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!

 

 

 

 

 

As dense as granite

Dartmoor granite was used to build the old London Bridge, the one that’s now a tourist attraction somewhere in the Arizona desert. Luckily there’s still plenty left to scramble on, and take photos of!

This is Bonehill Rocks, a couple of miles from Haytor. I went at the weekend, and had a bit of  scramble myself. In fact I had to bump my way down on my derriere, holding on to absolutely nothing except my breathe.

Do you think granite is dense enough for the weekly photo challenge?

Close to Home 2

This photo of Exeter Guildhall shows the date AD80, but I’ve never known why. There is some evidence that there was a settlement here as early as 250BC, but the Romans named Exeter Isca around 55 AD.
The visible structure of the guildhall itself dates from the late middle ages and the building has been a guildhall for more than 800 years. It’s possible that even earlier Medieval halls are concealed below ground.

Castelling, a human tower

Castelling is an ancient Catalan tradition, first documented in the early 1800’s, it began in Tarragona, but has since spread throughout Catalonia. I first saw it courtesy of the pink trousered one, Michael Portillo, in one of his tv programmes, to which I am addicted. As I was in Barcelona for ‘The Dia’ last September, I knew there was a fair chance of seeing it.

The Centre for Cultura i Memoria in El Born was one of the places it could be seen, the one that was easy to find, and close to a favourite little café!

After a croissant filled with coffee flavoured mascarpone, it was time to go out into the Placa Comercial,

Where preparations were underway.

And then it began.

In the background, you can see the first layer climb on the shoulders of the base level, or Pinya as it’s known. The Pinya is wide and formed by the strongest of the group, to make a base that can support the weight of the rest and be a safety net should anyone fall.

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Several more layers are added, the Tronc, and finally, the littlest one scrambles atop, zoom in to see her nearly there, but I didn’t capture her with the camera, I was too entranced!

Once there, she gives a very quick wave, the crowd cheer and she’s back down the six layers beneath her, in just a few moments. Three troups performed that day, in competition, and each time I saw the wave, but my camera didn’t.

Hanging on through winter

These agapanthus are drained of all colour, just six months ago the flowers were a beautiful blue, surrounded by lush green foliage. They look very wintry now don’t they?

But I won’t worry, they’re very tenacious and will be back in July. By next year some of those dark seeds may even have spread new plants around the garden.

This post is for Paula’s Thursday Special, this week it’s ‘Wintry’.