Elephant Festival, Jaipur (March-April): A festival to celebrate Holi, this is a great occasion for the visitor to watch several elephant sports and also play this festival of colors. A show is organized with the elephants turning out in their best finery
in the changeroom
Having worn a sari years and years before I somehow manage to get it on by myself... though I wasn't sure how to put the head dress on exactly and the bindi was the manager's idea! It felt so feminine and was the most beautiful silk fabric, it was a shame to take it off...
Symbol of Rajput Bravery and Valour
Travelling up the hill to the Amber fort could be as exciting as sightseeing through the fort. There are three options of reaching the top of the fort.
You can park your car in the parking below and walk up to the fort.
You can take permission and drive your car upto the fort.
The last and most exciting one is park the car and take an elephant ride to the fort, just like the kings and their queens used to.
Reaching the top of the fort you can take a guided tour and hire an escort if you have not already brought one with you. The price for hiring the escort can be negotiated and you can always get a good bargain. The fort has a lot to offer in terms of architecture which can hardly be explained in a few words and you need almost half a day to go through the whole fort. But its a must for foreign travellers as this is one of the greatest forts of Rajasthan.
If you just can't get enough of monkeys, you shouldn't miss the Monkey temple (Galta Temple) It's in the east of Jaipur, behind the Sun Temple. It exists of some temples and three water bassins on top of on another. And a lot of monkeys take a swim in one of these bassins every day, a very nice view I can tell you! Here you can take the nicest pictures of monkeys. Someone told me that the best time to visit this temple; is before noon
Jaigarh or the 'Fort of Victory' is perched atop Chilh ka Tola (Hill of Eagles), 400 feet above the Amber Fort. The walls of the fort are spread acrossr three kilometres. The biggest ever canon on wheels, Jaivan, is the crowning glory of Jaigarh.Jaigarh Fort was made to tighten the security of Jaipur and Amber. Due to this fact, one may not find this fort as artistic as other forts and palaces, but it certainly has its own charm. It has several palaces, granary, well-planned cannon foundry, several temples and a tall tower. Jaigarh Fort used to serve as the center of artillery production for the Rajputs. Whenever Man Singh I (late 16th century) or his successors warred and won gold, silver, jewels and other booty, they hoarded it in the Jaigarh Fort. and they had the loyal Minas to fiercely guard their haul. (In fact, legends tell us that the Minas were such strict guards that they let each new Kachhawaha king to enter only once and pick one single piece for himself from the dazzling pile!) Anyway, all this treasure paid first for building Amber, then Jaipur and for centuries of lavish living. Indian Government officials tried to retrieve whatever was left; they dug the place in 1976 but found nothing. In fact they even drained the three arched water tanks (in a courtyard on the way to the northern end of the fort) in the hope of finding the fortune there. Head straight for the gigantic cannon Jaivan perched on top of a tower. Weighing 50 tons with an 8m barrel and a trajectory of about 20km, it is said to be the world's largest cannon on wheels. But surprisingly (and thankfully!) it was never used. Despite its awesome firepower, it has a delicate scrollwork of birds, foliage and a roaring elephant at its mouth. Jaivan was test-fired once by Jai Singh in 1720 when the cannon ball landed at Chaksu about 38km away! and the impact of it was so enormous that a lake formed at the spot and many houses collapsed in Jaipur. The cannoneer died immediately after the firing, before he could even jump into water.