Thursday 23 April 2015
Highlights: Amber Fort, local merchants, fine dinning under the stars.
Another incredible day made possible by our pro active tour leader / CEO Manu who added several optional events into today’s crowded events calendar.
So today we started our time in the Pink City with a visit to the predecessor to Jaipur, the Amber Fort, just outside the city proper. This city fort was established around 967 AD set into a mountain with large walls like The Great Wall of China protecting it. A jeep ride got us up to the impressive Fort and a short walk later we were in the first main square if elephants, music and lots of hawkers trying to sell tourist related items.
The Fort was the home of the local ruler and throughout our guide tour you learnt of the lifestyle of the rich and powerful, in particular the many wives and the 300+ strong harem.
On our way back we stopped off to view the Water Palace located in the middle of a man made lake it would be very difficult to attack. I’m interested I its originally construction and whether there is any problems with the foundation now that it is surrounded by deep water.
After lunch we visited a local gem manufactor watching our the gems are polished by hand. Most of the group made purchases including myself the work was stunning. We also experienced the welcoming customs for shoppers / clients. You are always offered a drink for example.
Next up was a visit to a textile merchant. Ashleigh got an elephant stamp on her top during a demonstration of how fabrics are imprinted which made us a little jealous. The quality of the cotton and silk based work was amazing and we all purchased some gifts. Yani and Sonia had them make up some pyjamas which were delivered during dinner that night, very quick work.
Ashleigh and Jess then left us for some local shopping while we visited the City Palace Museum. Other the the buildings we saw different deadly weapons, including a beheading sword, the clothing of the rulers, and local drawing artists. Dianne got her hand painted to show off when returning to Canada (it lasts about a week).
On the way back to our hotel for a break we briefly saw the Hawa Mahal which was created to allow the ladies of the harem to view the outside world and trade without being seen by the world. This complex has over 900 windows to the world.
While back at the hotel I was communicating with my colleague Sue Atlas back in Australia and was very happy to learn Talia Atlas had safely been born. I had bought Sue a necklace gift earlier in the day hoping to hear good news.
Manu organised an excellent fine dinning experience at the Dalli Palace. We ate at a former royal establishment under the stars by candle light with local musicians and a great dancer entertaining us. A great way to finish a hectic day we retired back to the hotel around 10 pm.