Thursday, February 15, 2007

Jaipur, briefly

Camel on the road
Camels pulling carts were on every street corner as we entered the desert state of Rajasthan, on our way to Jaipur, the next stop on our tour. We had far too little time to spend there, and when we arrived at our hotel in the early afternoon, our guide was waiting to whisk us away to see the sights.

Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, is one of the most iconic images of Jaipur. Part of the City Palace, it has a facade with almost a thousand windows from where the royal women could observe life on the street from behind intricately carved screens.

Inside Jaipur's City Palace
The City Palace is now a museum and gallery, housing collections of royal clothes, art and artifacts from an earlier era. It also has some beautiful architecture, including some gorgeously decorated doors.
Inside Jaipur's City Palace

Notice the silver urn in the picture: Sawai Madho Singh used a set of these massive containers to carry water from the Ganges with him on his voyage to England to attend King Edward VII's coronation in 1902. Each jar is over 5 feet tall, and they are supposedly the most massive silver objects in the world!

On the King's Sundial at Jantar MantarJantar Mantar was a special treat for us. Maharaja Jai Singh II had this collection of astronomical instruments built in the early 1700s, and it is unparalleled in scale and complexity. The instruments track the stars, predict eclipses, and still tell the local time to an accuracy of seconds!

Jantar Mantar

At Amber Fort At Amber Fort

Until the arrival of the British, invading armies traditionally swept into India through the north-west corridor, and the Rajput inhabitants of this region gained a reputation as great warriors. Amber fort was begun by the Rajput ruler Man Singh, whom Emperor Akbar appointed as his general. The fort walls sprawl over the surrounding hills, while inside, there are intricate hallways and corridors, gardens and fountains, halls of mirrors and beautiful views. That morning, we were the first visitors to Amber fort, and as the mist cleared and the sun came out, we were treated to the sight of a long line of elephants bringing tourists up the hillside...
Elephants arriving at Amber Fort

No comments:

Post a Comment