Tuesday, 29 December 2015


sunset over Lake Pichola

supper at Lake Pichola Hotel over looking the
lake and the City Palace

preparing diya lights to float on the lake

thank you for reading my blog over the year
Happy New Year, wishing for a peaceful and creative 2016



an open door, inside a very small shish mahal, mirror room

the interior walls are completely covered in mirrors, 
coloured glass and paintings

although showing signs of age and neglect 
it was quite beautiful and inspirational


Thursday, 17 December 2015

shabby chic

The Royal Palace at Ghanero is a great place to have a rummage!

last year I took a photo of an old cushion, faded and almost thread bear,
just for the record   - it's 'disappeared'   

then I found four applique cushions

all show signs of wear and tear

fine cotton applique on a faded linen base
with excellent patch

some raggy and grubby bits

faded glory and interesting
additional stitching

wear and tear

typical applique from Rajasthan
in style, stitching and colour

I love the freedom and spontaneity in the cutting and stitching; the little
padded circles and the simple embellishment of the shisha

may be a little applique piece might be stitched over Christmas!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

a diversion to Mandu

Before we left the Indore area and set off to Bundi, to break the journey a little, there was the unexpected chance to visit the ancient site of Mandu in Madhya Pradesh.     An area first settled in the 5th century on a plateau overlooking a deep ravine with the river Narmada flowing in the valley below.

All the hotels were full, however, the Ashram had rooms.   Basic but clean, the extra bonus we discovered early morning.    The temple 'wake up' machine was a bit too close for comfort.   So much clashing and banging!

Obviously an early breakfast before we set out to explore.   Mandu Fort area is huge.   Everywhere there are old buildings, palaces, mosques, caravansari, temples etc.

Some in good condition, others were crumbling, the jungle claiming them.    The fort was occupied variously by Hindu and Muslim rulers.   The Marathas were the last before the fort was abandoned in the 18th century

the pool and water channels on the roof of the royal palace
imagine rose water and petals

interior walls with remains of wall painting

window design

Malik Mughiths mosque (1432)

                                                          remains of wall decoration 
carved stone with inset glazed tiles

Dai-ka-Mahal mosque

tiled decoration around the dome

It had taken us most of the morning walking from site to site, then having a good look round.  It was hot, time for chai and lunch.    In the afternoon a drive around, stopping off at a few more ruins.   You could spend a week here without seeing everything!

a new tractor for Diwali

we were invited to look at the house temple decorated for Diwali

it was very dark inside

decorated with foil flags and fairy lights

and, at the end of the day, my man at Rupamati's pavilion
the place to be at sunset - the highest point of the plateau
with Mandu in the background

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Pushkar to Kempur

Even we tend to forget how big Rajasthan is.   Roughly the size of France!
Our next hop is another four hours but on good fast roads, admittedly with
crazy traffic, lorries, cars, the odd cow crossing the road.  However, there
were two days to relax in a small village at our friend's haveli, Rawla Kempur
also known as The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel.

It's being transformed since our first visit.   Then there were still signs of 
props from the  original film.   Now there is a new restaurant and the huge
hole ready for a swimming pool.   In the evening we watched Marigold
Hotel Part II which seemed very strange indeed!

Nobody about, apart from Nintin the manager plus a cook and the 'boy'.
Mustn't forget the painters, with their wobbly ladders and good intentions.
We discussed future plans and gave suggestions.   Within a year it will
be a fabulous retreat away from the big cities

the courtyard with the marigold symbol still on the wall

our veranda - perfect for writing up my journal, reading and happy hour in the evening

up on the roof - lovely window seats to catch a cooling breeze

on the opposite side the place to watch sunrise with your morning chai

one parrot and three cupolas

a tree just outside the entrance with a huge bee hive
wild bee honey is just delicious

22/11/15 - 25/11/15

Bundi to Pushkar

Bundi in the early morning sun, top middle, the castle - Rudyard Kipling described it as being built by goblins.  

Below, Newar Sager Haveli - with huge rooms and four poster beds.

Breakfast and suppers enjoyed outside in the gardens.

on the road

goats off to find good grazing ground for the day
whilst we stopped at a Dhaba for an early lunch

we chose stuffed paratha, dhal, curd and, of course, chai 
all freshly made so we had to wait while

if you were still hungry there was a fine selection of sweets or crisps

all the fun of the fair, if we were stopping

four more hours to go before we reach Pushkar to see the famous Camel Fair
amazingly we have never 'done' this tourist attraction before, so a first.

We stayed at a small hotel owned by Samshu's friend.   Very basic, but clean and away from the hustle and bustle of town.   So many tourists and sadhus!!!!  In the morning we strolled around the Mela Ground which was much smaller than I thought it would be

there were camels

beautiful dancing horses

nice girls

and cheeky ones

good grief, what a mess they made of the henna painting

my right hand was decorated on the back
that design lasted for well over a week
the one on my palm has only just disappeared

no photos of Pushkar would be complete without a grim looking holy man, a holy cow with an extra leg attached to it's shoulders, and the sadhu who rushed over demanding money
in the back ground the Indian Metro Dragon Train

We have stayed in Pushkar before, just one night, a few years back.   My advice is to avoid sadhus offering marigold flowers for fear of finding yourself by the holy lake doing puja and handing over a wad of rupees.   It's a Holy town, you can have any drug of your choice but no alcohol.  It was going to be our wedding anniversary the next day - my present, a taxi to Jaipur, a good hotel, supper and a bottle of bubbly to celebrate!

20/11 - 21/11 2012