We drive into the rugged hills outside of Jaipur to visit the Amber Fort. The fort was built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh and is a blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. We opt to enter the fort on the back of an elephant. It was a fascinating experience rocking back and forth as the elephant lumbered up the steep cobble ramp. But there is no enjoyment in the “elephant showers”. As we near the top, we encounter an elephant traffic jam.
The sprawling Amber Fort is a typical example of what the lives of the Rajput Maharajas were like – militant, adventurous, temperamental and self-indulgent. As we walk through the fort, we see mighty gates, watchtowers, temples, palaces, dancing pavilions, gardens and even a swimming pool. Walls and ceilings are decorated with intricate carvings. The king’s bedroom is decorated in minute mirror work. A single candle lights the room using reflection in the mirrors.