Kapoors Year 2: China/India/Japan travel blog

The Entrance Courtyard View Of The City Palace

The Beautiful Cupolas Atop The Palace Walls

The Maharana Worshipped The Sun Along With Other Deities

A Large Tree Grows In A Courtyard At The Top Of The...

Draperies Add Life To The Palace Walls Around The Courtyard

An Airy Open Courtyard Near The Maharana's Apartments

The Gate Into The Royal Apartments - Note The Golden Spikes On...

A Closer Look Reveals The Spikes Are Made Of Glass - Imported...

We Take An Opportunity For A Photo Inside A Royal Balcony

A Look At The Coloured Glass Set Into The Balcony Windows

The Painting Inside A Domed Ceiling

A Kerosene Fan - Something I've Never Encountered Before

A Calm And Relaxing 'Blue' Room

Delicate Painting On The Ceiling Of The Royal Quarters

This Courtyard Is Now Used For Private Parties And Wedding Receptions -...

Another Window With Coloured Glass Inserts

Coloured Marble Inlay Work Similar To That On The Taj Mahal

A Close-Up View Of A Stunning Door Made Completely Of Ivory

The Balcony Where The Maharana Would Sit To Watch Musicians And Dancing...

Elaborate Craftmanship On The Decorative Walls Beside The Maharana's Balcony

Inlaid Glass Forms The Feathers On The Peacock Below The Balcony

I Love The Brilliant Colours On These Hanging Glass Lamps

A Painting Of A Rajasthani Lady On The Gate Through Which We...

It Was Hard To Leave Such A Magnificent Palace But There Are...


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KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

On our first full day in Udaipur we headed straight for the City Palace, Rajasthan's largest, located on the shores of Lake Pichola in the heart of the old city. The fusion of various buildings erected by different maharajas creates a surprisingly uniform façade 244m in length. We entered through the north gate and found ourselves in a large courtyard that is now used as parking for VIPs. There is an arcade with gift shops and a lovely terrace with a café where one can sit and have a cold drink while admiring the architecture of the palace soaring above. We passed on the refreshments in order to get a head start before the tourist buses and school groups arrived.

A large part of the palace has been turned into a museum for visitors to see the beauty of the apartments where royalty lived in the past. Another part of the palace is still used as a residence for the royals and yet another section has been converted into two separate luxury hotels. Near the entrance to the royal apartments is a large symbol of the sun - the emblem of the Royal Family of Mewar. We hired an elderly guide to usher us through the maze of small hallways and staircases and he pointed out some interesting architectural details and historical facts that added to our enjoyment of the lavishly decorated rooms and courtyards.

You are no doubt aware of my life-long love of elephants. I was surprised to learn that the warring Rajputs put hoods, that were made to resemble the head of a baby elephant, on the heads of their horses. This confused the enemy's elephants and they would refuse to attack the horse and its rider. A little tidbit pointed out by our wonderful guide. It's information like this that we enjoy rather than a droning list of date, names and events.

There is a large Crystal Gallery where a collection of crystal chairs, tables, sofas and even beds is on display. The rare crystal was ordered by the Maharajah Sajjan Singh in 1877 but he died before it arrived. It stayed packed in boxes for 110 years before being put on display. The admission charge is unusually high and there is no photography allowed so we decided to give it a pass. There is enough to see in the Palace itself to overwhelm any visitor and it was time to get back to the warren of narrow streets and real life in the city.

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