Our second stop on our second day in Jaipur was Amer. Amer is actually just outside the city and was Maharaja Jai Singh II’s original settlement before he founded Jaipur. I was a little confused about the name because we kept seeing signs for Amer and Amber but apparently there are two spellings of the name. The pronunciation is Amer (no “b” sound), so I will stick to that.
Amer is a fort and palace complex built on a hill adjacent to a reservoir. It’s much bigger, more imposing and more beautiful that I imagined. Some of the scenes in my favorite Bollywood movie, Jodhaa Akbar, were filmed here as well, so I couldn’t wait to see it.
You can climb up the hill or you can take an elephant ride. We took an elephant ride, which was quite the adventure, because this was the route (actually, only part of it)
and this was the vehicle
The ride is a little bumpy and we were sitting in something like a seat, which was moving precariously. I was holding on to the side of the seat with one hand and clutching Max tightly with the other because he was trying to wiggle out. But then there were the hawkers, who were relentless, like this guy for example, who almost brought me to tears because he was so desperate to sell his stuff (miniature silk paintings) that he got up on top of a garbage can, pushing his wares in my hands, insisting that I look at them and buy. His paintings were fine and quite inexpensive in fact but I was so worried that Max would fall that I had to push his stuff back many times before he finally gave up. Those elephants were tall. Probably twice my height. A fall may not kill the kid but would certainly injure him.
Stressful as it was though, the ride was really neat because the views were spectacular (these pictures are courtesy of my wonderful husband because I had my hands full.)
Our ride ended in a large square, where we dismounted our elephant and went on to the palace.