Look away now

I promise this is my last Indian inspired post, I thought I was all done and ready to move onto writing about vintage tat etc again but really can't miss the opportunity to share Bangalore Palace with you.

 We are so spoilt these days in Australia with the advanced cultural industries around us, overspilling with arts graduates desperate to show us how sophisticated and and clever and subversive they are.  Indians might be pushing the boundaries with their software industries but they are in the stone age when it comes to sharing their incredible art and history with the world.  Which is fantastic, because you get to see real stuff in its natural state, rather than through the lens of curators and a shitload of wasted money.

Bangalore Palace was built in Victorian times by an Indian King and inspired by his visit to Windsor Palace and tudor achitecture, so it's a glorious dog's breakfast of a place.  The current Maharaja still lives there, I think this might be him.  Dude!  Who knows, there's no labels on anything.

Visitors amble through the palace rooms careful not to knock any wonky pictures off the walls, which are all peeling with paint and scuffed by decades of shuffling staff with trolleys.   When I came across these elephant and giraffe stools I nearly choked on my chai, surpassed only by the elephant trunk vase.  If anyone put these on display here there would be demonstrators with placards out the front gates, yet they say so much about the attitudes and lives the were lived in this place for so many years.

There is just something so beautiful about the faded grandeur of places like this.  And it made me think about how vastly superior an experience of something unmanufactured is, over the highly fabricated and controlled visitor pathway in historic buildings we visit in developed countries. 

The whole place was gold.


Pottery Barn

The last thing I did in India was go on a heritage walk in the Nandi Valley just out of Bangalore. We saw British graves from 1800 and an incredible Hindu temple from 800... both fascinating.  But in between getting to those things we dropped in on a 'barn' where there were a team producing big pottery urns. 

Bangalore might be the software capital of the world (according to Indians) but here may as well been in the 8th century.  Such is the ever-present contrast of modernity meets medieval in India.  This guy spun his wheel with a big stick on the foot circle below.  When it slowed down he got the stick out and spun it again. And again.

These chaps were making their pots using the coil method (yes actually I do know a small amount about pottery I'll have you know).   I think they are used as clay ovens for cooking tandoori, I missed that bit as I was so distracted watching the guy with the stick.