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April 27, 2020 / catherinebwrites

INDIA 15 SAMODE

We left Jaipur for Samode and saw the Aravalli Mountains. At last some hills after all the flat land we’d traveled through. The town of Samode was poor and straggley but not overcrowded like the cities we’d seen. We drove up the main street, steering round a couple of goats, the inevitable cow. We saw men sitting outside their shops, a woman carrying a bundle on her head, another peeling vegetables outside her door. We passed a high stone wall, made a sharp turn, drove through a gate, up a ramp and walked into this.

Samode Palace

Samode Palace. I thought it was sight to visit but no, it was our hotel. Those stripes on the pavement are made of flower petals, preparations for a wedding.

The palace, was built by the ‘Maha Rawal’ , the local lord and it is still owned and run by the family. It was totally spectacular. Once again we had expected a modest hotel but, take a look at our bedroom.

Our bed

Those drapes are silk and brocade.

The day bed for watching T.V.
The balcony with a view
The pool
The bathroom.
A nice place to sit.

Wall painting

The place was so big that you’d need a map,compass and the handy sherpa guide to find your way around all the courtyards, terraces, hallways, corridors and sitting rooms.

That afternoon we were taken on a “safari”. Well, not so much a safari as a drive to Samode Bagh, the hotel’s other property, a garden with tent accommodation, very luxurious tent accommodation. In the past, the noble ladies and gentlemen used to retire to these gardens to relax and enjoy themselves. Now it’s hired out for business conferences and weddings.

On the way we passed a farm worker’s house where a wedding was getting under way. The guide insisted that we should gate-crash. We felt uncomfortable. There were very few men about, just a few boys who were staying well away from the women and a couple of young men who seemed to be setting up a sound system. Presumably the groom hadn’t yet arrived.

The lads

It turned out that there were two brides, both secluded inside the house with other women. They were first cousins. Neither of them looked more than fourteen and neither looked happy at the prospect of marriage, more resigned . But maybe that’s just my assumption.

One of the brides
The kids

Outside a crowd of women were gathered. They were outside were having a grand old time, laughing and talking, eating and drinking. They all seemed highly amused at these foreign interlopers taking photos. Everyone wanted me to take their photo.

,

The ladies
The grannies.
The young ladies.

Samode Bagh, is an enclosed or garden, with a water channel and a row of fountains fed by springs and wells. We had tea on the tea house terrace and watched a huge variety of birds flit about and come to the table for crumbs.

On the way back, we drove through Samode village and, inevitably, we were brought to see local crafts. This time it was a jeweller who instantly started his sales pitch. The display of the jewels glistening at my feet made me want to throw common sense to the winds and buy handfuls of them. But I restricted myself to a modest silver and amethyst silver ring.

When we got back to the Palace it was gearing up for a very different wedding from the one we had just seen. This one must have cost serious serious money.

Note the camels standing on each side of the steps. And the women on the steps ready to paint your forehead.

Later we went to dinner in the magnificent dining room… and got Delhi belly!

4 Comments

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  1. arv! / Apr 28 2020 12:43 pm

    Looks like you enjoyed the trip to samode. It’s good that you restricted yourself while buying jewels. Samode is a charming village.

    Like

    • catherinebwrites / Apr 28 2020 3:12 pm

      Sadly we didn’t get enough time to explore. We did the Golden Triangle on an organised trip which seemed like a good idea at the time. It had the advantage of efficiency, luxury hotels and guides but missed out on wandering streets and back alleys,, poking in shops, getting lost, talking to locals, the things that make a trip worth while. Fortunately, we did the next bit of the trip, Varanasi under our own steam. I’ll get round to writing that up soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • arv! / Apr 29 2020 4:14 pm

        cool. Wandering on your own is a unique experience. Hop on and browse my blog. I’m sure you will get some local flavor you missed in this trip. Where are you based?

        Like

  2. catherinebwrites / Apr 30 2020 11:51 am

    I’m based in Ireland. Already had a wander around your blog, will take more.

    Like

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