If you have a problem, fix it. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing. - Ernest Hemingway

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Anirban's Rajasthan

These pictures were taken by my friend Anirban Dasgupta. He wrote to me: ‘I am sure you would agree [Rajasthan] has a unique appeal. Along with its natural beauty, it has an extremely rich history. ... If you love history then surely Rajasthan is a must visit. In fact, I do wish to return to the forts once again, especially Chittorgarh. Walking through the ruins there is an overwhelming experience. I felt as if I could visualise the night when thousands of women jumped into a huge well of fire ... the whole area illuminated with the light from it  ... their shrieks ... the next morning with the sun rising in the east, the main gate of the fort is opened and thousands of men in saffron robes rushing to battlefields below shouting “Har Har Mahadev”. ... what a morning it would have been!’

Amber Fort, Jaipur

Amber Fort, Jaipur

Adinath Temple, Ranakpur

In Rajasthan, the barren landscape has been complemented by exquisite creations of men.  



Meherangarh Fort, Jodhpur

A Courtroom, Meherangarh Fort

The Meherangarh Fort in Jodhpur was built in the fifteenth century by a Rathore King, Rao Jodha. His descendants fortified the structure over the next centuries. I found this interesting piece of information in Wikipedia:

The foundation of the fort was laid on 12 May, 1459 by Jodha on a rocky hill nine kilometres to the south of Mandore. This hill was known as Bhaurcheeria, the Hill of Birds. According to a legend, to build the fort, Jodha had to displace the hill’s only human occupant, a hermit called Cheeria Nathji, the Lord of Birds. Upset at being forced to move out, Cheeria Nathji cursed Rao Jodha: “Jodha! May your citadel ever suffer from scarcity of water!” Rao Jodha managed to appease the hermit by building a house and a temple within the fort very near the cave the hermit had used for meditation. Jodha then took an extreme step to ensure that the new site proved propitious; he buried in its foundations a man called Rajiya Bhambi, a Meghwal, alive. You’ve guessed it right! Meghwals are amongst the scheduled castes in modern India.

Rajiya was promised that in return, his family would be looked after by the Rathores. To this day Rajiya Bhambi’s descendants live in Raj Bagh, Rajiya's Garden, an estate bequeathed to them by Jodha.

A slice of history: In the fort, you can also see hand imprints of some women who committed Sati. I would request you to left-click on the image twice to see the details. You'll see that the hands belonged to women of different ages. At least one (extreme right in the second row) looks like the hand of a little girl. 

What went through the minds of these women when they placed their hands to get the imprint?

In the picture below, you see the Sun Temple at Ranakpur, which was built in 14th/15th Century. This temple in Pali district (between Jodhpur and Udaipur) reminds one of Halebidu in Karnataka and Konark in Orissa. Who says India is a country that was stitched together by the British colonialists? 

Please left-click on the picture to see the details

Anirban, an amateur photographer, lives in Kolkata and runs a software firm with his friends. Thank you Anirban, for allowing me to post your beautiful pictures on this blog. 

And to my dear Readers, let me repeat: to see the details, please left-click on all the pictures. They look even more gorgeous when expanded.


  1. Grand photographs, Anirban, as usual! I saw your exquisite snapshots of the architectural remains of Kolkata in the facebook feed and marvelled at them!

    Rajasthan is indeed a rich visual experience and your mind crawls back to the days of yore and you're lost in the grandeur of the architecture, the lavish styles of living, the poignant tales of the Rajput kings and their cohorts, of love and treachery, valour and vengeance! and thanks Santanu da for sharing the lovely photos in your blog and interspersing them with such imaginative commentaries!

  2. Thanks Kaushikda for your compliment. You have very nicely described the kind of feeling that one goes through while visiting Rajasthan. Indeed an awe-inspiring place...in fact my respect for the Rajputs as well as curiosity to know more about their history has increased significantly after the visit. Indeed an awe-inspiring place!

  3. wonder how the women got those imprints of their hand.a custom that they leave an imprint before they take that terrible leap?

  4. A big thank you to all of you. It's great to share this wonderful space in nowhere with people like you. A special thanks to Anirban for letting me post the pictures.

  5. I was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.From my father I have heard about so many aspects of the people and places of that state. Thanks for giving concrete shape to some of them.


I will be happy to read your views, approving or otherwise. Please feel free to speak your mind. Let me add that it might take a day or two for your comments to get published.