Jaipur

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Hawl Mahal The Palace of the Winds


 


Behind the facade

Room with a view
 
Built in 1799 the palace is 5 storeys high, the top three being only one room deep.  It's pyramidal shape resembles the crown of Lord Krishna to whom it is dedicated.  It quickly became the favoured summer retreat of the royal household.  The multi windowed facade bringing cooling breezes into the rooms and courtyard.  There are only ramps between the upper floors to facilitate the passage of palanquins.  The queens and princesses encumbered with heavy saris and jewelry were not expected to climb stairs in the sweltering heat of summer.   Nor are we, nobody offered to carry us but walking the ramps is preferable to stairs

Window embrasure behind the pink facade, from where the purdahed ladies of the household could observe the activity on the street below


 

Happy to share the ancient art of Mehndi, painting on the skin with henna paste. 

It is usually done on the palms and feet where the skin contains higher levels of keratin ensuring a good dark colour.  Once applied it will last from two weeks to two months depending on the quality and type of henna used.

It is usually done for special occasions such as weddings.  Sometimes grooms also get their feet painted


 
Two young women we met introduced us to  sweet paan, a palate cleanser with a sweet filling of coconut, fruit preserves, spices, maraschino cherry, wrapped in betel pepper leaf.   I can't say I enjoyed it much but it could have been worse it could have been  the aphrodisiac paan, a.k.a. the 'Bed Breaker'

 
According to our driver this is the most famous Samosa stand in the city. This being India the owner could well be his uncle but they were very good.  We also paid several visits to the "Pink Cities Famous Old Lassiwala" opposite the Palace of the Winds, carrying away delicious yoghurt in tapered clay pots which kept it cool
Megh Niwas Hotel.
Our refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Owned and operated by Colonel and Mrs. Singh with whom we would stay in Pushkar

 
The City Palace
A mixture of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. From the time of Jai Singh to early last century.    I only had 30 minutes to see what I could and decided on the royal costume collection, which was a good choice.  The Maharaja still maintains a home here and those areas are off limits

 
Palace guards all have a distinctively different way of tying their turbans. 
"Turbans enjoy an important place in the life of Rajasthani's. 

Worn through the ages by royalty and peasantry alike the turban was a snap shot of the wearer.  It could tell the caste he belonged to, his religion and where he came from.  There are innumerable styles of wearing a turban, each displaying the wearer's taste and skill"

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