While the old town of
The decoration on many of the palace buildings was quite impressive, especially since the guide insisted that some of the frescoes hadn’t been restored and were over three hundred years old. He also taught Sally how to distinguish the Hindu and Moghul arches, with reference to the design of her hands! As we viewed the Maharajas' apartments, we got a glimpse into the lives of these men and their courts. They enjoyed unfathomable extravagances. Many spaces within their living areas had the ceiling inlaid with mirrors, so that when the room was candle lit at night, it would seem like they were under the stars.
Another impressive sight was the
Near the palace is Jantar Mantar, an observatory which began construction in the 18th century. It looks like the set of a science fiction movie, and is most impressive in terms of how precisely the various constructed devices could tell the date and time from the sun, hundreds of years ago. Different structures are designed for each sign of the zodiac, and our guide explained how important astrology still is today for many people. For example, before couples are married, the families bring in the astrologer to read the charts of the bride and groom. He measures their compatibility using a complex numerical system. If they are not sufficiently compatible, the marriage will be called off.