Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jaipur Again

January 16th
Ancient Sites and Binge Traveling in Jaipur

Hullo hullo! As I write this I have no wifi. And I know that I am many days behind on my blog. Yet I must press on!

Today we woke up early, but no one could complain because the time was ripe for RIDING ELEPHANTS!
Well, almost ripe.
First we went to an old observatory called Jantar Mantar (fun name, right?). It was built in 1728 by a Maharaja (Indian king) named Jai Singh II. It all relies on the sun, but you can make really complex calculations from it. There is a sundial that gets the time within two seconds and other ones that can plot sunrise and sunset times and the earth in relation to numerous heavenly bodies. There are also different one for each zodiac sign, of course. Jai’s main reason for building it was astrology not astronomy!

[stopped in front of THIS GUY on the way]

[observe le observatory]

[got distracted during the tour: Monkeys!!]

[Anyway, shadows on this can tell all sorts of things about the position of earth in the universe, seasons, day lengths...]

[observe the WORLD'S largest sundial!]

[we sure did. Sarah, me, Laura, Janice, Bryan]

[it's for Capricorn aka me! what it does, I do not know.]

["hi there!" says my shadow. this one can tell sunrise and set and longitude/latitude and more.]

Next we traversed to ye old Amber Fort. And we RODE ELEPHANTS TO THE TOP!!! Yay. I have to admit, I still like camels better because they are smaller and you can get to know the one you are riding better. Yet elephants are awesome because they are HUGE and they live to be around 100! And they are very cute. I pet one’s trunk. It was bristly and thick.
Pictures of me are on others’ cameras, but I’ll show you some people in our group on elephants and you’ll just have to take my word that I was on one too.

[Amber Fort from out yonder]

["vant a ride?"]

[Harley and Jan say YES]

[Bryan and Sarah are lovin' the one with the painted face]

[I was on the back of one too!]

[I lied, guess our tour guide did get a picture.]

Amber Fort itself was pretty cool too. It looked like a mini Great Wall of China and was the small empire of some Hindu maharaja. He surrendered to the conquering Mughals later on, but hey, he didn’t have that big of an army. So give him some credit, geesh. It was very maze-like and fun, with random designs in each place because it kept being built bigger and bigger over the years.

[not bad panorama, not bad]

[pretty walls, take one. entire group minus Andrew]

[pretty walls take doux!]

[take trois is a shiny wall]

[jacuzzi from the 1500s or earlier. I'm serious.]

[monkers hangin' out on the fort walls]

After these fun things, we had the boring time of riding the bus and riding the bus and riding the bus. It was a bit (okay a lot) bumpy but we survived. I couldn’t sleep though… has that EVER happened to me? I think not.
Then we stopped for lunch then we rode the bus and rode the bus more. There was a very long traffic jam once the sun set, which made it even more joyous! J
Then we got back to the ol’ Delhi hotel that we were staying at before. Dinner and bed. Yays.


[eatin' pigeon food outside the fort]

[close up!!! you're famous now!]

[me and my new friend, who growled at me when I got too close]


  1. i cannot believe a monkey growled at you. hahah

    and that guys head wrap is so colorful haha, were those elephant rides expensive?


  2. Actually from the position of one of those monkeys, I think you were lucky to get away with just growling and not a itty bitty monkey present on top of your smiling head! :-)

    SO glad to have your blog to read again!

    Glad you're home safe and sound!


  3. Hahahah yeah, guess it could have been worse than growling.

    I don't really know if the elephant rides were expensive, because they were part of the trip package. Our tour guide told us that a 50 rupee tip would be appropriate (a little over a dollar) and when I gave it to him, he said, "no. tip is 200 rupees." Hahahahah, what the hell, you can't choose the price of a tip! After that I had to ignore him.

  4. the monkeys are cool but were they big? I would have been nervous around them I think.

    I love the painted face elephant-that looked cool! I never realized they could live to be 100!

    That's weird to think that they had jacuzzi's so long ago! Did it make bubbles in some way?

  5. The monkeys weren't HUGE, maybe up to my knee or something...?
    You may not have liked it.

    Yeah, elephants rock!

    I don't think the jacuzzi made bubbles, unfortunately.

  6. okay, five things that are just too cool for words in this post:
    1. the observatory. simply bitchin'.
    2. you riding an elephant, and not just in a little circle like at the county fair.
    3. your panorama...the best yet! and the mini-great-wall-of-china looks so cool.
    4. monkeys and pigeons...two of your favorite things in one place
    5. the jacuzzi from the 1500s.

    i think i would want to know everything that each thing at the observatory did and how, but i'm pretty sure that learning the basic principles in order to read them would bore the crap out of me. :)

    love you.

    this is such a cool post. maybe my favorite.

  7. 1. Guess what? We only went to the observatory that morning because I told Harley how cool I thought it would be! Hahah! And I was right.
    We did learn the basic things all those tools did and I thought I would remember them by the time I blogged but I was mistaken :(.
    Maybe Bethel should get some of those for astronomy class.
    2. Yes, everyone and not just me loved the elephants!!
    3. It was for sure the best panorama of the trip, you are right.
    4. I know right?!
    5. I love things like that. Kind of like the Roman sewer that blew my mind in Jordan.

    Love you too, Brian!