ROYAL RED ARCHWAYS

Raipur Village in Pali District , Rajasthan is a small intriguing Village on way to becoming a tiny Town as it expands and merges with village Haripur (home to the fabulous Lakshman Sagar) . Raipur is located 90 kms from Ajmer, off a fabulous Highway .

Rajasthan is a lovely state which truly reflects the Heritage of a Royal Past.

The pictures that follow were taken in  Raipur Fort Palace now located in the midst of the Raipur Village where the erstwhile Ruling Family resides todate.

Red is the Hallmark  of this Royal Palace from where ,Once Upon a Time, Regal Diktats were issued and executed.

The first glimpse of the Regally Red Archways to unfold  from the bustling village street of Raipur.

archway to the royal home
Ancient Archways reveal the First Gate to the Raipur Palace Fort

The Main Entrance from the alleys of the Town-Village as it exists to date.

main gate
Primary Gate to the Fort Palace

The Main Gate which leads to the courtyard and the numerous Palaces within the Raipur Fort complex.

to the main courtyard
Lord Ganesha adorns the beautifully Carved Doorway

 

You feel you have gone back in time, 400 years ago as you step into the main courtyard that leads to the various Palaces .

The Palace which is immediately behind the Royal Marble Throne.

red arches.JPG
The beautiful Arches unique to Rajasthan

This was a peak into one of the relatively unknown  Royal Homes of Rajputana.

AMAZING WOMEN

Behold the Amazing Turquoise Attire of these Women of Ladakh.

These Amazing Ladies in  Traditional Dresses were Photographed during the Winter Hemis Festival at Shrey, Ladakh in February.

rear view
Absolutely Gorgeous Rear View of The Turquoise Headgear

The Ladies are carrying Gifts for His Holiness , the Spiritual Head of The Hemis Monastery in Ladakh.

the face
Happy adorning the Magnificent Headgear

A fascinating expression of faith can be witnessed during the Winter Hemis Festival when devotees line up in hundreds to Offer Gifts to their Spiritual Leader His Holiness and be blessed by him.

gifts for his holiness
Beautiful and Happy Faces

Is it a coincidence that today also happens to be Women’s Day ( 8th of March 2016) ?

A SEA OF MAROON

In the first blog on Leh, Ladakh titled CHARMING LEH AIRPORT, I had mentioned certain signs which forecast what was to be unveiled in the hours and days to follow.

The posts SIGNS OF BUDDHA , EMPTINESS and FROZEN unraveled Three such Symbols, this post is the fourth in the series.

On reaching the Naropa Temple ( Famous for the Hemis Festival or Kumbh of the Himalayas) and the Rancho School ( made famous by the Bollywood movie 3 Idiots) at Shrey, Ladakh   I was greeted with a SEA of MAROON.

Buddhist Devotees  draped in shades of Maroon had reached Shrey in thousands to celebrate the Birthday of His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa.

welcome
All paths led to His Holiness

An Awesome and Stunning  Gate crowned by two Dragons around the Buddhist Circle of Dharma . Unfortunately my illiteracy prevents me from reading the script on the Golden Gate.

dragon gateway
A Beautiful Gate at the Entry to the  Naropa Temple Complex

The Grey Wall is the Boundary between the Naropa Temple and the famous Rancho School. Both of which are managed by the Hemis Monastery which in turn is headed by the Spiritual Leader His Holiness of Drukpa Lineage.

The Himalayas look upon the Celebrations taking place in the valley below. The Birthday Celebrations coincide with the Winter Festival held at the Hemis Monastery.

happy birthday

The Dragon Flag is the Symbol of the Hemis Monastery

Devotion and Faith help thousands of Monks and Devotees brave the Icy Chill of Winters at Ladakh as they sit in the open , under the gaze of the snow capped Himalayas, listening to their Spiritual Leader His Holiness the G. Drukpa .

maroon and himalayas
The Barren landscape is awash in a Sea of Maroon

Despite an extremely hard and tough life all you see in Ladakh are Happy and Cheerful Faces.

Was the Secret of Happiness their faith in Tibetan Buddhism  or the Colour Maroon they adorned , or both ?

maroon all over

If you recall the initial picture in the CHARMING LEH AIRPORT showcases  cheerful Buddhist Monks in Robes of Maroon greeting us.

Who says you cannot see the Future ? Travel with Mukul and Behold the Faithful.

EMPTINESS

Ladakh has a unique barren and serene Landscape.

The region is classified as an High Altitude Desert or a Cold Desert.

The vast barren Vista compels you to look inwards.

Buddhism is a Way of Life in Ladakh and seems to blend in beautifully with the Barren, Simple and Tranquil surroundings.

gateway to buddha
Gateway to Buddha

A drive from Leh to Shrey ( a village which is home to Rancho School made famous by the Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots)  reveals the vast tracts of EMPTINESS.

the vast emptiness
To the Himalayas over tracts of NOTHINGNESS

There are kilometers of Land with nothing but Rocks and Barren Hills, a Land stripped Bare. An unusual but Divine Vista to behold.

