Tordi Garh is a heritage
property, an old palace converted into a hotel. The hotel lies at the edge
of the village and is an 18th century structure with a series of turrets
all around which were used during battles. It has a simple architecture
with lime and mortar and has a series of courtyards, terraces and verandahs.
This Rajput royal palace has been occupied by the same illustrious
family for 17 generations.
A descendant of the founders
of the fort has converted a couple of wings of the residential part into
a hotel. It now houses 23 rooms. The food served was traditionally Indian
using home grown vegetables, dairy, poultry and supplies from farmers in
the village. Our meals were served on the upper terrace which gave a fine
view of the village and surrounding countryside -- the desert, the fields,
the forests and the mountains of Tordi. The supper meal was especially
pleasant as the air was cooler and we had a great view of the sunset and
lights of the surrounding village and countryside.
We aren't great fans of tattoos,
but one of the fascinating services offered by locals is the application
of temporary Henna Tattoos These applications are very popular among brides
for Hindu weddings. Sue-On paid a young lady to create a design on her
hand and forearm. The girl started with a standard design and then Sue-On
had her add our show names -- Bill and Sue-On -- along with the symbol
we use on all our Edgar Rice Burroughs Webpages. The young village
artist did a fine job on the designs she had obviously specialized in many
times but obviously had some difficulty in creating English print characters.
Henna paste is applied to the
skin just as if you were writing with a marker. The paste is made out of
crushed leaves and twigs of henna plant and resembles a dark brown toothpaste.
When this paste is applied on skin and left for few hours, it leaves an
orange to dark maroon stain on the skin which fades away in 7 to 14 days.
A casual walk through the village
in the heat of the sun gave the tattoo time to dry. Over the next two weeks
the design gradually disappeared . . . we weren't too sorry to see it leave
:) We were becoming quite used to the sights along the streets in this
typical rural village: cows, goats, swine, hawkers in shanties and on carts
and tractors, designs on plaster walls, gateways, curious kids following
us or playing in makeshift playgrounds, farm equipment, and many derelict
houses with endless piles of rubble. The local people were very friendly
and loved to pose for photos. Some statistics calculate that there are
over 10 million street vendors in India.