I can’t keep up.

“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)

The morning comes around too fast. It seems such a short time since I laid my head on the pillow.
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.


How could you not get excited by this !!!

We designed this program ourselves and the tour company organized the mechanics. Drivers, pickups and accommodation.
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.
Yesterday we visited the Amber Fort.
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.

The Mahouts were equally colorful. Red turbans, white dress attire and the whole scene was a feast for the eyes.
Exotic, almost unimaginable and it was like stepping into the pages of National Geographic.

Lined up with other tourists on gradual stairs we finally got our turn to be placed on  an elephant.  The padded seat was covered in a tan Kantha Quilt , and it was about 4 ft wide contained in metal bars and rope  across the opening. My legs stuck out at right angles.. I looked and felt like one of those cartoon characters set in a giant chair. Jan sat forward and looked a little more decent.

Trying to manage the cameras, and hold on to the bars securely was a feat of of dexterity. The climb was steep so I was hanging on for dear life. I had burnt my arm on the iron a few days before and the blister burst with the constant rubbing of the metal on skin.
 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.
Carpet factories. I just love this one.
and then we ended up getting caught up in a festival.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. I so enjoyed the photos Pam. thank you for sharing! 🙂

    1. Pamela K Holland says:

      Linda, you’re welcome… its my joy to share.

  2. Paty Silva says:

    Thanks for sharing and just keep enjoing your trip 🙂

  3. Francie Mewett says:

    Fantastic photos and story Pam. I bet your driver will tell stories of his adventures with you for years to come. You will have given him a whole new perspective of his country. Xx

  4. Mandy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing .we have traveled to India a couple of times but there is never a dull moment. It’s an amazing country with beautiful humble people all going about their business..all trying to make a living. I loved the colours everywhere

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