We had hoped to make it to the Birla Mandir, to see sunset at the temple, but Jaipur traffic and our habit as a group of taking far longer then planned doing anything meant we encountered the sunset on the journey to the temple. On the plus side, it allowed me to take one of my favourite shots – sundown over a myriad of scooters and their drivers on the way home. Any road journey in India is eventful!
We arrived at the Birla Mandir after the sun had gone down behind the hoizon, so we got to see it in the wonderful light of twilight as it moved into dusk and then darkness, the sky turning to an inky blue then finally to night. Birla Mandir is also known as the Laxmi Narayan temple and is the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. Built in 1988 of white marble, the Birla family built temples in many Indian cities. The green car that appears to be in it’s own mausoleum of a garage, was used by the family when they used to visit the temple. It now sits, beautifully lit and cared for but unused. Moti Doongri Fort of Jaipur is a small palace perched on the hill behind the temple, and was inspired by Edinburgh Castle. Moti Dungri means Hills of Pearls. Housing another hindu temple, this one dedicated to Ganesh and finished in 1761, the castle is as Scottish as the Brighton Pavillion is Indian – both are wonderful and completely unexpected pastiches.
Text and images © Jonathan Dredge.