Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Girls CAN Read Maps!

Woah! Was that fun or was that FUN! On saturday me and some gal pals headed straight to Pataudi Palace in Haryana and managed to reach there and back in one piece without the assistance of a man. Anyways, that was clearly not the high point of the excursion. The high point of the excursion was the journey and the excursion itself. Armed with good music, handy snacks, lots of cash and great company we set out for Tiger Pataudi's former abode. The balmy weather and verdant countryside also added to the fun. We saw many glorious sights on the way and I felt even more happy as I had not set out of Delhi NCR in a very very long time.

The white palace was more like a huge stately mansion, impressive nonetheless, even though some portions of it were screaming for attention. The palace complex was interesting to explore and included some mausoleums of the royal family, tiny canons, a madrasa, lovely gardens with mughal fountains and a rather abandoned mosque. Inside the palace we got a glimpse of life in the royal strata. Sadly, hunting was a much favoured royal pastime of the Nawabs and so we saw many stuffed animals in the palace, which mainly included deers and one grand tiger at the entrance. Pictures and books of the royal family graced the walls and bookshelves. I was only able to recognise Ibrahim Pataudi, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Sharmila Tagore and Maharani Gayatri Devi in the plethora of pictures on display.

The courtyards and verandahs were amazing and the poolside and huge royal bathrooms were also impressive... hehehe. The hotel staff gave us a tour of two of the rooms in the heritage hotel. The furniture was ancient and one of the rooms even sported an MF Hussain original. The TV lounge was a tad dissappointing because of the tiny TV there. We all went nuts clicking pictures and I even tried my hand at playing pool in the royal pool table. I ended up embarassing myself, but no one was looking so it was quite ok.

The worst part of the excursion was the money we had to shell out to enjoy the palace. They had a No Lunch - No Go policy and the blasted Nawabi Lunch was for 600 bucks per plate plus taxes. Sheesh! Our office pantry serves a better meal!

All in all a thrilling experience. One should always try and get out of the city for short excursions, they certainly do refresh the mind. Plus exploring something new is always exciting.


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