Isn’t it difficult to choose a favourite photo, from a vast archive? Some of the photos I love best are of my grandchildren, but posting those would add even more problems because I’d have to pick four!
So I decided to think about places I’ve been, and I think that our favourites are likely to be the ones that evoke the strongest memories. I’ll always remember the morning I took this photo and I’ve posted the story of it here and before.
I’m not sure if linking to the final weekly photo challenge is still possible, but I will really miss creating the posts. I’ve been blogging for 7 years and have probably only missed 20 in that time.
Thanks to WordPress and the amazing Daily Post team, I’ve made lots of friends around the world and learnt about things and places I’ll never see,
Amer or Amber Fort just north of Jaipur in India, is a splendid fortress on Cheel Ka Teela, the hill of eagles.
The approach to Amer
Floating on the lake
The fort was built by ‘Raja Shri Maan Singh JI Saheb’ (Maan Singh 1), from 1550 to 1614, from red and white sandstone. The palace can be approached by taking an elephant ride up the ramparts, but this wasn’t for me, because I love elephants.
Amer has a mix of Rajput and Mughal influences and there is much to see.
It’s best known for the Sheesh Mahal, Hall of mirrors, a sight I’ve never forgot.
Hall of mirrors
Ceiling in the hall of mirrors
Sheesh Mahl detail
One of the stunning views from the palace’
Amer is hugely popular for tourists, and a World Heritage Site, said to be the most beautiful palace in India. Don’t miss it if you go to Rajasthan!
October 2005, I find myself in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. It’s early evening and I’ve just had one of the most moving experiences of my life. The elderly lady in the photo below has hugged me, put a red bindi on my forehead, and entered the temple I’ve just left.
I’d seen an Aarti ceremony in the Rani Sati temple, after the congregation offered puja. The temple is at least four hundred years old and was built in memory of Narayani Bai who self emolliated and became Sati Ji.
The ceremony was incredibly loud, with drums and bells reverberating through every cell in my body. Water was sprinkled around, some of the crowd ran heir hands through flames, before circling the central shrine. We were welcome to take part but there were no expectations. Caught up in the atmosphere and the heady incense, I followed, with thoughts of Rani Sati, who was beloved to be an incarnation of the goddess Durga, running through my mind.
I have no words to describe the feelings, my journal that day had a line, ‘if I have to go home tomorrow, then it’s okay because I’ve had the experience of a lifetime’.
This Thursday instead of Lazy Poet, I’m re-posting a poem I wrote a few years ago, for International Women’s Day. Yes I know that was yesterday, but you know me by now, the other week that I got the day wrong for wordless Wednesday, and the syllable count wrong for LP!