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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

20.593684, 78.96288

Friday 16. [16 January 1903] Up at 6.30, breakfast at 7 and at 7.45 the
elephant arrived and we went up to the Fort again. This time we went
straight on to Pudmani's palace, a much done up building with a part
standing in the middle of a large pond. She was the wife of Bheem
and it was for desire of her that Ala ud Deen besieged the town. She
led her 1st Johur of 13000 women after many adventures. Once Ala
ud Din was allowed to see her in a mirror, once she was promised to
him, but in her place and her litters came armed men. Beyond the
lake is Umba Singh's palace. We crossed over to the E side and
were taken into a garden at the end of which is a big tank with a little
shrine to Shiwa by it. The tanks are very numerous and well built.
Then back to Patta's house a very high building with outstanding
windows at the top, and Kali Diva's[?] temple, plain and I shd say
modern. A naked man was washing after the Puja. We saw him bind
on his flesh coloured cloth and with white ashes mark his brow with the
double Shiwa mark and run a dark line round the back of his neck.
His mouth was bound up with a cloth. So to the charming Mahasata
where the Chattris are and down to the Gaumukh Talao, most
exquisite set in deep rocks with the great walls rising out of it. The
water comes from a spring which is protected by a columned arcade,
much decorated. A number of Lingas are placed under the falling
water. A gateway above leads towards Khumba's Palace. Next to
Mira Bai's Temple. (She was Khumba's wife) It is all covered with
carving, Shiwa and Parwati being most prominent, and in mass it is
very fine, presenting a well proportioned outline. Opposite it is a
lovely Jain temple of about the same period I shd say. Above the
Mahasata on the W. scarp is a beautiful ruined temple (Vrij built by
Khumba?) with an outstanding porch on the edge of the hill. Inside is a
tablet inscribed in Sanskrit characters and in the Sanctuary a great
head. The detail of this temple is as good as any in Chitor
[Chittaurgarh]. We crossed over to the E scarp to see the Suraj Pol
where the great Chouda fell. Just behind it is a second gate guarding
the road - up the peaceful rocky slope, down which the saffron robed
Rajputs had thundered, came a party of women bearing bronze tins of
milk. Near here is the Jain tower, 895, but unfortunately the 2 top
stories [sic] had recently fallen and it was enveloped in scaffolding so
that we could scarcely see its beautiful outline with the outstanding
windows. There is a little Sikraloyd[?] We now returned to Khumba's
Palace, much like Patta's. Within is a smaller mass called the Moti
Moil. We were shown the dark and narrow stair down which the
women went to the Johur. It has not been opened since the last, in
Akbar's siege. This palace seems to be enclosed in a fortress wall
of its own. PlaquÈed against the wall is a little much decorated, round
building with a shallow dome, which I think my guide told me was the
birthplace of the princes of Mewar. We got on our elephant and rode
past a big tank to the Palace of Rutna Singh (Bheem) Pudmani's
husband, which stands with its outjutting windows looking onto a lake
an a ..... Sikra by it. So home and in the village stopped to buy
confections of flower and ghee and to thank the Naib Hakim for his
kind offices. I found him sitting on the floor of his offices and
stammered gratitude in Urdu for he had not a traitre mot of English.
So back at 12.15, lunched and caught the train at 2 for Ajmer and
Alwar. Had some excellent pepper tea at Bhilwarra [Bhilwara] at 4,
and pomegranates. Tod says that the temple with the great head
was built by Khumba in memory of his father Mokul, and the head
represents Mokul. What I call the walls of the Palace of Khumba, he
calles Naulakha Bindar, the little round temple, the temple of Sengar
Chaori. He gives Khumba's palace to ....... and says there is a small
temple to Deoji in the court the 2 big temples are both of Vrij and not
either of them Jain. The 2 big tanks were made when the Lal of Chitor
was married to Arkil[?] Cheechee and filled them with oil and ghee.
From the gaomukh is a subterranean passage leading to rock cut
rooms where the queen perished in Alla ud din's time. Kalka Devi he
says is very old dating from the Mori dynasty. Bheem and Pudmani's
mahals are close together. Beyond them the tank and palace of
Chitory[?] Moi the Puar[?] lord of Chitor. What I call Bheem's palace
he calls the ancient palace of the Moris. II. 698. Lots of peacocks. At
sunset and sunrise the village, like Udaipur, clangs with temple bells.
We had only 10 minutes for dinner at Ajmer, but fortunately Muni
turned up and looked after the luggage. We had a carriage to

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