14 December 2014

Howdahs, Palanquins And Baby Cots

The museum has some very impressive items.

Elephant howdahs were wooden seats with two compartments (mostly covered with gold and 
silver embossed sheets), which were fastened on to the elephant’s back.

 The front compartment, with more leg space and a raised protective metal sheet, 
was meant for kings or royalty,
 and the rear smaller one for a reliable bodyguard disguised as an attendant.

Palanquins were a popular means of travel or “cruising” for the ladies of the nobility. 

The covered ones allowed the ladies to see but not be seen!
They were also used by male nobility and royals on special occasions. 
 Brides were also delivered to their grooms in covered ones.

Maharaja Abhay Singh brought this magnificent palanquin to Jodhpur as war booty after defeating the governor of Gujara Sarbuland Khan in Mahadol. It is executed in the rich Gujarati tradition of carved and painted woodwork. The eves of the canopy are of beaten, cast and cut ironwork. The glass panes in wooden casements decorate the walls. Early 18th century AD.

Just a few of the many ornate baby cots.

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