June 1, 2009: Jaipur and the Amber Palace
After a good night's sleep we had breakfast in the hotel. We checked out and Sonka took us
back to the Pink City where we met or guide again. From here, we drove to the Amber
Palace, a few km outside of Jaipur.
The Amber Palace or Fort was built in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh and is perched
high on a rocky ridge. We went by car to the backside of the palace. At first we went into
the courtyard where quite a few elephants unloaded tourists who came from the frontside.
Through the Lion Gate or Singh Pole we entered the palace. The Diwan-i-Am was to our left
and the beautiful Ganesh Pole (above left) was in front of us. Through this Ganesh Gate we
made it into the inner part of the palace.
Here was the Sheesh Mahal, the living quarters of the maharaja and his queen. The walls of
this building were decorated with mosaics from shards of mirror and coloured glass.
We explored the palace, its narrow passageways and open courtyards further. Then we
made it back to the entrance and left through the front gate. On the way down, there were
great photo opportunities of the palace. The sun came out and the amber color of the
palace looked great against the backdrop of a blue sky.
We drove back to Jaipur as we wanted to take pictures of the Hawa Mahal and had to drop
off our guide. On the way, we stopped for a few minutes opposite a palace which was
situated in the middle of a lake.
We dropped off our guide at the Hawa Mahal (below), took a few more pictures of the Pink
City and then started our drive back to Delhi.
After a couple of hours driving through a desert we came to the intersection of the Delhi -
Mumbai Highway. From now on, we were in truck country. We passed thousands of
mechanic shops, thousands of trucks and the traffic was horrible. I was glad that Sonka was
a good and non-aggressive driver. We had lunch at another one of those Midway Stations
and got back to Delhi late afternoon.

At night, we had dinner again at the Hotel Metropolis. Our Kashmir waiter was there just like
last time and we had a pleasant dinner.