Monday, February 14, 2005

the work of goblins rather than of men

" ... from whichever side you approach it Boondi Palace is perhaps the most striking in India . . . . even in broad daylight, is such a Palace as men build for themselves in uneasy dreams - the work of Goblins rather than of men" --- rudyard kipling.
that's what sparked us to go to bundi, which is not a big tourist destination at this point. rajasthan seems much friendlier than mumbai altogether, but bundi had the most people saying hi and chatting with us without trying to sell us anything of any place so far. and it's beautiful. it's in a valley with stone walls and lookout towers built on the surrounding hills, the bottomland has a lake, hundreds of brahmin-blue houses ans havelis, winding streets filled with cows and dogs and pigs and overall quite friendly people and bicycles and marching bands (always marching bands, everywhere we go, it's wedding season)..... there's a huge fort and palace built and added onto by successive maharajas until it became an mc escher dream of winding stairways and hallways leading to places you don't expect and other spots you can see from lookouts and rooftops but can never seem to get to. it's been mostly abandoned to bats and monkeys and a just a few tourists a day - the only staff that seems to manage it is a cured leper with no fingers who takes your ticket and a few men with sticks who chase the mokeys out of the parts that are maintained (a garden courtyard and 2 rooms that retain the original wall paintings in pretty good condition).... so you can wander in it for hours and see no one but the monkeys, jumping over holes through a few floors, wading through several feet of reeking bat and monkey poo, peeking through falling down doors to see if that stairway goes anywhere or that if that room has another entrance that leads to the next adventure... the black faced lengur monkeys sit and watched us, holding their toes, but the red faced (and red bootied) rhesus macaques are pretty mean and we ended up carrying sticks some of the way to make them let us pass. very indiana jones, very cool, very recommended.
and! our friend maurice from chicago joined us here to share and add extra spark to some adventures


Post a Comment

<< Home