Category Archives: Photography

An Evening At The Jal Mahal Palace

Jalmahal

These are some of the photos of the newly renovated Jal Mahal Palace in the Man Sagar Lake,Jaipur. It is a huge project as you can see and a lot of work has been done. But  a lot of work needs to be done yet though the buzz is they are going to open it to the public in the near future.
Jalmahal

Jalmahal

I have been to the Man Sagar Lake a lot of times but have only seen Jal Mahal Palace’s  view from the Amber Road side. It was a novelty to view it from another angle while sitting in a boat, no less. They have put in a lot of research and effort to faithfully reproduce the finer details as they must have been in the past. The look of the boats has been copied as they were depicted in paintings of days gone by when the boats of Royalty used to ply on the Man Sagar Lake. The top floor has also been faithfully preserved or reproduced as it was in ancient times. There are fountains and marble flooring and lights. The chatris you see from the Amber Road have been painted with murals. A gallery  is also being developed on the floor below the top floor. Original ancient paintings are being blown up and each detail is being reproduced as per the original drawings. I think the artist is going to have his work cut out for him as he will have to maintain them in pristine condition as the moisture from all the water in the lake is going to play havoc with the murals.

They are also  trying to save trees threatened with extinction because of various reasons by transplanting them at great cost in the campus here.

A recent Time Magazine article suggests it is one of the top reasons to visit Jaipur.

All in all this project is a winner and it was an evening well spent.

Jalmahal
I must thank JPC – Jaipur Photographers Club- for organizing this  photo shoot for the photography enthusiasts of Jaipur as one of their weekly photo walks.

Jalmahal

Jalmahal
Jalmahal

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Bored In Jaipur?

Sunrise

If for some reason you have to stay in Jaipur for a longish period of time-what do you do-how do you pass the time of the day? You have been to all the Forts in Jaipur, shopped for all your friends, seen all the museums, now what?

You can delve a bit deeper in to the Jaipur other people breeze through, here are some options…

1. Make friends with other expats living and working here.

2. Learn a new skill. If art is your forte you can learn miniature painting from the masters.

Or you can learn yoga.

Or you can learn to read, write  & speak a local language like hindi or sanskrit.

Or you can live in the elephant village near  Amber and learn how to care for the elephants and how to train them & drive them.

Or if you want to continue your higher education the Rajasthan University has an excellent faculty for the foreign students wishing to do just that.

Or you can learn to cook the various local indian cuisine.

3.  You could ask the expats already working here, if they would like a helping hand at their trade, while you gained a few pointers in their trade.

4.You could write a book!

5. If not that you could write an article about your trip for a journal back home.

6. You could write a blog about your stay in Jaipur from your personal point of view.

7. You could get involved with a charity in Jaipur, there are lot of reputable ones around.

8.You could take classes in teaching your mother tongue to the young folk of Jaipur.

9. If books are your forte you could help out at the Jaipur Literature Festival and meet writers galore!

10. If you still want to travel some more there are places  near by which you can visit for a day or two and return to Jaipur. Here is a list.

11.You could learn to dance a local dance like kathak.

12. You could learn to play a local musical instrument like sitar or harmonium.

13. You could teach the young folk of Jaipur how to do some popular western dances you might be proficient at.

14. You could hire a Royal Enfield Motorcycle and explore the nearby villages.

15. You could hire a bi-cycle to explore the city.

16. You could make videos of your daily life to put up on www.youtube.com

17. You could start a 365 day  photo project to post  still photos of your daily round to  www.photoblog.com a photo blogging website.

18. If you are learning hindi and like movies you could watch a hindi  Bollywood movie everyday. It will improve your hindi & who knows you might fall in love with the song and dance in the hindi movies.

19. You could help manage a hotel or guesthouse catering to foreign tourists.

20. You could learn to fly kites the way Indians do. It is a very addictive past time.

21. You could make Indian friends. They will welcome you in their lives!

22. If you are a Motorsport enthusiast you can go for weekly Off The Road (OTRs).

23. You could race bikes on a dirt track.

24. You could do social service in an old age home or a hospice.

25. You could teach your local cuisine to the young ladies of Jaipur.

26. You could read the Hindu scriptures, Ramayan & Mahabharat.

27. You could do a course at the Jaipur Vipassana Centre

28. You could visit the local fairs and festivals taking place round the year.

29. You could take long early morning walks in the hills surrounding Jaipur.

30. You could try out all the heritage liquors available in the local market and find out the ingredients used, the legends associated with the liquor and the family history of  the house to which the liquor recipe belongs to.

31.You could learn to play Polo. Or learn horse riding. Or you could watch Polo matches during the Polo season.

32. You could buy a book detailing the birds of north India and go birding in the parks and the hills and lakes surrounding Jaipur.

33. You could reaffirm your marriage vows according to hindu customs in a local temple. Or you could have a grand affair and get married again in a Rajput wedding ceremony and have your friends flown in to witness the ceremony at one of the heritage hotels.

34. You could honey moon at the luxurious  Rambagh Palace or at the Rajvilas Hotel.

If I have missed an activity please fell free to add it in your comments to this post. I will be glad to add it to the list.

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Photos Of Some Common Birds Found In The Parks & Gardens Of Jaipur.

