9 Breathtaking Photos of Rajasthan, India

9 Breathtaking Photos of Rajasthan, India

Assouline’s weighty new book, Rajasthan Style—written by Laure Vernière and photographed by Anne Garde—is a love note to the lively spirit and the drop-dead gorgeous natural beauty of Rajasthan. Located in India’s northwest, the state of Rajasthan is a mix of cultures that date back to 405 B.C., and it is famous for its temples and forts, its bazaars and palaces, its jewels and colorful veils and saris. But Rajasthan also boasts a modern economy that includes engineering firms and prodigious oil production. As these photos reveal, Rajasthan is a microcosm of all things that define India.

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“In Rajasthan,” Vernière writes, “both men and women wear jewels. Here, a merchant’s hand is covered in jewelry: His gold pendant depicts Durga, the Invincible Goddess.” Photo by Anne Garde; assouline.com

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An alcove in the Chavi Niwas probably reserved for women; toward the back of the room a pointed arch window features a trellis pattern that is cut directly into the marble. Photo by Anne Garde; assouline.com

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Women in jewel-toned saris stop for a break on the road to Mount Abu, a “hill station” (summer retreat) wherein the higher altitude keeps the temperature cooler than neighboring valleys and plains. Photo by Anne Garde; assouline.com

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This street artist has abundant facial hair, a symbol of virility and Rajput pride, the mustache especially. In Rajasthan, a man who is dishonored must shave his mustache. Photo by Anne Garde; assouline.com

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The color gold dominates this room, lavishly decorated in the Mughal style, located on the private floors of Chandra Mahal in Jaipur. All the magic of Rajasthan is contained in this room, a place for music and dancing, where the maharaja relaxes with family and close friends: walls inlaid with mirrors and colored glass, silk-covered sofas with embroidery, ceilings decorated with Persian motifs. Photo by Anne Garde

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A gypsy child from the Thar Desert wears jewelry that are family heirlooms, and like all nomadic women, she wears all of her worldly possessions. Photo by Anne Garde; assouline.com

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A cheerful jumble of items in a Tijara bazaar stall, with the usual image of the deity hung with a necklace of artificial flowers, flyers reused for notepaper, and a string of tiny green peppers and a lemon used for rituals in the home. Photo by Anne Garde; assouline.com

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Popular in Europe during the 18th century, silhouettes became a mainstay of portraiture in the 19th century because of their sense of immediacy and the development of photography. Silhouettes depicted the rites and customs of British society and would later inspire the art of animation. Throughout India, you can see that influence in the portraits of princes, like this one, featured in several palaces. Photo by Anne Garde; assouline.com

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The cover of Rajasthan Style; author Vernière writes in the introduction, “In Rajasthan, one encounters marvel after marvel; one is surprised by beauty in all its forms—real or imaginary—and enchantment at every turn.” Courtesy Assouline; cover photo by Anne Garde

9 Breathtaking Photos of Rajasthan, India

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