The grand life in art deco

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By The Telegraph Online in India
  • Published 21.07.06

The interesting thing about Bindu Manchanda's FORTS & PALACES OF INDIA: SENTINELS OF HISTORY (Roli, Rs 695) is that it gives an idea of these heritage sites as lived places, in history and in modern times. Take the picture of the present- day Rathores of Jodhpur, taking a walk in the expansive lawns of the Umaid Bhawan palace or holding their birthday celebrations. Or that of the curious onlookers, standing amidst the giant green pillars of the Amba Vilas Palace to witness the marriage of the current Wodeyar of Mysore. The two pictures here are of the finely-crafted corridors of Samode palace (extreme left) and the art deco-style royal bedroom at New Palace, Morvi (left), which is still in use. The first is a reminder of the grand style in which Indian royalty lived, and the second, with its giant fresco by Stefan Norblin, of how self-indulgent they remain.