“In religion, India is the only millionaire……the One land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.”
– Mark Twain (American Author, 1835-1910)
But as predicted by an unknown deity, the sun rises and gives promise to the day.
My Travel companions, Jan Coveney, my sister and friend Luana Rubin are 3 different individuals who embrace travel, photography and the stimulation of being educated by another culture.
We have had more fun that is legal and we are less than half way through our tour.
Our accommodating driver now understands us. It must have been a little daunting for him in the beginning when 3 women with cameras express their excitement at seeing an elephant on the road for instance. He now automatically stops for herds of goats, women with half a tree on their heads or 5 people on a motorbike.
Today we counted 24 people in a small van with a cab on the back, admittedly 6 people were sitting on the roof.
The Fort was built by Raja Man Singh I. Amer Fort is known for its artistic style of Hindu elements. With its large ramparts, series of gates and cobbled paths, it overlooks the Maota Lake, at its forefront.
This fort, along with Jaigarh Fort, located immediately above on the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the same Aravalli range of hills, is considered as one complex, as the two are well connected by a subterranean passage. This passage was meant as an escape route in times of war for the royal family members and others in the Amer Fort to shift to the more redoubtable Jaigarh Fort.
As we arrived we were greeted by a line of black elephants with red blankets draped over their backs.
Finally at the top, in the Amber fort and with the obligatory pictures being taken we got off the darn elephant happy for the experience and relieved that we had made it without mishap. My experience of falling off an elephant some 20 years ago, was fresh in my mind.
Its what the average person does. Fall off an elephant and end up with bloody arms and legs from elephant rash. I also picked up a tick that gave me fevers for the next 6 months.
Temple of goddess Shilla said the sign. The views were spectacular over the lake into the gardens set out in Islamic patterns.
Women in saffron robes and brooms made from palm fonds posed for photos with expertise… I figured with 5000 people visiting a day, their tips would be quite extensive.
It was an amazing experience once again.
But that wasn’t all we did for the day.
We visited textile factories and watched them block print.