Well here we are in INCREDIBLE India, we started our journey in Delhi and visited New and Old Delhi then traveled by car to Agra to see the magnificent Taj Mahal and what a beautiful building that is, it takes your breath away! Whilst in Agra we also visited Agra Fort and Itmad-Ud-Daula. After Agra we started our journey across Rajasthan in our trusty 4×4 and headed for our first stop over in the capital of Rajasthan ‘Jaipur’ on the way we visited Fatehpur Sikri. In Jaipur we visited the Amber Fort, Hawaii Mahal, City Palace and the Pink City. After Jaipur we headed off towards our next stop in Mandawa where we visited and viewed the beautiful Haveli’s and saw the wonderfully hand painted Frescoes in the old desert city of Mandawa. After a night in ancient Castle Hotel in Mandawa we moved on through the desert in our 4×4 towards Bikaner. The journey through the desert from Mandawa to Bikaner took about 6 hours, it was hot, dusty and very very bumpy but beautiful too and we travelled through so many tiny desert villages which reminded us of tribal villages in Africa, small mud and camel ding huts surrounded by fences made from thorn bushes to keep unwanted animals from entering the family compound at night, a truly magical place.
So as I write this brief post I am sitting in my air conditioned room in the Laxmi Niwas Palace in Bikaner, this was the former home of the late his Highness Maharaja Ganga Singh. Named after the goddess of wealth ‘Laxmi’ consort of the creator Vishnu. It was built in the year 1902, designed by Sir.Swinton Jacob, in the Indo-Saracenic Style. The delicate filigree and lattice works makes it a cynosure of all eyes and connoisseurs of art hailed it as one of the most picturesque palaces in the subcontinent. It is the crowning glory of the Princely Rajputana State. This palace was a favourite destination of Lord Mountbatten, Queen Mary, King George V, King Edward VIII, The King of Greece, M Clemenceau Prime Minister of France, Viceroy Lord Harding, Viceroy Lord Linithgow, Lord Irwin and many other prominent dignitaries from all over the world.
It’s about 40c outside so I’m off for a swim in the cool pool where I may also partake in a ice cold beer.
Cheers from India.