A life saving roof

In the Thar desert where the temperature can reach the mid forties, a simple structure providing shade can make a big difference.


I’m sharing for Becky’s June square roof challenge. Just a few days left to post yours!

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A final favourite

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,

Hanuman Trio

Zoomorphic,one of Paula’s five words for Thursday’s challenge

having the form of an animal

of, relating to, or being a deity conceived of in animal form or with animal attributes

Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, is one of the most revered figures in the religion. Here are three that I found in northern India.

I love Paula’s magical propagating tree. Welcome back Paula.

Rajasthani Heritage

 

Amer or Amber Fort just north of Jaipur in India, is a splendid fortress on Cheel Ka Teela, the hill of eagles.

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.

Palace entrance

Amer has a mix of Rajput and Mughal influences and there is much to see.

Sheesh Mahal

It’s best known for the Sheesh Mahal, Hall of mirrors, a sight I’ve never forgot.

One of the stunning views from the palace’

Garden on the lake

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Rani Sati

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 post is for Paula’s Traces of the Past.

 

In Hope, a poem for Thursday

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!

In Hope

Cast aside your veil

Turn your face to the sun

Gather round the hearth

Your work today is done

Your sisters draw near

Feet planted to earth

They no longer fear

The lone walk on the trail

Your children breathe free

The mountains clear air

Well nourished with plenty

And wind blown away care

Your abundance is here

Take love in your stride

Future perfect and clear

Go forward with pride

Cast aside your veil

And no longer hide

Haveli harmony

A haveli is a townhouse or mansion, a traditional style found in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Build with an inner courtyard space, rather like the riads found in Morocco, but with a more attractive exterior. There are very many in Rajasthan, particularly the Shekhawati area. It’s possible to stay in a haveli, some have been converted in hotels and guest houses. Like a riad, they would be a calm haven shut away from the bustle of the towns.

haveli2This one wasn’t a hotel unfortunately, but it was possible to look around and they also sold antiques, some very expensive and some accessibly priced.

Homes like this aren’t created in a hurry, they have to develop their ambience over time, don’t you think?