0Wednesday. 13th [December 1905]—Jaipur
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13 December 1905 — Jaipur
Wednesday. 13th [December 1905]. Sir Swinton & Mr Bajnanth came for us with the state carriage & we drove through one of the most picturesque streets possible to the Museum. The main street is enormously wide & the houses all in uniform line & painted pale pink. They are of one story but have the appearance of being two stories the walls of the upper story being merely a kind of screen– In the centre of the town is a fountain or tank & the 4 big streets converge on it in an open space– There was a great deal of movement & life—many lovely colours, green, orange & turquoise blue, in the costumes of the natives– Grain in heaps on the ground was being offered for sale & the pigeons & other birds had to be kept away with shouts & sticks—small Hindu shrines are placed here & there along the road or sometimes in the very middle of the road. It is the most picturesque town we have yet seen & entirely Indian. The Museum, of which Sir Swinton is the architect is a charming redsandstone Saracenic palace standing in beautiful gardens kept up with great care, with nice flowers & trees—well laid out & watered by many coolies & bheesties. We only looked round the outside of the building & into one or two of the courts in one of which I saw reproductions of Nineveh sculptures– Sir Swinton showed us in the gardens avaries full of the birds of the country, besides monkeys & wild beasts—& then after a charming drive took us back to our hotel where we lunched & afterwards set out again under the care of Mr Bynath to see the school of art when are some fine things—but where the youth of the country is being also unfortunately taught European drawing & colouring which when attempted by the native invariably results in being an Indian caricature. From the School of arts we went to the Maharajah’s Palace a maze of gardens & fountains & groves at the end of which we came to an immense tank, now half empty of water where we were told there were large crocodiles. On being told we could see them fed we dispatched a garden boy with a few pice & on his return with some raw meat an old man raised his voice & shouted. One by one 5 huge monsters raised their heads above the water & came bumping along to the foot of a flight of steps wh led down from the palace wall to the tank. The old man threw them some meat & at last they came close to him & even put their noses on the steps & took the meat from his hands. They are revolting looking beasts. We made our way from the Palace to where some poor tigers are kept in cages in the city. It would appear that is a mark of royal power to possess some of these poor wild beasts in cages. One feels quite sorry for the great strong animals kept behind bars to be taunted & teased by their keepers for the amusement of the tourist from Europe– We drove thro’ the wonderful city back to our hotel to rest before we started off to dine with Sir Swinton & Lady Jacob at their delightful large bungalow. Lady Jacob received us most kindly.

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