Day 6 of the LIVE RICHER series in India
Have you ever been to a fort? No really, a fort. They usually are all brick and mortar and guns and towers and grey.
Today the ladies of the Nomadness Travel Tribe and I visited Amber Fort in Jaipur, India. I expected the usual fort business, but boy was I wrong. First, there were 2 ways to get to the top of the mountain that the fort was on; by foot, or by elephant. Just guess which way we chose? 🙂
For 450 rupees each (about $7.50), my friend Marie and I shared an elephant and it was awesome. Our “driver" was fun and funny. He was gentle with our elephant and even had his friend take pictures of us…for a small fee of $2.50, naturally :).
Once we reached the top of the mountain, we bought our $3.50 entrance tickets and found ourselves in another world. Amber Fort is the most beautiful, decadent, artistic and bejeweled “fort” I’ve ever seen.
As soon as I walked in, I was blown away by its beauty. Although Amber was built for protection, it was clearly designed with more than war in mind. In the mist of rock and stone, there was art; lots and lots of art. The walls, ceilings, fixtures, windows, doorways, archways…everything was crafted to be both functional and beautiful. See for yourself….
After leaving the fort, the group and I headed downtown Jaipur for some lunch and to go tea & textile shopping.
As we headed back to the hotel, we saw that people had begun to prepare to the Holi Festival…the true reason I came to India. Stay tune for that post.
The LIVE RICHER Lesson:
Although I had an amazing day, there were moments of frustration. When the group arrived at the fort, at first we were told we couldn’t ride the elephants. Luckily, they gave us the option to wait in line and try anyway. After an hour in the hot sun, being harassed by vendors and our lack of sleep due to jetlag, many of us were not in the best of moods, including me.
My elephant partner Marie took me to the side and asked that we take a moment to be still and express our gratefulness. She said she could feel the mood of our group shifting and wanted to get her energy back on track. As soon as she as said that, a light turned on inside of me.
Marie was right. I was in India and had just rode an elephant to one of the most beautiful structures I’d every seen. Nothing was wrong. Nothing. Not the heat, not the aggressive vendors, not the crowd, not anything.
I stood on one of the fort balconies, looked out onto the awe-inspiring view and reset my mood so that my energy realigned itself with gratefulness. Sometimes we all need to reminded just how amazing life is.