The craggy hilltops that surround Jaipur are topped by a significant number of forts, these craggy tops and block like forts are reminders of times long gone when noble families acquired great wealth and influence

p1060190Perhaps the most popular, and certainly the most accessible of these forts can be found at Amber, a relatively short motor rickshaw ride from the city. Amber fort certainly is impressive in scale and opulence, in my mind representative of a palatial castle rather than a military fort. From the lake, gardens and pleasure grounds at the bottom of the hill that serve as a first welcome, the zig zag approach that leads you up to and through the fortified palace walls Amber is impressive. Fortified positions and thick walls snake across the nearby landscape, demarcating defensive positions nearby, another fort higher up the same hill could almost have been in the same complex if not for its thick walls and separate entrance.

Inside the grounds the wide open courtyard is quite an active pace, with many tourists, Indian and foreign alike here to enjoy the fort. Well preserved in many places the fort was a very interesting place with many beautiful views, decorative features and original frescos still in situ.

The elephants that can be ridden in the morning are lumbering back down the road towards Jaipur, they will pass by the fortifications, the near by lake with its own island palace on their way past the pink walls of the old city. My visit to the fort being late in the day gave me a few opportunities to view these exotic loping giants, a sight I quite enjoyed.