Tuesday, 9 April 2013

On the way to Balotra

Part One

I like to have a quest, something to seek for, as part of the journey.
I have a book published by Anokhi on the distinctive block printing
produced in Baltora.  A couple of years ago we found our way there
and were unsuccessful, however I knew it was worth investigating
once more.

We left Udaipur for our first destination, Ghanero.    A three hour
drive through the Rajasthan countryside.   It this time of year the 
land and hills look quite barren and dry, apart from small trees and
shrubs.   Once the monsoons arrive the land will burst into colour.

We stopped for chai and bird spotting along the way.    Hawks, eagles,
bejewelled  sunbirds, flowers peckers  and grey hornbills   Monkeys 
sitting along the road to Ranakpur.   A stash of bananas in the car were
very carefully thrown out for them to eat, but we had to quickly close
the windows!  

the Flame of the Forest makes a very dramatic appearence

orange flowers with a dark centre  the trees are
valued by farmers because it
produces excellent 
firewood and can stand drastic lopping

a dye from the flowers was formerly used to make
the coloured water thrown at the Holi festival

red silk-cotton tree

no leaves, these will appear after the flowers finish
each flower is almost as big as my hand
pollenated by birds, they drop to the ground while
still fresh and are eaten by deer

The seeds burst open and release fine white silky
cotton threads    too short to be spun, they are collected
to make kapok, a stuffing  for pillows and cushions

a shepherd gathering his flock
believed me there were hundreds of sheep/goats

and so to The Royal Castle in the village of Ghanerao
over 400 years old it is quite a place to stay
a warren of corridors and staircases so easy to get lost

one small portion of the palace
the floor with the lovely windows was ours for two nights

our sitting room looking over an inner courtyard
inside another sitting room and bedroom
the bathroom was reached by a corridor running
along the windows

great for sneek peeps at the Bollywood movie being filmed below!

We spent a couple of days relaxing and exploring.
In one very small village we found a boy weaving durries using
rags of all textures from silk to towels.   Sounds odd doesn't it?!!
No selective process at all and it works.   My goodness he was
a fast weaver, a bit of a job to get a good picture.
Of course we had to purchase a couple of small mats!


Radka said...

I like the place you stayed in.
The colour combination is an inspiration :-)

Radka said...

Oh, and I also like the mats, I would have to buy some too.