Look what I found in Jaisalmer fort, amidst all things touristy
Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest forts in the world. It is situated in Jaisalmer city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was built in 1156 AD by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from where it derives its name. The fort stands proudly amidst the golden stretches of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill, and has been the scene of many battles. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion color during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby camouflaging the fort in the yellow desert. For this reason, it is also known as the “Golden Fort”.
Jaisalmer fort is the second oldest in Rajasthan. Two hundred and fifty feet tall and reinforced by imposing crenellated sandstone wall 30 feet high; it has 99 bastions, 92 of which were built between 1633 and 1647. Wells within the fort still provide a regular source of water. Even today, you will find that nearly one fourth of the old city’s population resides within the fort. If you are a student of cross-cultural merging, the subtle fusion of Rajput and Islamic architectural styles, visible in this fort, will catch your fancy. Ganesh Pol, Akshya Pol, Suraj Pol and Hawa Pol are a must see.
Conservationists feel that the Jaisalmer Fort requires major interventions by the government authorities to save it from irrevocable damages. Carrying out restoration works in an ancient structure like the Jaisalmer Fort is in itself a challenge, but doing so while addressing the needs of almost 3,000 people who reside inside it and depend upon it for their livelihood poses a complex range of issues.
Udaipur city palace is actually series of palaces packed in the city palace complex. They were built over a long period, from 1559 onwards, by 76 generations of Sisodia Rajputs or Suryavanshi Rajputs. I wanted to present the magnificence and hugeness of the palace to you in black and white. The black and white really accents the structural hugeness and also creates a great contrast against deep blue skies to bring forth the bright limestone structure.
I hope you enjoy the post.
Rajasthan is arguably one of the most colourful states of India. The roots of Rajasthan go back to the local Bhil and Meena tribes; and Gujjars. The monochromatic landscapes and structures made of sandstone provide a fantastic backdrop for photographers, to capture locals in their traditionally colourful and embroidered sari’s with mirror works.
We landed in Udaipur at 5-30 AM. The travel time of 80 Minutes, was very short for us Mumbaites to get used to the nippy December mornings of Rajasthan. Udaipur is the historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar in Rajputana Agency and is famous for its heritage buildings and palaces, including the famed Lake Palace.
This photograph was taken at the gates of The Udaipur City Palace. The official tourist route starts at this huge red wall which inscribes bloodline of the former Mewar Kingdom. For me this is about the fascination and awe that we have for the lives and times of Royalty. This interest transcends boundaries and is present in easterners and westerners alike. Here, the stories of a local guide were consumed with much interest by his American clients. I could not stop myself from capturing this moment.
I will be posting some of the photographs from our 2008 Rajasthan vacation in coming days.