Well, no I do not intend to give you a tour of Amber Fort (also called Amer Fort) and Jal Mahal in this article, but share a few pictures that we clicked over there. It was a clear blue sky when we decided to drive to Amber Fort. I was sure we would get some great pictures. Eventually when we reached there, clouds started hovering overhead and once we were at the top of the fort, the sunny sapphire blue sky turned into a gloomy grey sky. We had to wait for a while for the sky to clear up. After several pauses and proceeds, we got some pictures and somehow the drive turned worthwhile in terms of photography.
Our plan was to avoid the rush and the heat of the scorching noon; hence the day started a bit early for us. We quickly feasted on a superb breakfast served by the hotel and by 8, we were on the road driving to our destination. Amber Fort opens at 8 AM and closes for sight-seeing at 5.30 PM, throughout the week. Our plan worked and we managed to avoid the rush and sweat excessive sweat.
The morning sunrays definitely add glamour to the fort and it shines like gold against the sky. It is a beautiful view, only if one can manage to avoid the hawkers and transporters offering elephant rides or jeep. In old days, when kings ruled the land, elephants were used to transport kings and their families to the Amber Fort and this used to be the major mode of transportation. Today, visitors can avail these rides to reach the fort in case one wants to avoid taking the stairs. I saw many visitors clicking selfies, recording their elephant rides with smiles and laughter. It must be an experience of a lifetime for many.
I personally did not like the way the eyes of the elephants spoke. I am no expert on elephant emotions, but definitely, to me it wasn’t something happy that radiated from their eyes. All day, no matter what the temperature is, these elephants would continue their journey up and down the fort, amusing visitors and earning for their owners. Sometimes they would slow down, only to be ordered by their mahouts to carry on. I only wished that they are treated right and are given all the love they need.
Apart from the elephants, we also came across some chirpy langurs who were busy playing with one another. While one would sit quietly, another one would run from the behind and pull the still one on a spectacular roll on the grass. Funny!
Let’s now quickly move to the Jal Mahal.
Jal means water and Mahal refers to a palace. So, as the name suggests, Jal Mahal is a Palace in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. It is a low rise symmetrical palace, which used to be a striking piece of architecture (I remember it from years back, when I first visited Jaipur with my parents on a summer holiday). This time, it looked nothing like the way it used to. Major restoration work is needed to take this place back to its previous pride and glory. The surrounding lake attracts migratory birds as well. This time, we saw just a few birds feeding themselves somewhere in the middle of the lake.
Summers are tough times for Rajasthan. This year, the heat wave was destructive, and lack of rain led to scarcity of water. This lake was no different. The water had almost dried out and the lake level was just about right to stir your imagination of a lake. Our hotel was just opposite the Jal Mahal and I clicked a few pictures on Day 3 before heading out to home.
I hope you enjoyed going through the pictures we clicked.
Happy Sunday & see you soon!