An Emptiness that peers into your Soul within.

Flat roofed homes indicate that precipitation( rainfall) is rare or totally absent.

cold desert
Rocks strewn all over

A tiny tot of a  Buddhist temple breaks the monotony of the Brown Barren Himalayas laid bare by the powerful  Rays of the Sun.

Sunrays are intense in the high altitude  Air of Ladakh and quickly melt the Snow on the Hills exposed to the Sun.

barren hill and a small temple
Snow survives only in the Shadows

Temples and Monasteries are built on Hills and Hillocks and can be seen from miles all around.

The Pagoda style is Strangely seen only on Temples and not on Homes which are largely flat roofed.

I think I surprised the cyclist while taking this picture.

Temple on hill
A Temple in Ladhakh reminds me of a Lighthouse

Do read the earlier Blogs CHARMING LEH AIRPORT, SIGNS OF BUDDHA and FROZEN to connect to this absolutely mesmerizing region of India.

Stay on Board as we reach the now famous  RANCHO School to celebrate the Birthday of HIS HOLINESS. You will be swamped in a Sea of Maroon.

Watch out for the next post.

LEH TEASER

Ladhakh is a unique region within the Northern most state of Jammu & Kashmir, India.

Leh is the capital of Ladakh and located at an altitude of 11480 feet ( 3500m)  in the lap of the lofty Snow Clad Himalayas.

This was my first trip to the region and was I excited.

A short one hour  flight connects Leh  to New Delhi .

Delhi T3 Airport
 0530 hrs at New Delhi Airport

Each region of India is wonderfully diverse and unique. Ladhakh is no exception and the change in attire and faces is apparent at  New Delhi Airport itself.

changing dress
The change in faces and clothes are apparent at the Boarding Gate itself

The Pilot announced the temperature was minus 10 degrees Centigrade, however I was overwhelmed by the snow covered Himalayas.

first look through the window
First Awesome look

Do observe  the Mountains in the foreground have no Snow and are absolutely barren.

The region of Ladhakh is known as a COLD DESERT.

 

snow peaks
Breathtaking view

Do await  more blogs here as well as at http://www.enchantedforests.wordpress.com.

This is as the Title says but a TEASER.

THE EYE

The metamorphosis of India was thoroughly apparent at the recently concluded India Design 2016 Fair held at NSIC, Okhla, New Delhi.

Here are some glimpses.

the india design fair
Innovative Outdoor Furniture at the Entrance

Installations in Metal caught my EYE.

The Gigantic metal Ball was probably filled with Inert Gases like Helium as it was afloat and kept chained to the Ground.Symbolic?

Metal and Glass have transformed not only architecture but interiors as well.

metallic trees and balls
Similar to the leafless tree in the background?

Ivy Concepts showcased Bling and influences of the Far East in unveiling their New Home Collections.

Indian Homes are changing Fast.

ivy cocepts
Bling enters Homes

The Traditional art of Indian embroidery “Zardozi” is  kept alive though the designs are now no longer as in the past.

The young boy is embroidering an OWL using Golden sequins as an interested passerby captures him on her Iphone.

owl in progress
A live  demonstration of embroidery skills at THE INDIA DESIGN fair  

The featured image caught my EYE as it reminded me of THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Am sure die hard fans will recognize the similarity as well. Looking forward to some comments.

ANONYMOUS

The India Art Fair is annually held in January at the NSIC grounds, Okhla  in New Delhi.

It was an amazing opportunity to see some fabulous works of Art brought together under one Roof.

The threads that bind the four works of art selected by me for this blog are:

  1. The Artists of all the paintings are Anonymous.
  2. They are all almost 200 years old dating to the 19th Century.
  3. All of them are expressions of Faith and reveal tales from Hindu Mythology.

The Colourful and detailed featured Image of Maa Durga ending the terror of the Rakshas ( Demon) Mahishasur portrays so many symbols and tales that it would take me years to understand and pen them down.

The large almond shaped  eyes are a signature of the artists of Bengal and Maa Durga is portrayed as such to date.

The painting below beautifully illustrates Lord Shiva with his wife Parvati  seated on their vehicle the Bull, Nandi. Mount Kailash in the the Himalayas is his fabled abode which is depicted in the picture below.

lord shiva and maa parvati
Lord Shiva with his consort Goddess Parvati

An unusual potrayal of  Goddess Parvati depicted as Mother with her younger son Lord Ganesha.

The crown in the painting seems to be an influence from the Mughal Period  and is repeated in all the pictures above as well.

Maa Durga is an incarnation of Goddess Paravati who assumes a Fierce and Powerful form armed with various weapons to end the Evil of the Demon Mahishasura.

Symbolism and  Philosophy  is deeply entrenched in all the depictions and portrayals in the paintings.

