Travelling is one of the first things that comes to mind when someone tells me to live life king size so today, I decided to take the royalty vibe further and take ye wee lovelies to the Land of Kings.
We’re all kings in the circle of life.
Alright, I pulled a wee sneaky on ya! I ain’ taking you lot to Pride Rock. We’re gonna backtrack a few miles and step into the state of Rajasthan, the largest state in India.
Rajasthan literally means ‘The Land of Kings’ and its name comes from the large number of kings and princes that have resided in and ruled the state. Rajasthan has many palaces built by the various royal families and in this blog, we’re gonna explore one of the palaces, namely, the Amber Palace.
The Amber Palace(also called the Amber Fort) is located in the town of Amer which is a little outside the capital of Rajasthan, aka Jaipur. It was built by Raja Man Singh, the ruler of Amer and later, a lot of renovations were done by Sawai Jai Singh, a later ruler of Amer. The palace has been very well preserved and many parts of it look good as new. It is located at the top of a hill and overlooks a lake called Maota Lake.
This is the view of the palace taken from the hill slope. One can simply walk up the hill or take a jeep. There’s also elephant rides available to showcase how the kings travelled to the Palace in the past but I’d honestly recommend walking or the jeep ride.
The trail to the palace has a lot of tiny houses, temples and even some vendors who sell peanuts and other small trinkets. The walk up also offers an amazing view of the town.
The first picture is a shrine near the gates of the Palace. I love the little Indian flag on top and the sun ray really gives it a divine vibe:) The second picture is a view of the town, taking in the neighbouring hills. The hill facing the Amber Palace has a lovely fortified wall running down its slope. A lot of the buildings seen in the surroundings were once used as quarters for royal ministers. Some of these quarters are intact while some are preserved ruins.
This ruin of a former royal living quarter gives me major Scotland vibes. It’s funny how a place in vintage India takes one back to the time of William Wallace hehe. Guess we’re all connected to a vibe of freedom.
This here, is one of the houses en route the Palace with a lovely doggo on the roof. I love how the dog is the literal embodiment of the meme: ‘I see no God up here, other than me.’ I mean, I know the meme has a cat on a lamppost but this is just like copying the homework but changing it up a bit so the teacher doesn’t find out….
I hit two memes with one dog. Hehe….
This is the gate of the Palace. It’s called Suraj Pol or the Sun Gate. One of the main reasons for its naming is because the first rays of the rising Sun enter the palace through this gate. I love how intricate the top of the gate is. The tiny murals are so aesthetic and the off white and ochre colour pallet really makes the whole vintage vibe stand out. On entering the gate, one walks into a courtyard that leads to various parts of the Palace.
Before setting out to explore, one has to get tickets. There’s a booth in this courtyard that gives tourists their tickets. Point to note here is that there is a student discount so if you’re a student in any part of the world(school or university), make sure to carry your ID to avail the discount.
Alright, now that I’ve made enough sales talk, let’s get on with the tour:)
Our first stop in the Palace is called ‘Diwan-i-Aam’ or The Hall of Public Audience. This was the place where the King interacted with the general public, listened to their opinions on his rule and held gatherings with the common subjects. It’s where the King had a sort of a reality check where he would either be judged as an Icon™ or be straight up cancelled. I wonder how many kings got cancelled in such public meetings. Hehe….
Here’s the answer, not one.
On another note, I love the architecture here. The poles give it a very infinite-mirror like look and the carvings are just so pretty. I was lucky to get an empty frame to get the shot and the light and shadow really makes the structure stand out.
This was one of the most beautiful structures in the Palace. It’s called ‘Ganesh Pol’. ‘Pol’ means gate and ‘Ganesh’ is the Elephant Deity and the God of Scribes and Wisdom in Hinduism. The gate is named that way because there’s a painting of Lord Ganesha at the entrance arch. All the paint used in the designing is made from vegetables and other natural resources. The netted windows at the top of the gate were made for a very unique purpose. The queens of the Palace would sit at these windows and either watch the public audience held by the King or they’d welcome the King when he returns home from war or a diplomatic tour. The welcoming would involve a shower of flowers through the opening. That would have been a really pretty sight, like you come home after war and travel and you’re welcomed with a cascading waterfall of colour. #truelove♥
Speaking of true love, this door is the hardest thing to photograph. And no, it’s not because of lighting it’s because of the couples getting their pre-wedding photoshoots photobombing the structure. I mean, I’m all for showing your love to the world but how many different poses and stances does it take to do that? Besides, there’s outfit changes after every three pictures and then there’s the personal ticks where the couple needs a picture taken from the right angle with the right amount of light falling on their face. I literally had to wait for four couples to go through the entire procedure before I could get this picture and then there’s this bloke who decided to walk out the gate right at the moment when I took the shot. Humans….
This is a view of the Maota Lake from the Palace. This used to be a spot for boating and water-sports for the King and his royal guests. The blocks built in the left corner of the lake used to be swimming pools cause the fish in the lake didn’t want humans swimming in their territories. hehe….
The three-tiered island is called the Saffron Garden or the ‘Kesar Kyari Bagh’. It was used mainly by the women in the Royal household and it’s named because of the saffron flowers that were once grown there. This was one of the most unique places in the Palace. I love the geometric architecture, where each of the plant beds are arranged in a star-shaped manner. I also find it amazing how people had such artistic taste in the old times:)
Here’s the in-palace garden right outside the King’s summer residence. All I can say is that the people back then sure loved their geometry. And that’s a good thing cause besides being aesthetic, geometry can also help one beat the mirror dimension and who’s to say the multiverse wasn’t real back then. hehe….
The final picture in this post is a wee baby kitty cat. Cats are the best things ever created, they are God’s angels on Earth. Photobombing the feline is a water tank that hydrates the entire palace. The tank’s in use since the Kings of old reigned the land:) I love historical photobombs!
In the next post, Imma give you a wee house tour of royal life.
And that is a wrap,
Until Next Time….