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.
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.
In the middle of Rajasthan’s capital, Jaipur, is Hawa Mahal, Palace of the Wind. 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.
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.
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.
Have you been in Rajasthan? Interested in India?
Hill Forts of Rajasthan is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Furthermore, the City of Jaipur was added to the list in July 2019.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.
Love the architecture of the Hawa Mahal and the Ganesh Pol.
I do, too 🙂
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.
Great disparities of wealth, sadly.
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.
The scanned prints give this post a retro feel … makes India feel more epic than it already is!
Something to be said for digging out those old photos 🙂
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!
Thanks, Dave. Always glad to inspire.
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.
Very good at making the best of what they have, Indians are.
Incredible architecture! Love that you were invited to join them and took some great pictures of the people you met! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for stopping by.
I liked the way you explored Rajasthan. It is undoubtedly the most colourful state of India.
Loved Rajasthan 🙂