Maa and Ganeshji
Mother and Child

The painting of the Goddess Saraswati below  is distinctively different from those above.

The headgear and attire are more in tune with depictions from Southern India. The style was made extremely popular by the famous artist Raja Ravi Verma from Travancore ( now in modern day Kerala).

The attention to detail is simply mind blowing as the Jewellery is visible through the extremely fine and translucent Saree that drapes the Goddess of Wisdom.

The Veena ( musical instrument in her hands) , the string of White Pearls and the Vedas  ( Holy Books ) symbolize the Goddess of Fine Arts and Knowledge.

 

Maa Saraswati
The Goddess of Knowledge , Maa Saraswati

All the paintings show the fascinating minds of the Anonymous Artists who have unfortunately been lost in the Mists of Time.

BIRDS VIEW

The beautiful and majestic Nazarbagh is nestled in the midst of Glorious fields of Gold and Silver.( do check out THE GOLDEN FIELDS and WHITE FIELDS at http://www.enchantedforests.wordpress.com)

A marvelous box of  treasure laden with Natural Beauty would describe Nazarbagh perfectly.

This Natural abundance is truly  experienced through the eyes of Birds. ( do read the previous blog titled FOR YOUR EYES ONLY)

Do observe the floral motifs and the trellis on the Red Sandstone Fence the Sparrow has posted itself upon. The Tree in the background gives it the surreal wings of a Peacock.

sparrow speaks
House Sparrow on the Floral Fence of the Terrace

Can you spot the little bird atop the turret of the Chattri ( canopy)  which overlooks the green horizons ?

birds view
The Highest Post

A tinge of red marks the Bougainvillea growing along the boundaries of Nazarbagh.

A Rock Pigeon takes shelter from the  Eyes of Predators that  rule the skies.

the pigeon on  the ramparts
Bird’s View

The marvelous polished marble floors of the Palace double up as a mirror for the Pigeon to gaze at it’s self.

the pigeons nazar
Narcissistic Reflections

 

Bask in the Glory of Nature at Nazarbagh next time you are in vicinity of Jaipur, Rajasthan.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Treat yourselves to this secretive getaway  NAZAR BAGH near Jaipur.

A view of Nature FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.

The write up will be updated in a while. All Good things take time, so hold your breath as I will unveil this treasure in the midst of Rajasthan, India.

Nazarbagh is located in the pristine rural countryside of Rajasthan about 5.5 kms  off the Jaipur-Ajmer Highway at Jaisinghpura.

It is strongly recommended to walk the  the last mile if you wish to be soaked in the Enchanting countryside that encompasses this discretely located Palace.

The picture below reveals the unique  lansdscape of the region with interesting Shrubs and biodiversity unique to the arid lands of Rajasthan.

glimpse of nazarbagh
Through the eyes of Sheep and Goats

Luxurious and plush Nazarbagh is unveiled  through Trees and the bounty of Nature that surround this Palace.

A lovely Lily ( commonly and incorrectly refered to as  Lotus)  Pond surrounded by Flower beds ( do see the blog titled ICE DAISY at http://www.enchantedforests.wordpress.com and Trees far in the Horizon soothe your eyes.

view from the porch

A view through graceful arches at the Porch

For me Nature leaves signs to show if an area ,home or Palace is conducive to human well being.

If Birds , bees and butterflies inhabit a region it indicates that all is in harmony with Nature. Nazarbagh gets a big approval as it is located in the lap of Nature.

See the picture below which reveals a Bird’s Nest seen from the amazing marbled Verandahs of the Palace.

trees throught the archways

A Birds Nest

The lovely Rooftops with the typical signature  Chatris ( literal translation is an Umbrella) reveal two contrasting countrysides.

One is Green till as far as the Nazar ( eyes) goes and showcases Golden Fields ( do read the blog at http://www.enchantedforests.worpress.com) and Carpets of White Flowers ( Calendulas)

 

fields on the left
Fields of Flowers and a Solitary Leafless Kejri Tree

As you shift your Glance  you will be fascinated by an arid and parched land along with an ancient River Bed which would have been the Original Landscape prior to the Introduction of Water through modern Irrigation methods.

The Flora and Fauna in both both the Green and Brown Lands would be interesting to compare and detail.

I did hear the  tell tale bird calls of the Partridges ( English), Teetar ( Hindi)  or Grey francolins ( Scientific Name) at Nazarbagh.

a river dried up
An ancient river bed and arid brown lands

As we descend from the Rooftops adorned by Chattris and walk around the Sprawling Green Periphery of the Palace am spellbound by the Avenue of  Neem  ( Scientific Name Azadirachta Indica) trees.

Neem is an endemic tree native to India which works as a natural Bio filter of Air as well besides having numerous Germicide properties.

neem lined avenues
Neem Lined Avenues

Nazarbagh Palace was a wonderful date with Nature , away  from the crowds that thronged the Jaipur Literature Festival at Jaipur.