember to visit the Kali Mata
Temple, inside the premises, where everyday from the 16th century until
1980, a goat was sacrificed. Enter through the gorgeous silver doors
displaying a grand repouss`e work, to behold the image of Shila Devi, an
image of Goddess Kali carved from one piece of stone.
However, the most enthralling alcove in the fort is the famous 'Sheesh Mahal' or the scintillating Mansion of Mirrors. It is invariably a stuff that Royal dreams were made of and inspired generations of Mughal emperors to send their artisans to imitate. Though the entry is restricted because of security reasons, you can have a fascinating view of the hall from the courtyard. All the walls and their ceilings are embellished with colourful glasses. As the morning sunlight peeps through them, a multicoloured hue radiates the ambience, portraying a real heaven of red, blue, yellow and green. Opposite the Sheesh Mahal, you will find stately pillars singing the rhymes of fine arts. With beautifully carved surfaces, they are a magic in themselves. How hard you try, you can't make more than some beautiful floral patterns on their body, but incredibly, if you cover some of the leaves and the petals with your palms, it may turn out to be a scorpion or even a butterfly, about to fly!
Just like the tours, there are certain nitty-gritties one should keep in mind while planning for an elephant safari trip too. Although elephants are known to be quite somber, it is always advisable to treat them with love and affection. Give him a few bananas to eat and he will be happy to take anyone on a joy ride. One should never perturb the animal as the rising temperature in a desertic climate can make them little crotchety. The famous Amber fort is situated at 11 km from the city center - Jaipur, and you can get those majestic mammels waiting at the foothills of the fort. The clothes that you are going to wear should provide your skin with enough breathing space, because of the hot climate, you are tend to sweat. Moreover, everybody requires a good backup of plenty of portable water to avoid dehydration as well as sun screen, goggles, and a first aid kit, if possible. Carry a hat to protect your head from the scorching sun, but you should travel to Amber fort in Rajasthan.
Top 5 Highlights of Amber Fort
A Majestic Ride Through The Rugged Terrain
The Elegant Porter of India
The Magnificent Story-tellers
Listen To The Jumbo King
The Reflecting Mansion
Rajasthan & The Taj
Wildlife Safari Tour
Mahal - White Wonder
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Sikri - City of Victory
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Madhya Pradesh -
Centre of Attraction