A visit to the Raj Mandir cinema was on my itinerary. The Raj Mandir has become a tourist attraction because of its distinctive art deco-esque a la India style. Prem wisely decided on a matinee showing so we could enjoy the air conditioning during the hottest part of the day.
On the way to the cinema, we searched for a shop that sold music so I could buy some Hindi music to take home. It was while roaming the streets that we came upon two lovely ladies whose photos ended up being some of my very favorites of the trip.
They were watching me and giggling. Their saris were beautiful shades of pink. I asked Prem to ask their permission for me to photograph them. They giggled, so I took that as a yes.
The second lady’s face was partially hidden in the first photo, so I took a second one.
I can’t tell you which picture is my favorite. I love them both. Unlike the gypsy women at Jaisalmer who walked the city asking tourists for tips to take their photo, these women didn’t want any money. They were just curious about the stranger in their midst. I showed them their photos, and they were happy.
The exterior of the Raj Mandir looks like any movie house. Inside is where the magic begins.
Traveler’s tip for the ladies: use the restroom before you come here. The toilets in the ladies room were squat toilets and smelled like pee. I could say more, but it would be TMI.
I thought I’d be bored seeing a movie in Hindi. However, the film was well made, and I was able to understand most of the main themes. The film was Patiala House, sadly not yet available on Netflix.
We passed the Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Centre three times before I remembered that Gino, my best friend’s husband, is a pottery whore. I didn’t know if it would measure up to the Italian pottery he’s seen so much of, but I figured he’d appreciate a gift from here anyway.
Pottery with a distinctive blue color is one of Jaipur’s best known crafts.
This was not only a sales outlet, it was also a school where they taught the next generation of craftsmen the art of pottery making. Jaipur’s pottery is distinctive not only for its color, but it is made from marble powder, among other things.
As you would expect, the showroom was dazzling.
The second floor had items like doorknobs and lamps. I didn’t dare go up there. The temptations on the ground floor were bad enough.
Why, in the name of Shiva, didn’t I buy a coffee cup???
After a long, agonizing process, I chose this plate for Gino.
And this plate and bowl came home with me.
The Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Centre accepts credit cards, and they ship worldwide.
P.S. Gino loves his plate! It’s displayed like the work of art that it is on a shelf in the kitchen.
Prem knew well by now which had been my favorite sites. He also knew that I liked peace and quiet and wasn’t keen on crowds. After Amber Fort, he took me to a place that he said not many tourists visited. It wasn’t listed in my guide books.
After the crowds at Amber Fort, I had the Gatore Ki Chattriyan, a memorial site, all to myself. I loved that.
For such a small site, the photo opportunities were incredible.
No crowds, no “excuse me, Madam, have a look,” beautiful pictures to be taken everywhere. I was in heaven.
It was a small site, but I stayed here a long time. It was so peaceful and so beautiful.
A few minutes before I left, a lone camera-wielding woman arrived, wearing a look of intensity like a wild beast about to stalk her prey. I smiled, knowing that she would enjoy this place as much as I had.
If you’ve seen one fort in India, you have not seen them all. Each is unique, and each is a work of art.
Maota Lake and Garden, below the fort.
I noticed at more than one monument that women who worked there dressed in blue. Some of them will allow you to take their photo, but you should tip them 20 rupees, an acceptable tip for a small service.