Multiple sources from last night, having concluded all my reading (you gotta let the western hemisphere complete its turn too!).
Two things struck me : Rajasthan and Scotland.
The land of Rajasthan has always been an intriuging idea to explore. As the name suggests, it is the land of the kings, perhaps lords will be a better translation? One of my loves in life is history, and if it weren’t for the words of a teacher in school I would have become a historian. Perhaps those are the kinds of turning points in one’s life when you make a decision that brings you “off tangient” and into a wholely different spectrum of experiences.
So, back to Rajasthan.
Queen Victoria was once the Empress of India. As one reads the Cambridge history of India, by the 1820-1830s most of the sub-continent nation of India today had been “subjucated” and adminstered as part of the empire that does not see the setting sun. Wikipedia listed 19 princely states in Rajasthan (22 cited by here).
Famed as warriors (Rajputs) and never really subjucated by the Mughals, the princely states emerged as the Mughal’s power waned. Locally, each of these princes came to control political, economic and social life, extracting the same privileges as their predecessors (the Mughals) had done. And they built wondrous monuments in a display of profligance. Many a movie in the west would have depicted a maharaja and his retinue in all of his richness.
Today we are all fortunate to have been left these legacy of grandiose as Martin Fletcher romances the idea of travel. All the negative publicity over acts of violation against women, makes it an uphill battle to wrest share of mind to the hidden gems Rajasthan has to offer. But I digress. You see many of the forts, if they are not turned into hotels, are either left to ruin or sold off to the government (and left to ruin). Martin’s article tells of his forays further into the rural thickness only to find that even there transformation had forever changed the fabric of what was once thought to be the very essence of life in these parts.
Will I make my own foray into Rajasthan? In all fairness, No. Not yet, perhaps when I am done with my bucket list, I shall create a new one and surely Rajasthan will be on it. Where would I want to go? That is the next thing that struck me last night.
Scotland. This is what I see when I think of Scotland
Yep, cold wet & windy (gale is probably a word you can only use for Scotland), but really nice eh? I think am going to follow Karen Thorburn. Thanks to Michelle, I now have a source of photos and a person whom I think I can reach out to to plan trips to Scotland.
Of all the places I had been in Scotland, I had only set foot in Edinburgh (Dunedin is it for some?). You know the castle tour, the military tatoo etc etc. Fancy the fact we have traveled across Wales and all over Ireland, yet only touched the tip of Scotland. And so it is on my bucket list.
Now I only need to plan.