Posts tagged ‘Rajasthan’

Amber Fort Elephants

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)

Village Life: Hindu Temples

Hinduism is a wonderful religion, full of character and colour………but unless you’re born and bred into that culture, to the uninitiated, it is also pretty hard to grasp. There are literally thousands of Gods worshipped by Hindus… name it and their will be a God for it. The downside of this is that even the smallest of villages is likely to have half a dozen shrines and temples (not to mention each and every house, workplace, public building and dashboard in virtually every form of transport in the country……..regardless of whether you are a practicing Hindu or not it seemed to me). As you can see from the shots below, Ramathra is no exception:

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Village Life: Harvest Time

A few more shots from Ramathra depicting the villagers hard at work in the fields bringing in the millet harvest. I vividly remember this day……it was hot and humid and out in the fields there was no shade. Not the sort of day for hard physical labour……..but then I’m a slightly overweight, unfit, pampered westerner who doesn’t have a village full of hungry mouths to feed: 

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Bharatpur Junction

To cover the bulk of the journey from Fatehpur Sikri to Ranthambhore National Park, we went by train from Bharatpur Junction. Although the classic sight of people sitting on top of the rail carriages and hanging off the sides, is largely a thing of the past, it’s still fair to say that India’s idea of passenger health and safety is a little different to our own: 

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

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