On our second day in Jaipur, I woke up feeling quite a bit better. My cold was still there, and still getting worse (I was still trying not to dip into my antibiotics… I planned those for Delhi Belly, not a cold!). But the headache was gone, and I had a good night’s sleep. I also knew that we had a free afternoon planned, and I planned to use it to do nothing but take a nap and relax!
In the morning, we went to the Amber Fort. It was like something out of Game of Thrones. Even by the standards of all the others we’d seen in India, this was huge and gorgeous! There were three main courtyards, and one of them had some of the most beautiful gardens I saw in India. There was also a city wall that extended for miles around the fort and palace.
The wall went up and down the hills, and I was so reminded of the Great Wall. It really was just like it! Maybe just a little less great. 🙂
The fort and palace are at the top of a hill, which was quite a climb given how steep it was. There were elephants you could hire to take you up to the top, but they seemed so sad. I know better than to ride elephants, so I just walked on up (with the rest of my group – G Adventures is pretty good at suggesting quite strongly you not ride the elephants).
Everything that you think an Indian palace is or should be was the Amber Fort. They had a hall of mirrors (which hopefully I’ll get a chance to compare to Versailles quite soon), and it was inlaid with all sorts of mirrors and semi-precious stones. Again, just incredible!
After the Amber Fort, we stopped by the Water Palace. The lake around the Water Palace got so polluted they had to stop boat rides to the palace, and they’re working on restoring the lake so that it can reopen at some point. I believe there was also a structural concern with the palace.
The Water Palace is built on an island, and I believe Avi said it was five stories tall. There is a hill on the inside, and the whole thing was built for entertaining during the hot Indian summers. I can see why they needed a cooler place to entertain!
For the last stop of the day, we went to a gemstone workshop. In addition to block printing, Jaipur is known for gem cutting and setting. I had one thing in mind that I needed, so I went along to the workshop.
I ended up finding it – it’s a light green amethyst ring (so light green that it appears as to have no color, quite like a diamond) for the fourth finger of my right hand. For the Middle East, I’ve heard it’s a good idea to wear one.
So my souvenir from India is also going to be quite useful at my next stop!