In winter, especially in winter, I recall the light of North India;
refracted through the dazzling artisanal skill of cut and pieced mirror work and painted glass.
Access road to the Samode Haveli, Samode, Rajasthan.
The haveli was built in the Aravalli range of hills about 30 miles outside of Jaipur beginning some 225 years ago as a residence and fort.
It is on three levels with rooms of varying heights around a courtyard at each level.
Today it is a heritage hotel with a wing which its owning family continues to use.
Hospitality Room of the Samode Haveli.
On one side of this room, an arched corridor with light entering from windows and doors.
On the other, a similar arched corridor forms one side of a covered arcade which overlooks the former durbar room, now a winter dining room.
The room and its flanking corridors are decorated with mirror work, fine plaster of Paris sculpting, enamel work, floral cartouches and paintings on the walls ; marble columns and floors.
Mirrors are also placed on mirrored walls.
An exit through rooms stenciled in white on powder and cerulean blues and decorative marble work.
Mirrors amplify light in the rooms and passageways of the heritage hotel
Mirrored wooden door with brass and iron fittings
Modern Indian mirror work in one of the suites of the haveli
The Diwan-i-Khas in the Amer (Amber) Fort, Amer, Rajasthan
The Amer (Amber) Fort, also in the Aravalli range of hills, overlooks the Maota Lake, almost 7 miles outside Jaipur.
It was built in four levels by Raja Man Singh (1550-1640) over an earlier encampment.
Within: vast open squares, gardens, an enclosing structure of many rooms.
On one level of the fort is the Hall of Private Audience (Diwan-i-Khas) built in the mid-18th century.
The upper part of this structure is the Mirror Palace (Sheesh Mahal), so called because of its mirror work.
Arches of several shapes, alabaster relief work, painted glass panels, and mirrored ceilings.
The mirrors are convex and inlaid with colored foil and paint.