INDIA – Living Vicariously Through JJ & Hal
December 2, 2012
Friends are on a vacation of a life time in India and just traveled 6 hours south across the desert from Jaipur to arrive at Fort Begu. Just look at this magical place! I pinched all of these images from their Facebook page so information is a bit spotty but I’ve Googled and Wikipedia enough info to give you a rough commentary. My favorite comment from their Facebook account was “waking up to the sounds of peacocks and parakeets” …I love the sound of that, don’t you? …so exotic. To be honest I’m a bit unnerved to travel so far, to a place so foreign. I’ve been to Hong Kong and to Thailand but somehow India seems and feels so much more distant, removed. I have to admit I’m completely taken with the magic of these pictures. The first image is Fort Begu, beautiful isn’t it?
From what I can gather these are the grounds of Fort Begu. Structures presumably 100’s of years old, that might in fact be destined to become additional hotel rooms based on the info friends posted. I think they are pretty fabulous as they are. I would love to spend time exploring, photographing and experiencing these beautiful structures. I don’t know what it is about ruins, dilapidated old homes, any thing peeling and ignored totally fascinates me.. maybe it’s the possibility or renewal, the romance of something original and while faded, intact and authentic . No doubt, done well these structures will make a fascinating addition to an already beautiful hotel.
I don’t know if this was always filled with water and the stair systems were designed to allow getting in or out of the water at any level, but I love the pattern of the stairs. The detail and intricate design of the architecture is amazing. I just used Wikipedia to understand more about the area and the history of its people. Here is some of what I found:
The name of the district apparently comes from “Begum” (queen) and “Sarai” (inn). The Begum of Bhagalpur used to visit “Simaria Ghat” (holy place on the banks of the Ganges) for a month of pilgrimage, which later took to the slang of Begusarai. Begusarai was established in 1870 as a subdivision of Munger District. In 1972, it was given district status after a strong pressure on the government by Late Rai Saheb Bhubneshwari Sahai, a charismatic leader of the local community who was also the first person in the district to be awarded the prestigious title of Rai Saheb under the British Raj.
In the area is Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary which contains rare and endangered migratory birds and has a large Oxbow lake, Jai Mangla Temple (at Kanwar Lake), Nawlakha temple and the bank of the Ganges at Simaria (known as the birth Place of India’s National Poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar) are all noted as places worth visiting. I want to know why this beautiful place in not currently habituated. It is spectacular in its eearie ghost like state but sad in a way that the people abandoned the area or the economy couldn’t support the local people as it once did…
These last few images are of Jaipur.
Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, after whom the city has been named. The city today has a population of 3.1 million. Jaipur is also known as Pink City and Paris of India.
The city is remarkable among pre-modern Indian cities for the width and regularity of its streets which are laid out into six sectors separated by broad streets 34 m (111 ft) wide. The urban quarters are further divided by networks of gridded streets. Five quarters wrap around the east, south, and west sides of a central palace quarter, with a sixth quarter immediately to the east. The Palace quarter encloses a sprawling palace complex, (Hawa Mahal), formal gardens, and a small lake. Nahargarh Fort, which was the residence of the King Sawai Jai Singh II, crowns the hill in the northwest corner of the old city. The observatory,Jantar Mantar, is one of the World Heritage Sites. Included on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit, along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur is an extremely popular tourist destination in Rajasthan and India.