By Somali K Chakrabarti Continued from Jaipur: My first impressions. Jantar Mantar “Jantar Mantar” meaning “instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens” is situated right opposite the City Palace in Jaipur. Coming out of the gates of City Palace, I stopped at the ticket window to purchase the entry tickets to the observatory. As I entered I found that the observatory complex is a large one, and has a collection of several (19 in all) architectural astronomical instruments that had been constructed in the early 18th century, with stone, marble and bronze. These devices were used to measure time and space, and for observing the astronomical positions of planets and stars. One of the instruments was the world’s biggest stone sundial, which gives the local time with an accuracy of 2 seconds. Of particular interest to me were twelve instruments, known as Zodiacic Circles, which were used for measuring the latitude and longitude of celestial bodies. There are twelve such instruments corresponding to each zodiac sign.
Forts and Palaces Rajasthan
By Somali K Chakrabarti On the last post ‘Why women should travel alone at least once,’ many readers shared their valuable thoughts, highlighting things that may seem obvious but nonetheless are very crucial for female travelers. Mabel Kwong, who is an avid traveler, pointed out that while preparing for solo travel, she plans very thoroughly and checks out if the place has been in news recently for any wrong reasons. I couldn’t have agreed more. Monica, a travel consultant understands the initial fear of some of her clients to travel solo, and feels happy when she helps them to overcome their fear. Jennifer Jeneu finds solo travel empowering. Em Aboard believes that you definitely take in your surroundings much more when you travel alone. ‘Travelling solo helps us to connect with self and the surrounding with equal vigor,’ says Nihar Pradhan. True that! Being in a different place and in a different context helps us to see things in a new light, and being on our own makes us more perceptive to our surroundings. Based on our perceptions of the place, we form our impressions of the place. In this post, I share my impressions of the city of Jaipur, while…
By Somali K Chakrabarti “And here, over the portals of my fort, I shall cut in stone the word which is to be my beacon and my banner. The word which will not die should we all perish in battle..” – Ayn Rand, The sacred word Taking on from my last post on Forts and Palaces in Rajasthan – Pictures from the 19th century Part I, here I continue further with the imaginary leap back in time, and present pictures and photographs from the 19th century of the historic forts and palaces of Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Bundi, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer. . Palace of Bheem and Padmini, Chittorgarh, ca 1885 Engraving of Padmini’s Palace in Chittorgarh, by Edward Francis Finden and Patrick Young Waugh, ca 1829
By Somali K Chakrabarti “Sublime wonders lie in store, I am shown a regal residence; a mighty kingdom, an empire with more grandeur than before …” – E.A. Bucchianeri, Poetry for the Phantom of the Opera Forts and palaces never fail to fascinate me. These rare examples of architecture offer a glimpse into the past grandeurs and reveal many a story of kings and their kingdoms, the wars they fought, the courts they held, and the way they lived. Here are some pictures and photographs from the 19th century that capture the oriental magnificence of the historic forts and palaces of Rajasthan. . Amber Fort, ca 1860 Amber Fort, part of Raj mahal & Maota Lake, watercolours by William Simpson ca.1860 Eleven kilometres to the north of Jaipur, is the town of Amber. The impressive fort and the palace complex, on a hill overlooking the Maota Lake was built at Amber, in the late 16th century by Akbar’s famous general, Raja Man Singh (ruled 1592- 1614). Alterations and additions to the palace structures continued throughout the 17th century and beyond, until the fort was finally abandoned in 1727.