Day 5 in India began with a tuk tuk ride over to the stunning Amber Fort, which lies 11km to the northeast of Jaipur.
Construction of the Fort began in 1592 by the Rajput commander of Akbar’s army, Maharaja Man Singh, and was financed by war booty.
This absolutely stunning fort, built from yellow and pink sandstone and white marble, is split into four sections, each of which has its own courtyard. It’s reflections in the waters below add to it’s magical feel. I have to admit, I half expected magic carpets and oil lamps to make an appearance on the walk up to the Fort, but sadly, this was not to be.
One possible way of reaching the fort, is by elephant, however, animal welfare groups have criticised those who keep elephants at Amber Fort due to reports of animal cruelty. Intrepid also chose not to travel by elephant, and instead, we made the 10 minute journey from the road up to the fort, by foot.
It was still an incredible experience to see these amazing animals up close (and outside of a zoo, the only other time I have seen elephants in the flesh)!
After a good couple of hours at Amber Fort, it was time to return to Jaipur, where we had our first bit of free time.
After a busy few days of sightseeing, a group of us found a nice little rooftop cafe across the road from the Hawa Mahal, to stop and relax with a cold beer or two for a couple of hours. Technically speaking the cafe we were in didn’t serve alcohol, so our cold cans of beer were delivered to us in incredibly tall mugs in order to hide the contents!
The Hawa Mahal itself is one of Jaipur’s most iconic buildings. Constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, it allowed the ladies of the royal household to watch life go by, without being seen. They could see out, but nobody could see in.
The cafe overlooking the Hawa Mahal was a fantastic little spot to watch the locals flying their kites from the rooftops, as well as to watch the beautiful sunset on our final day in Rajasthan’s capital.
Night time tour of Jaipur
After a lovely meal in a rooftop restaurant back towards the entrance to the Old City, it was time to get back into our Tuk Tuk’s to take a short ride around the Pink City at night before we would return to our hotel in preparation for our drive to Pushkar the following day.
Jaipur was an absolute delight. It’s definitely somewhere I would go back to should I get the opportunity to return to India again one day. It really does feel quite magical. The colours, smells (despite the intoxicating chilli’s), and the general feel of the city, made it feel beautifully vibrant and alive. It’s safe to say, it has left an imprint on my heart 💕