Colours of Rajasthan, Diwali and hill forts

In the late 90s I spent quite a bit of time in India, but haven’t been back since. I’ve been tempted to return lately. The mountainous north, Kashmir and Ladakh, hold the greatest draw. I’d love to stay on a house boat on Lake Dal in Srinigar. Now to convince the girls to come along… (Alex, my oldest, has already been. When she was 16, she visited Ladakh on a high school trip, trekking through Markha Valley and up to Kong Muru in the Karakoram Mountains.)

But I’d also like to return to fascinating Rajasthan for a closer look. So I’ve been going through photos from Jaipur and thought I’d share a few. The photos are scanned from prints, so the quality is not great, but hopefully you’ll get an idea of what a vibrant, colourful place India’s largest state is, in every sense of the word. And what better way to begin than with celebrating Diwali.

The people

Wandering around Jaipur, my friend Ellen and I came across a colony where Diwali celebrations were in full swing. We, though complete strangers, were invited in to join.

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The palaces

In the middle of Rajasthan’s capital, Jaipur, is Hawa Mahal, Palace of the Wind. You’ve seen it before here on Sophie’s World, as a Silent Sunday photo. Sorry for the repeat, but this vivid screen wall is so striking, like a bright pink pyramid. Writing about the colours of Rajasthan, well, I simply couldn’t leave it out.

The colours of Rajasthan

Amer Fort (also known as Amber Fort) lies about 11 kilometres outside Jaipur and was a popular attraction when we were there in 1996. Even more so now, I’m sure, after it was added to UNESCO’s prestigious list in 2013 (along with 5 other Rajasthani hill forts) of properties worthy of special protection for the future. It certainly shows the power of the Rajputs.

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Ganesh Pol (gate), named after the elephant god Lord Ganesh, who takes away all ones troubles.

But I was even more enthralled by the Jal Mahal water palace. In the fading daylight, it looked right out of 1001 Nights.

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Have you been in Rajasthan? Interested in India?

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Hill Forts of Rajasthan is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.

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16 Responses to “Colours of Rajasthan, Diwali and hill forts”

  1. Matt 21 November 2014 0542 #

    Love the architecture of the Hawa Mahal and the Ganesh Pol.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 December 2014 0713 #

      I do, too 🙂

  2. Gil 21 November 2014 0647 #

    I never realized that there was so much wealth there. All we here about in the USA is how poor people are. Looks like things are pretty good for some Indians.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 December 2014 0714 #

      Great disparities of wealth, sadly.

  3. Mary {The World Is A Book} 21 November 2014 0829 #

    I can certainly understand why you’d want to go back to this magical place. It’s beautiful! Those palaces are stunning. These pictures came out pretty well for being scanned. I hope you get to return to India soon, Sophie.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 December 2014 0715 #

      Thanks, Mary.

  4. Noah 22 November 2014 0500 #

    The scanned prints give this post a retro feel … makes India feel more epic than it already is!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 December 2014 0716 #

      Something to be said for digging out those old photos 🙂

  5. Dave Briggs 22 November 2014 1550 #

    Great to read your article. I am also considering returning to India for a second time, my first trip being over ten years ago now. Your photos have really brought to life some of the amazing architecture there, and are helping to persuade me I need to book a flight!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 December 2014 0716 #

      Thanks, Dave. Always glad to inspire.

  6. Mette 23 November 2014 1413 #

    We were in Rajasthan and Jaipur five years ago, and it was just as wild and wonderful as you describe. I really admire the Indians’ drive to add colour and spice even to extreme poverty.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 December 2014 0717 #

      Very good at making the best of what they have, Indians are.

  7. Mary @ Green Global Travel 30 November 2014 0011 #

    Incredible architecture! Love that you were invited to join them and took some great pictures of the people you met! Thanks for sharing!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 17 December 2014 0717 #

      Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Anirudh Singh 25 December 2015 1036 #

    I liked the way you explored Rajasthan. It is undoubtedly the most colourful state of India.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 January 2016 1921 #

      Loved Rajasthan 🙂

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