Monday, March 30, 2009

India: Jaipur - Royal Palace

The main gate to the Royal Palace is just around the corner from the Hawa Mahal, but only the maharajah may enter through it. We lesser mortals must detour through an alley and along a dusty road to a servants' gate at the back.
By the time we arrived, it was at two in the afternoon and we were feeling hungry, so began by having a snack in the pleasant courtyard cafe, watched by monkeys on the roof above.

Having already seen the impressive palace at Fatehpur Sikri, we were drawn less to the buildings themselves than to some of the details, such as this huge beaten-silver jar (which incidentally gave us an opportunity for an unusual mirror shot.) The Maharajah of Jaipur had two of these jars made to carry holy water from the Ganges for his daily bath during his visit to England for the coronation of Edward VII in 1901.

In a deserted courtyard, we came across four exquisite doors representing the seasons. The monsoon door, by which we entered, had a design of peacocks:

The summer door had lotus flowers:

The winter door (obviously preferred by the pigeons) had roses :

And the spring door, the best of all, was sculpted in to green ripples:

- simple and lovely.

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