Mar 19, 2013

Picture Palace

One last time for those who commented and for those who refrained from commenting. Because it’s not just the comments I got, but the one’s I didn’t get. I was most gratified to not get any complaints that all you got from Kolkata was a coffee shop, a hotel room and badly stuffed animals. Concerning Rajasthan no one complained that you got rats instead of the famous desert forts. I wasn’t forced to explain why the palaces inside of those forts were too fabulously restored to photograph. 

However, just before I left Rajasthan I explored a palace in Bundi that was everything that the others were not.

Stairwells marked “No Entry” with no one around to keep you out. A palace no one dares to enter without a stick to beat off the monkeys. (I explored the palace with a stick in one hand and a camera in the other ever hopeful of a dramatic encounter I could share with all of you. Alas the monkeys did not attack. You’ll have to make to do with…)

A room where you could hang out with the bats. 

All of these rough edges are magical only if they frame a treasure. Or, in this case, a pleasure room or two.

This, the older part of the palace, was built about 1660. Next, the view you’d have in this room from bed.

A little like the Sistine Chapel ceiling seen through a kaleidoscope? 

From another pleasure room I call the courtyard of mirrors, a scene from the story of Radha and Krishna. Radha was a cowherd maiden until Krishna’s love made her a goddess. Here Krishna and Radha dance as brightly as when first painted in around 1800. 

They shine as brightly as my friend who is getting married today and upon whose recommendation I traveled across the desert to see this palace. Do you see, my friends, how the night is the circle in which they dance, but their stars shine in the day as well?

The courtyard of mirrors.

Even the mirrorless mirrors captivated me.

Thanks, everyone. 

I’ll be back in the USA next week.

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