Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Travel Diary: Amer Fort, Jaipur + Tips {Photo Diary}



Hello! 

On our last full day in Jaipur, we woke up bright and  early and headed to Amer. 
We didn't take the elephant ride up to the fort, for multiple reasons but most importantly I just don't feel comfortable using an animal as a means of transport. I know, I would be feel guilty and worry about if the animals were being treated well or not! 
It just doesn't sit well with me. 
We drove up to the fort instead. If you are driving up as well, make sure you reach here before 11 am since the parking gets full by then. 


 

To be very honest, I was underwhelmed by Amer. 
I have been to 2 other forts in Rajasthan- Mehrangarh in Jodhpur and Lalgarh in Bikaner and both of those, especially Mehrangarh was simply breath taking. 
Amer was huge and I could see some it's grandeur but most of Amer looked quite derelict and badly maintained. Especially the former Queen's living area had peeling off paint and dented walls. 
:(



The fort itself is an imposing structure and is very, very vast. You need about 3 hours (minimum) to do full justice to the many different palaces and other spots of interest within the fort complex. It is advisable to go to Amer on a weekday as we went on a Saturday and it was insanely crowded! We could hardly see anything properly and couldn't take as many pictures either without other people in the frame! 




Amer was PACKED and crawling with not just tourists of all kinds but also local folks trying to sell you stuff! WTF! Inside the fort! It was not pleasant being constantly hassled and having postcards, bags and souvenirs shoved in our faces. We also witnessed a pretty big fist fight breaking out between a couple of these salesmen and the police had to get involved and break up the fight. It didn't feel good or safe TBH! 



The sheer size of Amer will take your breath away.
It is massive and it's hard to imagine real people ever calling it home but I can imagine enemy armies being scared to approach it. It must have been a formidable fort.


A lot of the walls were adorned with simple art. 


A Krishna and Gopi art on a wall in the Queen's living quarters. 
See the peeling paint..broke my heart. I wish they would look after this place a little better. 


Ah! With views like this I was willing to ignore the milling tourists and the heat. 
Just look at it! 
If this were my home I would never, ever leave. 
The art and colours are simply brilliant. 


On a side note, while I was here I couldn't help but notice how much Good Earth is inspired by this art style. 
I honestly could stare at this for hours. 


More beauty. 



The Royal Gardens...sadly not quite in bloom. 


These were the summer residences of the royalty. There was an intricate water flowing system that coupled with the summer breeze acted as a cooling system. How freaking clever and innovative! 


The walls of the Summer Palace were inlaid with ivory and at one point in time precious gems and mirror work. Sadly, some tourists in the past have vandalised and stolen bits and pieces. People are the worst! Who would think of ruining a monument such as this?! For shame! 




This must be a good place to live. 



The Diwan-i-Khaas is a work of art. 
Mirror and hand-painted detailing all around the mirrors and on the walls and even the ceilings. This style of art is typical of the Rajasthan school of art, rich with floral details and intricate work. 


So much beauty. Too bad there were so many people pushing around and taking a million selfies. I wish they would just stop clicking pictures of their own faces and just look at the beauty and history around them for a change! 



TIPS FOR AMER FORT/// 

1. Go as early as you can. The earlier the better. As the day wears on it gets impossibly hot to wander and explore. 

2. Sunscreen up like your life depends on it. A lot of the fort is exposed to direct sunlight and it's best to be protected. 

3. Carry water, a lot of it. 

4. Wear comfy shoes. There is a lot of walking around so don't even think of forgoing comfy footwear. 

5. Getting a guide might be a good idea since there is a lot to see. But do ensure you don't let them rush you. We saw guides telling people that they could show them the whole fort in under an hour. No! Take your time. 

6. You could alternatively also get an audio guide. 

7. We didn't get a guide and we wandered about on our own and took ample breaks to catch our breath and drink water and just sit and take in the views. A lot of people were finding spots to sit and just be. Decide on what works for you and how you want to go about seeing the place. 




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