We visited Jaipur with our guides Kamal and Karan. The highlight of the trip was Amber Fort (or palace). The Fort was originally constructed in 967 CE. The Fort as it stands now was built on the same site, but in the 16th century.
In the left corner of the photo you can see an island called saffron island. The maharaja had this lake built because it was too hot to grow saffron. He built the lake and island to create a cool place to grow saffron. Alas, it did not work. And the lake became a swimming pool for the elephants.
The view from the top of the palace is incredible. The palace even had working toilets and sinks which we visited.
In the background you can see the color on the walls. That color has not been touched up since it was originally built back in the 16th century. The colors are incredibly bright today because they were made with gems ruby, emerald, and sapphire. The artisans would grind the gems and mix the color with plaster and paint it onto the walls. Jaipur is famous for gems and especially for the sapphire.
We also visited the wind palace and the water palace as well as the gen factory where we watched artisans cut and polish stones using traditional tools.
We took a trip out in the country to visit some rescued elephants. Elephants are still used at Amber Fort to take guests to the gates, but they are not treated well. These elephants, Rangala Mala and her friend Lakshmi, have found a forever home for domesticated elephants. While it’s not perfect, it’s a much better life than she had in the city.
We are grateful for our guide and driver Karan who keeps us safe as he navigates the hectic city streets of Jaipur.