Day 9 Jaipur
Trip Start Feb 08, 2013
24Trip End Mar 01, 2013
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This morning at 8am we had to be breakfasted and ready to meet today's guide known as Mr Singh. A very nice man but it took a lot of concentration to follow what he was saying!
We drove about 6 miles north of the city to visit the Amber Fort Palace built in 1592. This used to be the main Palace of the Maharajahs, til the population of the town got too big and the new city of Jaipur was established.
We had an elephant ride up to the fort which was very different from the usual modes of transport! Not the most comfortable - as we were sitting side saddle - and it was a bit like being in a boat lurching from side to side! Lots of hawkers trying to push stuff at us in the queue - then lots of photographers vying for the best spot to capture you - even when you hadn't asked them to!
Yellow colour blackened with carbon over time, but mostly remarkably preserved. Beautiful entrance gates painted with frescos using dyes from natural elements such as:
Green - from spinach
Red - from sugar beet
Blue - from Indigo flower
Yellow - from turmeric
White - from Lime
Black from rusted iron
This was then polished with coconut oil + herbs making the paintings waterproof!
One King we heard lots about was called King Man Singh - he had 12 queens and 350+ mistresses!
We saw the Welcome window - where he was showered with flower petals by his adoring harem!
Fantastic mirrored walls and ceilings in one bit called the Winter Palace.
That took all morning - then we drove back via the Palace on the Lake, another gem factory, and another textile place
We also spent some time at the Jantar Mantar -an extraordinary Astrological observatory designed by one of the Maharajahs. This included a huge sundial which is accurate to the nearest 2 minutes! It was all felt to be very important as the Hindus have to have accurate horoscopes detailing which planet was where at the time of birth so things like a suitable baby's name is chosen, or the right marriage match made.
(I glazed over after a while!!!)
Jaipur is known as "the Pink city" - but its actually Terracotta!