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Diary Extracts
4 January 1996 Mandu

Back at the Jahaz Mahal (the ship palace for a harem of 10,000 girls one of the kings built).  It's a beautiful place by the lake with large lotus flower pools at different levels.  I tried to draw the plan of the largest one which is about 3m deep at its deepest, but failed miserably on the curves which really are beautiful.  They come together almost three dimensionally to give an impression of a lotus flower, or in that spirit anyway.
    Its quite hard not to get carried away with all of the romanticism in the palaces and fortresses in India.  But its a place that inspires all of that, the colours in the clothing, the red earth and pink sunsets, the bazaars through the city streets and the numerous hollywood movies of veiled women and powerful Rajahs that keep springing into your mind around all of the ruins.  It is a place of misty red dust horizons and labryninth ancient cities.
     The latest anyway was the afternoon walk up to Rupmatis Palace for sunset.  A quiet peaceful place (even with the Indian who insisted on playing us a rather haunting little tune on his comb and a bit of paper!) way up high with the lands of the fortress back on one side and the patchwork plains stretching into haze like
a carpet a good couple of hundred metres down on the other.  Staring out from the top with a fading purple sky it did really feel as one girl put it like we'd arrived at the end of the world.  Quite an inspiring place, something hard to catch in a way because of the huge scale of the panorama but very inspiring, one of those places (built for the beauty of a princess apparantly, such that she might survey the plains below her, which were so dear to her), that seems to preclude time, whose sunsets are as beautiful today and as real as when they were witnessed by servants and silver back a hundred years or more.
    We took a different route back across a small tableland just to see off the beaten track a little and got caught coming down a rather steep bushy slope.  We made it all right arriving quite hot and sweaty having suprised a few locals on the way down, but it was a bit silly.  Not a good idea to get caught out in unknown territory after sunset when time is against you.  Rather a pity as well as it kind of overshadowed the image of magic and beauty from Rupmatis Palace - will know better next time.
Sleeping man, Mandu
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Last Modified 20.01.01
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Copyright Sunda 2001