The Amber Fort near Jaipur is famous for its conveyor belt of colourfully decorated elephants, continuously carrying tourists up and down the hill upon which the fort stands. As a general rule the wife and I tend to avoid this type of thing (mainly for animal welfare reasons and also because it’s such an obvious tourist trap) and so we resisted the temptation to pretend that we were Maharajahs and went up by jeep instead….:0).
As you can see though I wasn’t about to miss out on the excellent photo opportunities:
I will confess that we have ridden Elephants in the past, when we did a jungle safari in Nepal a few years ago. However on that occasion the welfare of the Elephants was of paramount importance and we got to experience that at first hand by attending a lecture about their life in Nepal, helping to wash them in the river and put them to bed in their stables at night. In this way you really got to bond with both the Elephants and their mahouts. Consequently it was a far more rewarding and immersive experience than that on offer at the Amber Fort in Jaipur. To be fair, our guide did tell us that the Elephants are looked after now much better than they used to be (for example they are apparently limited to a maximum of four rides per day) and I appreciate that the mahouts are only trying to make a living from the lucrative tourist trade………..but even so, I’m glad we didn’t participate.
© Mark Simms Photography (2015)