India - Jaipur Forts

On our last day in Jaipur, we hired a car for half a day to take us the forts situated on the ridge around the city.  En route, we spotted camels hanging out at the side of the road.

We could see Tiger Fort in the distance.
Soon, Amber Fort came into view.
We heard you could take an elephant ride to the fort for 900 rupees (<$20 USD).  We couldn't resist and made a beeline for the elephant departure area.
We paid our fare and mounted our elephant from a small platform.
It was a 15 minute, slow and undulating ride to the top.
We could see a lovely lake and saffron gardens in the distance.
A steady stream of elephant traffic made its way up and down from the fort.
 
We soon arrived in a large open courtyard...
...and disembarked from another raised platform.
We negotiated for a guide to show us around the fort.
We climbed a steep set of stairs to the entrance.
 
 
The fort showcases a mix of Mughal (Muslim) and Hindu inspired elements.
We passed a lovely green garden.
 
The hall of mirrors was also inspiring.  Our guide had us stand in a particular spot and was able to take our picture through the mirrored reflection.
We ascended higher into the fort and peeked out onto the scene below.
Windows covered with ornate lattice-work allowed residents to see out without anyone being able to see inside.
 
The fort was awash in rich colors and floral patterns.
We looked out another scalloped arch to the neighboring Tiger Fort.
 
We wandered through one courtyard after another...
We chanced upon a snake charmer rousing his cobra with a song.
 
We reached the top level of the fort and peered down around us.
Rough-hewn windows gave a glimpse onto the surrounding paths and courtyards.
We descended back into the central courtyard.
We were surprised by a cute feral puppy.
As we descended from the fort, we spotted some motion in the trees.
Monkeys!  These were different than the ones we saw at the Monkey Temple with black faces and exceedingly long tails.
We descended further and admired the Amber Fort spilling over the hill.
We asked our driver to take us to a nearby Hindu temple down a small winding road in Amber town.
Our final stop of the day was a quick tour of Tiger Fort.  We saw India's largest cannon, Jai Vana.
We could see Man Sagar in the distance and the immersed Jal Mahal (Water Palace).
With that, we descended back into Jaipur and headed to the train station for our return journey to Delhi.

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Sidewalk Safari: India - Jaipur Forts
India - Jaipur Forts
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