Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – India chapter Rajasthan has to say about the Royal apartments:
“Takhat Vilas was the bedchamber of Maharaja Takhat Singh, who had just 30 Maharanis and numerous concubines. Its beautiful ceiling is covered with Christmas baubles.
You'll also find the 17th-century Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), which was the palace’s main durbar hall (royal reception hall) for official meetings and receptions, with gorgeously colourful stained glass.
Also worth exploring is the right turn from Jai Pol, where a path winds down to the Chokelao Bagh, a restored and gorgeously planted 18th-century Rajput garden (you could lose an afternoon here lolling under shady trees reading a book), and the Fateh Pol (victory gate). You can exit here into the old city quarter of Navchokiya.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
This was our third visit to Mehrangar fort and, though I remember a great deal about much of what we’d seen in the past, for some reason, seeing the Royal Apartments during this visit was like seeing them for the first time. And that’s a good thing.
We’re not in the habit of returning to places we’ve visited before, but with Jodhpur it was different. We were on our own the first time, but after that, we travelled with friends and family, and that gave us the opportunity to see the familiar places though other people’s eyes. I could have looked back at the photos I’d taken in 2008 and 2013, but I didn’t want to, just like I don’t like to see photos of new places were visiting before we arrive. I want to be surprised.
And, surprised I was. I have to say, I was blown away by the stunning beauty of the Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace). There didn’t seem to be a square inch of the long, rectangular room that wasn’t covered with ornate decorations, much of them appearing to be made with gold and silver. When I asked Anil if it brought back memories of our previous visits, he said it didn’t. It was like a brand-new experience for him.
The Takhat Vilas, the maharaja’s bed chamber, was much darker that the Moti Mahal. Not because there were fewer windows, but because the heavily-painted dark wooden ceiling made the place more conducive to sleeping, and more of the tile work was a somber dark blue. Just as our guidebook mentioned, the ceiling was hung with large and small brightly coloured glass balls, making anyone from the western world think immediately of Christmas decorations.
The intensity of the elaborate rooms was quickly forgotten once we stepped onto the outdoor terraces, and looked out over the residential neighbourhoods of Jodhpur stretching off into the distance. You could immediately see why we were so captivated.
Jodhpur is known as the Blue City – named so, because the Brahmin caste (the upper-most caste in the Hindu religion), sought to identify themselves by painting their houses blue. Over time, other residents copied the idea, and now it seems it is no longer a sure way to identify the privileged. It seems it’s human nature for people to want to emulate those who are more fortunate in life.