The “Amer” Fort (be like the locals and pronounce it the regal way, rather than, “Amber”) is a magnificent fortress built on a hill top a little out of Jaipur City. At the bottom of the hill, swap your taxi for one of the government-approved elephants who’ll lumber up the hill, giving you magnificent views, and a few goose-bumps. Don’t forget to smile at the very enterprising photographers along the way (“photos, very nice, ready at exit, madam, no obligation to buy”), and remember to pack a few bananas, to reward your elephant with at the top. Tipsy even met a friend from the US.
There’s a lot of history here, and you can take a guide, or wander round by yourself. The lovely Sheesh Mahal, Hall of Mirrors, is spectacular, and is located at the exact centre. Look out for the special mirror that will give your multiple reflections, and there are well-maintained courtyards and other quirks of ancient royal life (even the latrines!).
On the way back, make sure you ask your driver to stop off at Panna Meena ka Kund – an amazing set of steps leading down to a water tank that is apparently used in lots of Bollywood films, and a lovely picturesque village.
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