Mr. Khan, Aunty Truli's friend in Jaipur arranged a driver for us to tour around the city and beyond. Beyond because later that evening, he drove 35km to get to Chowki Dhani but I will write about that later. :P When we were in Hawa Mahal, I heard the guide pointed out to Amber Fort. I was curious so Luke and I consulted the book. It turns out to be one of our most amazing finds in Jaipur. :)
Amber Fort or Amer Palace is the only place in India where we hired a guide. Mainly because it was 200 Rupees cheap. Few things I found interesting about Amber Fort and the area:
1. They have two entrances, the moon and the sun door. As I remember, the sun door is for common people and the moon door for royalties.
2. The queen was kept hidden from everyone. She watched shows or parades over her small window facing the courtyard.
3. There are two palaces inside, the Winter Palace and the Summer Palace for obvious reasons. Each queen got her own room.
4. The Summer Palace used to be adorned by actual precious stones. The Winter Palace is made of mirrors so the fire will reflect during performances.
5. The rooms for the king's mistresses is constructed in labyrinth style and noone is allowed to see anyone, not even the mistresses unless they are in the common ground.
6. The king tried to make saffron garden to no success. The soil is unsuitable for growing saffron.
7. The fort is surrounded by man-made Lake.
8. There are still royalties, ei Kings and Queens in Rajasthan.
9. Just like most palaces in India, the design on the palace entrance is hand painted with natural dye. Gold and precious stones were used too.
I was attacked by a black faced monkey in Amber Fort. Good thing I was quick to react, quick to react "fuckkkk!" LOL! I wasn't even looking at it. I think it saw it's reflection on my sunnies and was distraught by it. You can certainly feel my embarrassment and fear after the incident.
Amber Fort is located on top of a hill. The drive was amazing. It feels like I'm on a different country. Well I was, but it feels more like Morocco as described by my friend. :)
This entrance is hand painted with natural dyes, precious stones and gold.
The garden inside the palace.
The Winter Palace being cleaned. I can imagine how it was a painful task.
The saffron garden and the man-made lake surrounding it.
Original piece of door from centuries ago.
Snake charmer. It sucks his snake didn't dance! He didn't do a very good job of "charming" it and yet we still need to pay. :P
1. Take a guide. He will tell you inside secrets and tell you the story of each room. We paid 200 Rupees for the both of us.
2. Bring food and water but keep your litter. There was only few cafes at the end of the tour.
3. Do not tease the animals to avoid getting attacked.
4. Do not go with the guide when they say, I'm gonna show you something about Rajasthan, how they make this and that. Yeah, it was interesting but they will take you to a big building selling souvenirs and you can't exit until you see everything. Luke and I were a victim of this. Thank God we have the courage to say no. Hehehe.