Jaipur, the capital of the state of Rajasthan is known as the Pink City because of the colour of the stone exclusively used for the construction of all the old structures.
The pink color has its own history. In 1876, the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria Continue reading
Rajasthan is well known for, among other things, block printed fabrics. In my research for fair trade goods, I found a small organisation in a village outside Jaipur, where the artisans are paid very well. The village has been home to the block printing craft for many generations. Our tour takes us to the village to meet the block carvers, dyers and printers and see their work.
We will also have the opportunity to take part in a block-printing workshop and share lunch with our hosts.
Setting newly dyed cloth to dry in the sun
Galtaji is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site in the town of Khania-Balaji, built within a mountain pass within the Aravalli Hills 10 km. east of Jaipur. The site consists of several temples and sacred kunds (water tanks) in which pilgrims bathe. It is believed that a Saint named Galav lived here, practiced meditation, and did penance. The temple complex is colloquially known as Monkey temple due to the large tribe of monkeys who live here.
Infant Rhesus Macaque at the Monkey Temple, Jaipur
The Monkey Temple, Jaipur
Photo credits: Beverley Bloxham
Chand Baori, which is considered among the most beautiful step wells of India is in the village of Abhaneri, about 95 km from Jaipur. The largest and deepest step well in the world, Chand Baori was constructed in the 9th Century by Raja Chand to try to solve the problem of water shortages in the arid Rajasthani area.
A visit to Jaipur would not be complete without visiting The Barefoot College, less than two hour’s drive away in the village of Tilonia. The College was founded by Bunker Roy – named by the Guardian as one of the 50 environmentalists who could save the planet and as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine.
In 1965 a young post graduate student, Sanjit “Bunker” Roy volunteered to spend the summer working with famine affected people in Palamu District Bihar, now Jharkhand, one of the poorest of India’s states. His urban elitist upbringing had distanced him from poverty and destitution. This experience changed him, and formed the determination to fight poverty and inequality. It became his mission.
After conducting a survey of water supplies in 100 drought prone areas, Roy established the Social Work and Research Centre in 1972. Its mission soon changed from a focus on water and irrigation to empowerment and sustainability. The programs focused on siting water pumps near villages and training the local population to maintain them without dependence on outside mechanics, providing training as paramedics for local medical treatment, and on solar power to decrease dependence and time spent on kerosene lighting.
Night Schools were begun that allowed students who worked to support their families during the day to still receive training. The organisation has utilised a system of training the trainers to bring skills training to villages.
Amer Palace (also known as Amer Fort, Amber Fort) is located 11 kilometres from Jaipur in Rajasthan. Located high on a hill, it is the principal tourist attractions in the Jaipur area.
Amer Fort is known for its artistic Hindu style elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake.
Constructed of red sandstone and marble, Continue reading
The Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, dedicated to the art of block printing from old traditions to contemporary design, is located in a magnificently restored haveli in the shadow of Amber Fort, and a mere ten minute walk through the cobbled streets of Amber, the historic capital of Rajasthan.
Door at Anokhi Museum, Jaipur
The permanent exhibition displays a varied selection of block printed textiles alongside images, tools and related objects – all chosen to Continue reading