20.February, Udaipur – city of lakes with the ROYAL PALACE
The day was spent mainly looking at the part of the city palace of Udaipur that is a museum. The whole building is vast being 1km. long. The are also 2 hotels, a school and other things in it. The oldest part has many narrow passages with steps up and down to make it easy to defend, but not so easy to visit. I think it would not pass any safety regulations in Europe. However very interesting. At the end there was an exhibition of very detailed minature paintings and of course we were afterwards taken to a place where you could buy such things. I did not, but ended up with a roughly carved ‘old’ elephant which at least does not looked mass produced.
I aquired from a street peddler a tiger of sorts for my grandson which was very cheap, but maybe there will be a more suitable one when we get to the Ranthambore nature reserve. First there is another long drive with a visit to a huge fort complex on the way. We start at 8.00, so get up at 6.30. Some say it might rain again tomorrow, but it has not since early morning of the second day and has been pleasantly warm but not too hot, unless you stand in the sun in the afternoon.
Jahangir (1569 – 1627), was born Prince Salim in Fatehpur Sikri, to Akbar and Mariam-uz-Zamani. Akbar’s previous children had died in infancy and he had sought the help of holy men to produce a son. Salim was named for one such man, Sheikh Salim, though Akbar always called him Sheikhu Baba. An aesthete, Jahangir decided to start his reign with a grand display of “Justice”, as he saw it. To this end, he enacted Twelve Decrees that are remarkable for their liberalism and foresight.
During his reign, there was a significant increase in the size of the Mughal Empire, half a dozen rebellions were crushed, prisoners of war were released and the work of his father, Akbar, continued to flourish. Much like his father, Jahangir was dedicated to the expansion of Mughal held territory through conquest. During his regime he would target the peoples of Assam near the eastern frontier and bring in a series of territories controlled by independent rajas in the Himalayan foothills from Kashmir to Bengal. Jahangir was responsible for ending a century long struggle with the state of Mewar. The campaign against the Rajputs was pushed so extensively that they were made to submit with great loss of life and property.