OWL

Spotted Owlet (Athene brama indica)

Recently a cousin of mine,Madhav Rathore, an experienced, enthusiastic birder, bought a  Canon EOS 7D with a huge telephoto lens. When I kidded him about buying   such an expensive  camera he insisted on taking me birding in  the Central Park one evening. That is when the use of the camera became apparent to me.  He was shooting birds perched at the top of tallest of trees where as I was limited to shooting squirrels and birds sitting in front of me in the grass.

But I got hooked to birding that day. I am no expert birder but by my own experience it is far easier to watch birds today. I take a picture of the whichever  feathered friend which dares to cross my path and later on I put an ID to it with the help of a couple of Books. Where the books fail The Net comes  to help. This method helps to engrave the names of the birds in the mind too. So the next time I come across the same bird I  say smugly,” That is Brahminy Mayna you know !” and so on…

One thing you will notice is the exotic names of the birds.  I can bet you powers that be who gave names to the birds put more thought in naming the birds than in naming their newborn sons. They have names like starling,Black  Drongo,Grebe,darter etc. And each bird has its own charm. Own uniqueness which will hold you in thrall.

I have been to the Central Park many times before the day we went birding but I  did not notice the birds before that day. Oh I could see the pigeons and the doves but the other beauties were hidden behind a muslin curtain as it were. Somebody had to  point the birds out to me. Do you know  usually we see two types of Doves in Jaipur one is Laughing Dove and the other is the Eurasian Collared Dove. And that the house sparrow may be endangered soon enough! Who would have thought of it!

I have been posting photos I take around Jaipur to www.flickr.com for some time now. If you see the stats on the photos you will realize that people like photos of flowers and plants more than photos of birds. I do not know why that is so but we have to be more aware of the beauty surrounding us in the form of birds more. Birds forage in the early morning but people go for their morning walk just then too. So the birds perch themselves on the highest branches of the trees. I suppose they come down later. I do not know.There are some birds which do not mind people at all and are all over the grass in the Park.

Now a days in every home there is a computer and a digital camera. All you have to do is to buy a beginners guide to birding. Be sure to buy one which has photos of the birds & not sketches. You can graduate to the books with sketches  later.

Now find some time for yourself and the birds and go for a walk in the nearest Park or garden. Happy Birding.

I am posting  some photos of the Birds I found.

Brahminy Myna/Starling

Red-vented Bulbul

Black-Rumped Flameback

Black Drongo

Bank Myna

Asian Pied Starling (Pied Myna) - Adult

Green Bee Eater

Asian Koel Male

Rufous Treepie

Partridge

Purple Sun bird female

Eurasian Golden Oriole

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Show Us The Trees In Your Garden!

Gulmohar

Do you know about the people who photograph and blog everything they eat? So many people are doing this that camera manufacturers are even providing a setting to shoot the food at its colorful best.
In that general trend I would like to suggest that we blog about the tree we are most proud of in our garden this present season and leave the link in the comments of this blog post.
Why trees? Because trees are going to be around for a long while once grown they require little water and are majestic in their presence in the garden. Furthermore we need them to attract the rain bearing clouds. And they provide oxygen, fruit, flowers and shade in the summers.
And if this post inspires somebody to plant his favorite sapling this monsoon, all to the good.

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Some Photos Worth Another Look!

Here are some of my favourite photographs I have put up on Flickr.com during the past year for your reconsideration. I hope you like them too!

A Dove & Amaltas Blossoms in Jaipur

Birla Mandir,Jaipur

The Bench

Hawa Mahal

Samrat Yantra-A Sundial

Kanak Vrindavan Bagh

Photographing Monuments Of Jaipur

The Young, The Old And The Ancient.

Light plays a big role in making a photo stand out. Golden hours are the sunrise and the sunset.When shooting monuments you have to know where the sun will be at a given time.

It is a good idea to start the day at the Amber Fort because the rising sun illuminates the Fort and you can have early morning darshan at the  Silla Mata Temple.You can not take pictures around the temple and the palaces will open later on.You should concentrate on the exterior of the Fort only. If you want you can take pictures or make a video   riding an elephant to the top of the hillock. One tourist tweeted from her smart phone while riding an elephant up to the Amber Palace. She wanted to be the first to do so.

Now you have a choice either you can wait for the Amber Palace to open to photograph the interiors and then visit the Jaigarh Fort for taking pictures of the Jaigarh Fort and the Cannons and to take pictures of Jaipur and Amber fort from the Jaigarh Fort OR you can head back to Jaipur and take pictures of the Jal Mahal Palace in the Man Sagar Lake against the rising sun and take pictures of  the facade of Hawamahal bathed in the early morning sun light.

Later on around noon you can take photos of the Jantar Mantar, Isar Lat  & the  City Palace. If the spirit moves you you can climb the Victory Tower after paying a small fee and take pictures of the Nahargarh Fort from there.

On your way to the Nahargarh you can take pictures of Jal Mahal from high up.

If you do not mind heights you can even book an early morning hot air balloon ride  to take pictures of the city from high up.

Sisodia Rani ka Bagh has to be captured in your camera in the morning. In the evening you will be shooting the palace against the light. Central Park is nice in the evening.The facade of the B.M.Birla Conference venue on the Statue Circle  is best shot in the setting sun. The founder of Jaipur’s  Statue stands tall at the Statue Circle.You can take its picture also now.

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