After our visit to Agra, we set out on a five-hour journey to Jaipur to see the second of three cities in the Golden Triangle. I was very excited to go to Agra ever since I read a book about it a few years ago.
[The book is called “Dreaming in Hindi” and it is about a lady, Katherine Russell Rich, who moves to Jaipur to do a Hindi language immersion program.]
The book described many of the architectural details of the city which I was very curious to see in person. Most notably, I wanted to see the Palace of Wind because of the intricately carved lattice windows overlooking the bazaar in the center of town. The purpose of the windows was to allow the ladies of the house to see outside and watch what was going on without anyone seeing them. I was pretty intrigued by this idea. Luckily, we arrived in Jaipur right before sunset and had just enough time to see the Palace of Wind and City Palace. The light was particularly good for photographing the Palace of Wind!
Bright and early the next morning we set out to see two other noteworthy Jaipur sites, Lake Palace and the Amber Fort. Lake Palace was my favorite in Jaipur because it looked so serene in the early morning light. It is kind of rare to have a quiet, peaceful moment in public, at a tourist site no less, in India.
Our next stop was the Amber Fort, which, in stark contrast to Lake Palace, was bustling with people even before it opened in the morning. The hawkers were out in full force selling everything from hats, to parasols, to wooden figurines. Somehow, despite my protests, I ended up with a glittery white parasol. Chris said that I needed it to ride an elephant up to the fort. I’m not sure if I needed it or not, but it was kind of fun goofing around with it as we rode to the top of the hill.
Our visit to the Amber Fort was going swimmingly well, until suddenly the camera battery died. Notice a theme? At this point, we did have a charger and had even charged the spare battery, but it was in the camera case…in the car. On the bright side, I felt like we had a chance to really take in the fort rather than be distracted by photographing it.
In fact, we even had an interesting discussion about it as we roamed around. After visiting many forts, palaces, castles, churches, temples, and whatnot around the world it is interesting to compare the architecture from different places during the same era. Take the Amber Fort (1592), the Blue Mosque (Istanbul – 1609), Versailles (1624), and Himeji Castle (Japan, latest reconstruction – 1609). Completely different levels of sophistication. [Not trying to take anything away from the Amber Fort, just an observation.]
After we got our fill of the fort, we hoofed it back down the hill, got in the car, and made a beeline for Delhi, the last stop on our Golden Triangle whirlwind tour.