Jaipur - waiting to be discovered

Trip Start Aug 27, 2010
Trip End Sep 02, 2010

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What I did
Amber (Amer) Fort and Palace Jaipur
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Hawa Mahal

Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our first destination in Jaipur was the Amber Fort and Palace. We visited the Taj Mahal prior to Amber Fort and Palace; therefore, it is inevitable for me to make the comparison between the two. To me, Taj Mahal is a rare diamond that shines brightly and much admired by the world. While Amber Fort and Palace is a beautiful but less noticeable gem, waiting to be discovered.  

We visited Jaipur during low peak season, this allowed us to roam the palace leisurely. I was amazed that every corner is different and unique – it is indeed a beautiful gallery of art! Let me list them down one by one (please bear with me because some of the names below are uniquely created by yours truly).

Chamber of a thousand mirrors - the motifs on the walls and ceilings are adorned with mirrors and some are painted with colors made from gem stones. A few candles are enough to illuminate the chamber at night to create a romantic ambience. Moreover, it has a system which channeled water from the fountain to cool the chamber during the summer. That's what we call innovative green building in today’s term. I could be one of the rare tourists who notice the marble floorings do not match the rest of the displays and the motifs on the carved marble relief panels are different from those in Taj Mahal. Now, these are things for you to discover.

Pavilion of victory
– the queen would shower rose petals from a window behind the latticed screens as the king made his victory march into the palace. We had a good view of Amber Fort, Maota Lake and the garden from here. I was there taking the cool breeze, while watching the caravan of elephants taking tourists around the palace.

Amber fort – It is quite an astonishing sight and it was built for defense, a secret tunnel would bring the king to the fort for hiding when the enemy attacked. Its appearance reminds me of the Great Wall of China.

The king’s and the queen’s apartments – The architecture is less impressive and needed more restoration works. However, we enjoyed the stories about the king and his harem and had a good laugh cooking up our own stories. We tried to figure out what was it like to live in the palace, while exploring the details of the apartments. Yes, more to be discovered here!

The king’s administration office – The throne was built a level higher than the hall. The many pillars in the hall made me wonder if they were used to segregate officials of different ranking?

We proceed to the city and made brief stop at a few places.  Prince Edward, Prince of Wales described Jaipur as "a beautiful pink city" because the city was painted in pink in honor of his visit, and it has become the trade mark to this day.  It is very easy to be captivated by the beautiful landmarks, especially the Hawa Mahal. We were told that the king built this for her queen, so that she could look out from the windows to see the activities on the street.  I could imagine how the queen lived lavishly in the palace, she would be adorned with fine sarees and elaborate jewelries. She could have everything she asked for, except for her freedom. How lonely she would have been to watch the happy and noisy crowd from afar!
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