Kota Fort and a night at Castle Bijaipur
Trip Start Dec 27, 2016
17Trip End Jan 18, 2017
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Another drive along good roads took us to Kota. The local guide here proudly showed us a lake with island castle and on the opposite side large models of the Eiffel Tower, pyramid, Statue of Liberty, Taj Mahal and even the Sydney Harbour bridge - hard to pick out through the smog. The Kota Fort was much more interesting. Built from 1264 to 1625, it has lovely miniature paintings which have been protected from damage by Perspex. Some of the Fort has been painted for protection, but much of it seems to be gradually decaying. It had an interesting museum with ingenious weapons of war, elephant howdahs and other remnants of medieval Kota.
Lunch was in the courtyard of a Haveli - or private mansion which is being run as a restaurant.
We next drove down narrow country roads through villages and crops, past a wildlife sanctuary (alas couldn't see the leopards said to reside there) to our accommodation, Castle Bijapur, a sixteenth century fortress built by Rao Shakti Singhj. It was quite a hike from reception to our accommodation, past the library and other halls and courtyards. The rooms were quite grand in a medieval kind of way. They had no phones, safes, coffee making facilities and the hot water was a bit erratic but we all loved it! The courtyard outside my room was a kind of informal bar. A fire was lit that we all gathered around on comfortable chairs with beers while a local band provided traditional entertainment. There was also a little shop that did good business selling pashminas, Indian jackets and such. After dinner (curry again!) it was completely dark and completely silent in my room and very comfortable. I slept until the morning wake up call, which was someone actually knocking on the door!