I feel useless with my cam. No photo does justice to the vision in front of me. Incredible India, indeed. The monarchs of the olden days then had it real good. The fortresses, palaces, temples as well as the erotic imagery expressed in some architectural bits, friezes, and at times, columns all point to a royal’s life of leisure and pleasure.



Pure hedonism? Who’s to say? Based on what I’m seeing now, I see EXTREMES. Dirt. Poverty. Even negligence? Juxtaposed against the remains of a palace’s grandeur. Incredible indeed. In India, there’s symmetry even in the prevalent chaos. I need to brace myself for the next few days’ surprises.



From the time we waited for our small boat that ferried us to our palace hotel in the middle of Lake Pichola to the moment we rested our backs in beds inside rooms with windows facing the City Palace across the lake till the time we ungrudgingly woke up for early morning yoga sessions….. it was dreamland.



Built in 1746 on a 4-acre rock foundation, it was initially called Jag Niwas. Its founder Jagat Singh intended this architectural masterpiece as a resort palace for his descendants. In 1961, this white-washed island palace on a manmade lake was converted into a luxury resort and expanded in 1971 to house 83 rooms. Undeniably among India’s best, it is now ranked among the world’s top 10 hotels.



It’s hard to describe our Taj Lake Palace experience without sounding like it’s an exaggeration. I confess I was so looking forward to a luxurious experience…… and got it! Upon arrival, we were accompanied to our room and shown around in a hushed, low key, quiet elegance. On our way to our room on the 2nd floor, we could hear the birds flitting from one tree branch to another, reminding us to proceed with serenity. I knew then I would want to stay longer than the 2 nights we booked here!



Watch this page. The Taj Lake Palace Hotel adventure continues. (Thanks Ernie Albano & Bien Anupol for a couple of photos on this spread)