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The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Reflecting the Past in the Present

reflection, window, palace window, rajasthan, jodhpur

“We always project into the future or reflect in the past, but we are so little in the present.”  

~ Marina Abramovic

Modern glass window reflecting the old palace windows in Meherangarh Fort in Jodhpur.

reflection, window, palace window, rajasthan, jodhpur

Published in response to The Daily Pose Photo Challenge: Reflecting

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The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Ambience

udaipur city palace, interior, queen's room

This week’s theme “ambience” instantly reminded me of the elegant interior of the City Palace, Udaipur that creates a warm, inviting ambience. I thought I should dedicate these pictures to this week’s photo challenge.

interior, city palace, udaipur, royal, rajasthan

interior, royal, rajasthan, ambience, city palace, udaipur

Published in response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Ambience.

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The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Look Up

clock tower, Jaipur, rajasthan, architecture

“Keep looking up! I learn from the past, dream about the future and look up.” 

~ Rachel Boston

Jaipur City Palace is an amazing place. The moment I entered the palace premises I was blown away by the imposing pink sandstone architecture and the intricate carvings on the walls and columns. After some time I got busy in exploring the palace and taking photographs.

I was walking around the courtyard, looking and admiring the architectural beauty. Suddenly, a fluttering sound made me look up to the sky. A flock of pigeons were flying above. And that’s when I noticed the beautiful Clock Tower of Jaipur.

clock tower jaipur, jaipur city palace

Published in response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Look Up.

P.S: This is my first entry for this week’s challenge. Here is the second post on Look Up.

Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace – the brightest gems of Imperial Jodhpur

Jodhpur, Mehrangarh fort, blue city, Rajasthan

Jodhpur was the last stop in our journey through Rajasthan as per our  itinerary – Jaipur – Pushkar (via Ajmer Sharif Dargah) – Udaipur (via Chittorgarh) – Mount Abu (via Haldighati) – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur.

Jodhpur, blue city, rajasthan

We had only one and a half day to explore the place that has so much to offer to its visitors. Therefore, we targeted two must-see attractions of Jodhpur – Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhavan Palace. Jodhpur is, perhaps, the best place to witness the royal heritage of Rajputana. While the palaces in Mehrangarh Fort and its in-house museum tell you about the grandeur and glory of the royal Rajputana in the middle ages, Umaid Bhavan Palace presents the kingly aura and a tradition of luxury living that Jodhpur still carries on in modern times.

Mehrangarh Fort

Our first stop was Mehrangarh Fort. Nestled on a hilltop outside the town the fort overlooks the “blue city” Jodhpur and the rugged landscape of rural Rajasthan. The fort bears the mark of architectural elegance of medieval India. Its palaces, windows, pillars, corridors, and halls, everything has a story to tell.

mehrangarh fort, jodhpur, rajasthan

mehrangarh fort, jodhpur, blue city, rajasthan

I listened to the little facts and anecdotes about the royal Rajput lifestyle and culture that our guide shared with us while exploring the fort and its heritage museum.

meeting room, Meherangarh fort, jodhpur, Rajasthan

The museum exhibits the weapons, armours and accessories used in battle at that time. Fine robes, jewellery, decorative items, and golden palanquins used in carrying kings and queens, are also on display in the museum. I came to know that straight swords belonged to the Hindu Rajput warriors while Muslim fighters used curved swords in battle.

mehrangarh fort, jodhpur, rajasthan

While we were passing by Maharaja Takat Singh’s mahal, a colourful chamber decorated with stained glass and golden embellishments on pillars and walls, our guide told us an interesting story about the king and his private life, which I would like to share here.

The king, Takat Singh had thirty wives living with him in the palace. He used to meet four of his queens at a time at the chamber. The queens played ‘pasha’ and the one who beat others in the game would get the chance to spend time with the king the next day. I was really amazed by the story – how clever this man was to manage thirty wives in one life! 😉   😀

On the contrary, the life of queens and princesses in the palace where sunshine barely entered, were not so colourful. I heard that the daily activities and entertainment of women in royal families were mostly restricted within the palace and areas meant for them.

Mehrangarh fort, jodhpur, rajasthan, architecture

Mehrangarh fort, jodhpur, rajasthan, architecture

door, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan,

balcony, mehrangarh fort, jodhpur, rajasthan, stone lattice work

Umaid Bhawan Palace

Our next destination was Umaid Bhawan Palace. The palace, built in 1943 and currently the “world’s largest private residence,” is a wonderful  instance of neoclassical architecture with excellent blending of eastern and western styles.

umaid bhawan palace, jodhpur

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The iconic architecture, named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, is partially open for visitors. Compared to Mehrangarh Fort palace and other old palaces in Rajasthan, Umaid Bhawan Palace is more spacious, airy and glamorous with contemporary luxury decor.

umaid bhawan palace, jodhpur

umaid bhawan palace, jodhpur

A small portion of the palace houses a museum where the entire family line of Maharaja Umaid Singh is depicted with portraits of the royal family members. It also displays an exclusive collection of precious artefacts, crockery, porcelain vases, and expensive clocks owned by the royal family. The vivid frescos depict the events of royal coronations.

murals, umaid bhawan palace, jodhpur

porcelain vase, umaid bhawan palace museum, jodhpur

artefacts, umaid bhawan palace museum, jodhpur

Check out my post – The Colours of Rajasthan for more on Rajasthan travel. 

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Half and Half make one

fateh sagar lake, udaipur, lake, sky, blue

“Knowledge is only one half. Faith is the other.”

~ Novalis

Udaipur city and the palace. The wall divides the frame in two halves – one is the courtyard of Udaipur City Palace cast in the shadow of the palace in the afternoon and the other half is the city, shining bright in the golden light. It can also be interpreted differently – one half of the picture belongs to the imperial and the other half is for the commons. But together they formed a kingdom around five hundred years ago. Most importantly, one half denotes present and the other belongs to the past – a bygone era of valor, success and grandeur.

udaipur city and palace

Pushkar in the twilight. The following picture is one of my favorites, because it exudes the essence of the place. It was a beautiful evening by the holy lake. The reflection of the temples and edifices in the stagnant water of the lake made the vista picture perfect.

pushkar-1

It was a warm, sunny morning in Udaipur. We were boating the calm waters of Fateh Sagar Lake. The sky was blue and the sprawling water reflected the shade of the sky so beautifully that it was difficult to understand where the sky ended and the water began until I saw the range of hills in the horizon which split the blue frame in two halves.

Udaisagar lake

Published in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half

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“Happiness often sneaks in through a door…”

door, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan,

There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.

Aldous Huxley

Doors are like the ‘face’ of a house. They speak a lot about your home. The door gives an impression of the taste of the homeowner. Sometimes the colors, carvings and architectural design of a doorway can represent the essence of a culture or tradition of that particular region where you see it. These typical Rajasthani doorways in Mehrangarh Fort speaks of the grandeur and extravaganza of aristocratic Rajput lifestyle of medieval era. I love the arches and intricate carvings on this door. What about you?

Doorway, arches, Rajasthan, Mehrangarh fort, Jodhpur

door, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan,

Published in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Door.

Check out my second entry to the challenge here.

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

Udaipur, Udaipur city, Chittorgarh, fort, Rajasthan

Defaced ruins of architecture and statuary, like the wrinkles of decrepitude of a once beautiful woman, only make one regret that one did not see them when they were enchanting.

~ Horace Walpole

The view of Udaipur City through the broken walls of Chittorgarh Fortone of the famous Hill Forts in Rajasthan and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Udaipur, Udaipur city, Chittorgarh, fort,  Rajasthan

Published in response to Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken.