Thursday, February 2, 2017

Stares and Stairs - Syarra

In India more so than anywhere else, we have found that people stare at us. That includes the many, many, people in the City of Jaipur, in the State of Rajasthan. It seems as if they have never seen white, or western, people. Which surprised me because in a city, like here, with two point three million people I find it hard to believe that they have never seen someone with white skin. For one thing I have seen white tourists, and I have been here less time then the people who live here so I find that hard to understand. That concludes the part about stares.

Now for stairs! And hallways. A few days ago we went to the Amber Palace or Amer Fort. The Amber Palace was at one time the capital building for the Kachwaha Empire. It is located on top of a hill looking over the Town of Amer. The palace was built by Raja Man Singh the First. He was the leader of the empire at the time. It has been extended since. We were brought by a tour guide in a car. But he did not come in with us.
View from the car.
 We sort of did without a guide. But that is a later story. We entered the area of the palace, in front of us we saw a path which ended in stairs scaling the hill. At the end of it you got tickets. We did and then continued stopping only to enjoy the amazing view.
An obelisk below
Climbing and seeing the Amber Palace

And Climbing and seeing another view

Arriving in a courtyard

In the courtyard

 This fort, or palace, has many hallways, and staircases that lead into darkness, which makes it an easy place to get lost. There were a few thing that made our experience fun to look back on. These are the ceaseless entertainment and freedom of the exploration, the, sort of, guide, and the sight of the “Great Wall of Amer” (as I call it).
The Ceaseless Entertainment and Freedom of the Exploration.
The Amber palace had many interesting rooms. Such as the mirror palace where inlayed in the wall was reflective pieces of glass. I enjoyed the ability to go anywhere. If we were in the U.S.A. there would be ropes blocking off anything at all dangerous. In most staircases here there were no handrails and the steps were uneven.
In an alcove

The King's prayer room

The Mirror Palace

The audience hall
The, Sort of, Guide.
At one point when we were exploring there was a sign pointing down a hallway that said latrines. We were interested so we walked that way. A man, dressed in a uniform which we assumed was of the guards, came and offered to guide but us we assumed it was just to the latrines so we could find them. Then he continued to show us things. He explained that the king had sixteen wives and 150 girlfriends! Though after he showed us something he waited for us. Not wanting to be hurried, we decided to go on our own. But we felt we must tip him for his service. But not knowing the system for tipping, we did it clearly wrong which we frequently do in India. We gave him 30 rupees and then he gave us a dollar and asked for a rupee. After a while we deciphered that he wanted to exchange a dollar for rupees instead. But of course that was not what we wanted so we turned down the offer.
The Sight of the “Great Wall of Amer” (As I Call It).
If you have ever seen pictures of The Great Wall of China, picture that far away. This wall had two layers, a higher one with murder holes, and a lower one that was wide so if needed whole army could march to the Jaigarh Fort which you can read about below.

The Purple arrow is the Jaigarh Fort. Red is The Great Wall of Amer

Another View of the Great Wall of Amer

Purple is the Great Wall of Amer. Blue is a king's garden

Red is the Jaigarh Fort. Purple is the Great Wall of Amer

The Jaigarh Fort is on a taller hill and in a more defensive position were the castle attacked. There is a path that is half under ground and the other half under the protection of tall walls, that conects the Amber Palace and Jaigarh Fort. We walked up the path as far as it extends today, and than walk a paved path the rest of the way. Though due to the fact that we were tired we did not enter Jaigarh Fort and instead turned back.
Carver and I looking down on the outer Wall or the Jaigarh Fort

While India has its downsides as you can see in:
What Confused the Skittles and in India is Hard
But there are good things too.

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