The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - 'Diary of a Tour in the Naga Hills, 1922-1923' by Henry Balfour

caption: Sightseeing tour of Jaipur
medium: diaries
date: 27.12.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Wed. Dec. 27
text: Arrived at Jaipur at 4.45 a.m., before scheduled time! I had to galvanize my bearer from somnulence into quasi-activity. I drove to the "New Hotel" & lay down on the bed half-dressed. Early tea was brought at 6 & I got up at 7.30 a.m. After breakfast I went for a walk by myself (I was the only visitor in the hotel). I walked to the Ram Nuvar Garden, outside the city on the S. side & about 2 miles from the hotel. There I strolled about, visited the Museum at the Albert Hall (fairly interesting) & the collection of animals in the Zoo part of the gardens (not up to much). Walked back to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon I hired a victoria & drove to the city of Jaipur, entering by the Chand Pole Gate & driving down the main street. Nearly all the buildings are painted pink, giving a curious effect, rather pleasing. I went to the Palace & looked round inside at the Durbar halls etc, & visited the garden & also the crocodile tank, where there are several very large crocs. Some were lying out on the bank & were pretty tame. I went up quite close to them, but kept clear of their tails. The Palace is disappointing inside & poorly kept. I next visited the Observatory, which, like the one at Delhi, has immense instruments built up of brick & stone etc. Some huge bronze astrolabes are suspended. I then went to the Maharaja's stables, which are very extensive, the open stalls enclosing a huge rectangular exercising ground. There were hundreds of horses there, many of them well-bred, largely of Arab stock; and numerous polo ponies. The late Maharaja's special horse was brought out for me to see - not a bad beast. Horses are trained to 'show-off'. I then drove down a side street at the end of which is a collection of 6 or 7 tigers in separate cages, some fine examples among them. Next I waited at the Square near the Hawa Mahal, to see the Maharaja's elephants paraded. There were seven of them, all with their foreheads blackened & several with their faces elaborately painted in coloured designs.
text: The city is enclosed by high, crenelated walls & the streets are wide, with small shops along both sides. Metal-workers, dyers who were dyeing cloth & drying it on the pavements or by carrying long lengths about the streets; spinning with the Indian wheel; winnowing and grinding flour with rotary hand-querns; shoe-making etc., could all be seen in operation. The women are mostly dressed in dark Indian-red colour. There is plenty of life & colour in the town. There are myriads of Kites, many white Vultures & dark vultures; green parrots are very tame & feed in the streets, as do thousands of pigeons (?Stockdoves). Very fine long-tailed Hanuman monkeys are about the city & outside it. Minute Palm Squirrels are everywhere & very tame.
text: I drove back via the Ajmer Gate & got to the hotel at 6 p.m., paying the driver 3R.8as for the three hours. In the hotel I met a "Saint", who smoked cigarettes & had tea with me. He presented me with an apple. He travels by himself all over India, visiting people who have need of him. Quite a decent sort. I dined alone &, after a short country walk by moonlight, turned in early, having had a fairly full day.