This was the day I did not know I’d be seeing these doors with my own eyes. They had be published in many magazines both fashion and travel ones all over the world. Iconic for their intricate detailed Doors, colourful hues hand painted designed for a king to enjoy.
I bought a pin board last year inspired by the Pinterest app, wanting to put up photos of memories, inspiration and goals. I had found a photo of this door in India that was so beautiful I had wondered where it was. I ripped it out of the magazine and put it on my board. Yes I wanted to always go to India but I never knew when and lacked the determination at the time to go. It seemed like it would be a far off reality.
We started the day heading into the main part of town, where a monument called the Jantar Mantar was. It was one of 5 built in India, a collection of different large-scale tools to measure things like the altitude of clelestial objects, telling the time using the sun. It was incredible. The site built in Jaipur was the only one fully completed, so I was glad to wait til I got here to explore it.
We wandered over to City Palace of which there were two options of tours, visiting the museum $500 rupee or going inside the royal palace which was $2500 rupee. Okay a big price difference right? So what was the big deal? Well it included a private tour guide, tea/coffee refreshments, entering in 5 different sections of the palace which is still occupied by the current king of Jaipur- who in fact is only 18 years old! I saw a few photos displayed at the booth and then realised, wait this may actually be the place these doors existed. I scrambled for my phone and scrolled through the photo of the door I put on my board. I showed it to the ticket seller and he nodded! He said I would see it inside and that I would be allowed to take photos.
That 2500 rupee didn’t sound like that much after all. I had to see it. It was why I was here in Rajasthan- to be completely inspired and in awe of the beauty this state represented. It was a priceless experience. And the photos I would take would be absolute magic!
We were introduced to our friendly guide who took us through the main gate guarded by red clothed men, into the public forum where massive jars of pure silver were placed between beautiful columns stood. The guard told us that these jars were once carried across desert filled with water for the King to drink as he made his way to other cities for meetings.
We entered the main palace foyer through a small gate, and saw the handiwork of painting from the floor to the ceilings. There hanging were portraits of the past kings of Jaipur. Each had their own talents and interests. One in particular became a world horse polo champion and died a tragic death having a heart attack while playing a game in Europe. It is how Jaipur ended up with a teen king. The late king only had a daughter, who had a son, and he was instantly throned but currently studying at a university in Eaton, London. Imagine going to class with a king! Haha
We went into a lift up to the 7th and highest level, embraced the views of the city and forts hidden in mountains, walked through the Blue room, where certain parties are held, a lounge room filled with mattresses and cushions covered in velvet. Walls were imprinted with mirrors in the days where only candles lit up rooms and gave a night sky effect.
The palace was filled with wonder.
Then the doors. There were four, one representing each season. They entered different sections of the palace, place each on a different wall of an open courtyard. Patterns of peacocks and lotus flowers surrounded the arches of the deep gold doors. My camera could not pick up every hue.
All around the world Rajasthan sends its distinctive creative flair in the form of bags, purses, bed linen and clothes. I couldn’t wait to go shopping and see what the locals had in store…