Finally a decent internet connection to allow me to post some photos! Read the related post here.
Birla Temple – really stunning architecture, hand carved marble, clearly opulent but very simple all the same. Very spiritual place, I spent some time there meditating.
Albert Museum – taken from the road outside to give you an indication of it’s size and grandeur.
Arched hallway with a wood carved screen at the end to catch the breezes.
Examples of the decorative walls, some hand painted and others where the marble is inlaid with semi-precious stones, just like the Taj Mahal
Breezy courtyard, complete with Mughal-style arches
On arrival in Canada 18 years ago, I took up stained glass and was not too bad at it! Then work got busy and I have not done it for years, but still love the look of it. This piece at the Albert Museum was stunning, the vibrancy of the old thick hand-blown glass has stood the test of time.
Hand carved wooden screen where the guards sit to keep cool, and can also sneak a peak outside and beautiful ladies in sarees walking by 🙂
One of nine entrance gates to old city of Jaipur. Magnificent!
Two stately looking staff members to greet visitors to the City Palace compound.
Entrance gate to the City Palace
The marble-floored audience hall of the Maharajas called the Diwan-I-Khas. The structure is beautifully decorated and is of course wall-less to catch those all important breezes!
Another beautiful hallway with beautiful light, and domed arches.
One of the four small gates leading into the Pitam Niwas Chowk. This one is decorated with peacocks representing Fall and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Intricate mosaic work, it must have taken forever to complete, and then multiply that by all the work in the City Palace.
Across the road from the City Palace, is the Jantar Mantar – believed to be one of the finest observatories in the world. I took some photos but they do not do it justice. It was also exceedingly hot there as there was no shady trees to skip to from instrument to instrument … which makes sense given each instrument needs full light to do it’s thing.
Krantivrtta description – the next photo depicts the instrument
Krantivrtta instrument. I know it is a measuring instrument but I like the geometric lines and consider it an art installation!
Laghu Samrat Yantra description – next photo is the instrument itself
Laghu Samrat Yantra – the instrument itself which is rather large with it’s stairway to heaven whose shadow falls on the two semi-circles which allows one to tell local time (accuracy to 20 seconds).
Virhat Samrat Yantra – the description
Virhat Samrat Yantra instrument itself. This was by far the largest instrument in the compound and it again measures local time to an accuracy of 2 seconds. I loved the architectural lines of this piece which is why I am showing you the photo.
This is the outside of the Hawa Mahal. Such a pity it was closed, a photo peeking through one of those carved screens of the city below would have been great.
View of the Amber Fort from the narrow road on the opposite side of the river – pretty expansive building that dominates the hillside. It would intimidate me from attacking it.
The 4 square kms the fort covers, is completely walled in but what looked like to me, a wall similar to that of the Great Wall of China.
This is the main entrance into the royal quarters – called Ganesh Pol – you guessed it, named after Lord Ganesh, remover of obstacles. The screens above the entrance allowed the royal ladies to keep an eye on the goings of their minions.
After climbing up the many steps to the courtyard housing Ganesh Pol, there was a lookout (covered and wall-less to catch those oh so welcome breezes!) and a sight to behold below. Maota Lake & Gardens … I find I am starved of nature these days so anything green and luscious is a very welcome sight!
You’ll note the trend – I just love these glass-less windows with screen covers to let the breeze flow. So many different shapes and sizes ….
Detail of the Mirror Palace inside the royal quarters, a HUGE amount of work as the mosaic pieces are so small, I can hardly imagine the number of people who worked on this building alone, and how long it took them to complete. My photos do not do it justice.
There is ongoing repair work at Amer Fort and this lady was happy for me to take her photo while she mixed the signature red clay to repair one of the walls.
The final set of pictures is in relation to the Anokhi Museum, I spent a fantastic few hours there – I definitely recommend it for anyone with an interest in artisanal crafts.
The renovated haveli that now houses the Anokhi Museum, located not far from the Amer Fort.
Some examples of hand blocking on locally dyed fabrics
Another glass-less screened window – a simple design this time
The intricate design of the block currently being carved by the master block carver at Anokhi Museum. You can see the design has been marked out from over-laying a paper drawing of the design, by piercing small holes into the word. Using a variety of tools, he then begins to carve the design on the block.
This is a rather simple flower design that he was happy to show me how he would carve it. Note the design has already been marked out on the wood.
This master carver was taught by his father at the age of 14 years old, and continues to use the manual tools with which his father and grandfather used before him.
He uses his feet to steady the block of wood to saw off the small flower. Then planes and sandpapers it for the final product.
After such precision, I could not even focus my camera to show you the hand carved printing block that he made in under 10 mins.
A master print blocker had set up a demonstration table and was happy to see me, I don’t think the museum was over-run with visitors that day. He is shown here using a block to create a border for the demo piece.
Because there were no sharp tools around, it was considered safe to allow the visitor (that’s me) to try my hand at it. I did not do too badly, I even got a few thumbs up from him, but admittedly also got a few ‘hmmphs’ too.
The end product, which he gave me. I may have to frame them lol.
This man told me he was trained by a neighbour at the age of 12 in the art of block printing. He uses both chemical and natural dyes but his preference is the natural dyes, but the chemical dyes are cheaper to produce.
Lassiwala was the popular place to go for a lassi in Jaipur – it always returns to food with me, doesn’t it??
The original Lassiwala! The three other stores right next door are not the real thing apparently.
Making up the lassis
The delicious salted lassi I had in the clay pot – delish!