Our hotel is just a block away from the main attraction. The Royal Palace is a huge imposing structure from the street,
But the fabulosity meter really rings when you see it from the lake
At night it looks staggeringly beautiful too.
Inside, it is famous for its use of mirror. Entire rooms are covered in mirror tiles, from the walls
to the ceilings
And then there is the mirror inlay that is used throughout the building. It is used on decorative panels inside
and on balcony walls outside
It is known for its glorious glass and tile mosaic peacocks.
The Maharana’s receiving room is also beautiful. (Cocktail party trivia – a Maharana, we are told, is a Warrior King who goes out and fights the foe, as opposed to the stay at home and marry the enemy’s daughter, Maharaja)
At the end of this huge complex is the present Royal Residence.
You can always tell when the Maharana is in residence as a large red light is illuminated on top of the building. This seems to be an idea I could use at home, as my adoring public is never quite sure where I am. But perhaps red is not the best color, it can suggest so much more than me just being at home.
When we return half an hour later, the fountain has been turned off. She must have popped out to the shops
The next day Joginder takes us on a drive, but within a few miles we get a flat tire
Behind the shop, and across the field someone has set up home
It takes an hour to get the tire puncture fixed, during which Joginder hovers over the poor mechanic supervising his every move. We try and distract him by asking about his wife. Their home is in northern India and we ask if he has phoned her recently. He says he is tired of phoning her because all she ever does is ask for money. He says she phones him everyday but he doesn’t answer because he knows she will just nag about the bills. He is supposed to be going home after our trip but he says he will only go if he has enough money to keep her happy. We are with him for another ten days and yet he is already applying pressure about the size of his tip
An hour later the mechanic has finished and presents Joginder with a bill of about $8. Joginder is outraged and claims that he is only being charged that much because he is driving white people. He hands him far less than he wants and gets in the car and drives away
We continue our journey to see Nagda, 11th century temples built in Mawar, the first capital of Rajasthan. Mawar no longer exists. Sadly it was flooded when a dam was built to supply water to the neighbouring towns. When the water level is low you can see the top of two temples peeking out of the water. But fortunately the Nagda temples survived. I am not a spiritual person, but something about these temples really touches me.
Maybe it is because so much of it still remains ten centuries later
But whatever it is, I find an an overwhelming sense of peace here.
But there is more to the temples than first meets the eye.
It was a kind of University for Sex Education. Long before Masters and Johnson there were the Nagda temples. There were no text books, no movies, no sex shops in the 11th century. The wise carvers of this temple set out to educate the people about what was available to them at home in the bedroom. So they intricately carved numerous sexual positions into the walls. If you studied hard and did your homework you would eventually be able to copy all of the positions shown on the walls of the temple. Then you would be able to graduate with honours.
The next one is a little more complicated as there appears to be several arms and legs involved
Many years of yoga are needed before you should attempt this one
And if sex with other people was not your thing, they wanted to let you know that there were alternatives
Sadly, the carvings are worn away in places. This is because the restorers who were hired to clean, and restore the carvings decided their job would be a lot quicker if they used chemicals rather than the water cleaning process they were contracted to use, and in just a few months large parts of the carvings that had survived for a thousand years were eaten away.
But fortunately there is still enough detail for us all to learn some new sexual positions, which seems to be the perfect place for you to stop reading and do some homework.