Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A super secret surprise at the Amber Fort

Shiv, our tour guide told us we had to get up early the other day, but he wouldn’t tell us why. The day before we had a great, but very long. We wanted to enjoy a late dinner and sleep in just a bit – maybe to 9:30? But no, Shiv was very stern – we would meet in the lobby at 8:15am – and there would be a surprise.

Okay, my interest was pique.

At 8:15ish we boarded the bus and finally Shiv told us where we were going – Amber Fort in the Pink City. Lovely! But why so early?

To Paraphrase Shiv:

Thank you all for your willingness to get us so early to see the wonderful Amber Fort. But, the reason why we had to get up so early is how we will be arriving at the fort – BY ELEPHANT!

Can you believe it? We all climbed up on the elephant ride for a 15 minute ride up to the fort. The view from atop of such a lovely animal was amazing. We could look down o the small village at the bottom of the fort; look across to the mountains and the wall that surrounds Jaipur; and see the beautiful paintings and decorations on the elephant up close. It was one of the best moments of the trip.

All of the elephants used are female and are limited in the number of trips they can make each day. The city of Jaipur regulates the care and usage of the elephants very closely. The entire experience is very human for the elephants.

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