Welcome to Talabgaon Castle. This 200 year old Heritage fort is located in Talabgaon village about an hour from Jaipur. The family that owns it recently converted it to a lovely hotel with pool, lots of out door seating and dining and polo grounds. You can see the horses being trained in the back grounds, and, if you are lucky, even watch a polo game during the tournament that takes place in April each year.
The serenity and beauty at Talabgaon cannot be described, but need to be felt. After the clamor of Indian cities this is a welcome respite.
Outside view to the pool
Each room is unique and beautiful.
There are many peacocks on the grounds. They were pretty shy except at sunrise so, instead, this is some of the lovely art on the walls at the pool house.
This is one of the polo horses being exercised.
Many of the people who work at Talabgaon Castle are from the local village. We were fortunate to get a tour by some of the local boys. The thing that we most noticed is that people seem so happy with what they have. The pace of life is slower, the days much the same (so we were really a treat and gained quite the following during our walk. It helped that I was giving out candy to the kids.) but there is joy.
Negotiating for our bangles drew a crowd
Eric showing the kids his iphone (they recognized it as a 6s)
Potter using a foot-driven wheel
Cotton machine – not in use because it is not the season
Cow patties drying in the sun. Fuel.
Observation: Indians are nothing if not creative. Transportation is expensive and people have found that they can construct a Jugaad, or truck made of wooden planks, a tinkertoy engine (my words) and miscellaneous jeep parts. You see them all over the countryside moving people or supplies around. They don’t have a lot of oomph, but boy are they pretty!
Our final visit of the day was to Lalsot, a nearby larger village of about 30,000. My guess is that Talagbaon has about 6,000 inhabitants. Note most of the young people leave for the city as soon as they are able to and don’t return.
Here are some of the images from Lalsot.
Baker making a layered dessert that will eventually have syrup poured into the middle
They followed us around
One of the very cool things we witnessed is two men making the lacquer bracelets. They start with a stick of what looks like wood, color it and then start melting and forming bracelets. One does the first part and the second guy takes the strip of lacquer and forms it into a round. Once cooled they will apply lots of lovely sparkly gems.
Rolling the lacquer
Forming the bracelet
And what the final ones look like. India is all about sparkle and color.