Look at my earlier blog post on Jaipur for a refresher on the city. Our day started by heading into the old city to an incredible
Jantar Mantar, which wikipedia says: The Jantar Mantar monument of Jaipur, Rajasthan is a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments, built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh, and completed in 1738 CE. It features the world’s largest stone sundial, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This is the Jai Prakesh Yantra, or an upside down Earth divided into two parts so the scientists could walk between the fingers and do calculations.
I’m going to do an awful job explaining what a brilliant scientist Jai Singh was, but this is a site not to be missed. He was smart enough to understand that things don’t work out correctly the first time so you’ll see models of the different instruments that he used to improve the final product. Small then large. Honestly, you have to go to understand how he was able to accurately predict sun position, time, the equator, etc.
Eric confirming that instrument works
There are also astrologic instruments. I’m Scorpio and Eric is Gemini (and also wearing his new Indian cotton shirt).
The City Palace was where the royal family lived (and some still do in parts), but has now been turned into a lovely museum. It was the primary residence of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and is beautiful both for its art and architecture. It houses his court, his outfits and many of the fabulous gifts he received during his reign, including this enormous silver urn which was made by melting many, many silver coins!
And so begins my elephant photos.
Chand Baori is an incredible 1000+ year old stepwell in the village of Abhaneri, about 2 hours from Jaipur. The village is incredibly poor, but houses a destroyed temple and this gorgeous stepwell.
You are looking towards the stage (if people were seated all around on the stairs) but there were also ingenious baths housed there for the royalty. The symmetry. The amazing structure. Unfortunately many of the beautiful sculptures which used to be at the entry have been destroyed by invaders and have not been restored.
This village is so poor, but the people so friendly. I asked the woman hiding behind the post if I could take a picture of her home She graciously said yes and then came over to show us her pottery. We declined to purchase, but she gratefully accepted some cash. The house is for living and working. Their broken bed rests next to the bikes. The pots are used for water and curd. Obviously, no refrigeration.