One view from Mehrangarh Fort. Cynthia, Casey, and I visited there Sunday. I believe this has been my favorite historical site/fort to visit in India. It's enormous, the architecture is stunning, and the history of the Rathore rulers is fascinating. Plus, the audio tour was really first-rate and included interviews with the current Maharaja and others who were around during partition.

In 1459 Rao Jodha moved the capital of Jodhpur from Mandore (where my monkey pics were taken) to the top of this mountain, 400 feet above the city. Since then the Rathore rulers have never lost a battle.

There are 7 gates that lead into the fort and plenty of right-angle turns meant to slow the momentum of invaders. After the last gate there are the handprints of the 15 royal wives who committed sati on their husband's funeral pyre. Sati is the act of widows throwing themselves on their husband's funeral pyre-and although it is outlawed now, 40 cases have been reported since independence...mostly in Rajasthan. When Maharaja Ajit Singh died in 1731, 58 concubines committed sati. Women considered it an honor and a show of loyalty to sacrifice their lives for their husbands; instead of wearing mourning clothes, they often wore wedding attire to symbolize their eternal marriage. Discrimination against widows persists- they are seen as bad luck and given little family support. Even girls who are married as children and become child widows generally never remarry. Evidently the women just walked into the fire holding the Bhagavad Gita and didn't let out a sound as they burned.


Lindsey said...

It's beautiful. I love all the blue walls. Is there a significance to this color choice?

Kali said...

back in the day only the royal families painted their houses blue...now anyone can. the color is supposed to be cooling and keep mosquitos away.