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Published: August 10th 2018
The second day in Jaipur and I wanted to head to Amer Fort which was built in 1550 and is now a huge UNESCO site a 30 mins rickshaw ride out of Jaipur. This place was huge and built on top of a hill which you could either walk or ride an elephant to the entrance gate at the top. I chose the walking route thinking Mark probably wouldn’t be too impressed if I told him I’d ridden an elephant! The views from the fort were incredibly – for once I could see green hills and not sprawling city, it was lovely! I spent a few hours wandering in and out of rooms and soaking up the atmosphere. I think the biggest difference between tourist attractions here and those at home is that you can pretty much wander anywhere here so I ended up at the tops of towers or in ancient toilets which smell as bad today as they probably did then! This was also the place with all the Chinese tourists so I had some fun listening in on conversations!
After this I wanted to climb a hill opposite for the views down over the fort. I didn’t
make it far before I got cornered by a couple of guys and decided that spending any more time there probably wasn’t safe so came back down – generally speaking most people have been friendly but being followed up a deserted hill by 2 guys didn’t seem a wise idea! So I headed back down and walked the kilometer or so to a place called 'Stepwell'. Now I’m not entirely sure what a Stepwell is – it seemed to be a load of steps leading in different directions towards a pond at the bottom with dead fish floating on the surface. There were lots of houses and a temple surrounding this place and thankfully it was pretty quiet – none of the horns or craziness of the cities! I think my favourite part though was seeing the wild monkeys and their babies running around the nearby houses. After this I did a quick check on Google maps and decided to walk to a nearby lake.
When I arrived at the top of the hill and the lake 20 mins later it was a bit of a surprise – there was a tiny pond of water and a whole load
of dried up lake surface. There were brown cows hanging out in the water and white cows with their ribs showing trying to find something to eat. There was also a small boat on the dry ground showing that once upon a time this was a full lake. I guess they were waiting for the monsoon rains to come. After this I took another rickshaw to a place called Monsoon Palace which is a palace in the middle of a lake surrounded by hills before heading after to Monkey Temple. Monkey temple was interesting: little shacks at the bottom of the hill sold peanuts and all sorts so most of the monkeys were here being fed by tourists. They weren’t scared at all and actually came really close to me. I then walked up the hill to the temple at the top where predictably I found loud music coming from the people who live there an no monkeys. There were good views across Jaipur though which were only slightly hazy from the pollution! On the way back down, the locals were feeding the monkeys mangoes and so there were lots of them mixed in with the usual cows and goats.
One monkey stole my water bottle out my backpack which was fun! It was a little sad to see them eating/getting tangled in plastic bags and all the litter around the place though.
Next stop: Udaipur in the morning!
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