A visit to the stunning Amer Fort provides an opportunity to ride an elephant up the hill to the main entrance. The elephants are decorated with traditional painted patterns and effortlessly transport visitors up the steep slope to the fort, which takes about 20-30 minutes.
There are approximately 80 elephants, which carry up 900 visitors per day. There is a limit to the total number of journeys each elephant can do in a day and this has been introduced to prevent over working the elephants, and possible animal cruelty.
The Jaigarh Fort, located on one of the peaks of the Aravalli range of hills provides an excellent of view of the Amber Fort down below. This structure and the Amber Fort are considered one complex, as the two are connected by a subterranean passage. This passage was meant as an escape route in times of war to enable the royal family members and others in the Amer Fort to shift to the more formidable Jaigarh Fort.
In Hinduism, it is not mandatory for a person to visit a temple. Since all Hindu homes usually have a small shrine or ‘puja room’ for daily prayers, Hindus generally go to temples only on auspicious occasions or during religious festivals. Hindu temples also do not play a crucial role in marriages and funerals, but it is often the meeting place for religious discourses as well as ‘bhajans’ and ‘kirtans’ (devotional songs and chants).
Temples eventually became important because they served as a sacred meeting place for the community to congregate and revitalize their spiritual energies. Large temples were usually built at picturesque places, especially on river banks, on top of hills, and on the sea shore. Smaller temples or open-air shrines can crop up just about anywhere - by the roadside or even under a tree.