Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan lies a bastion of heritage and handiwork—the Narain Niwas Palace. The owners, living simply, continue to reside in the sandstone fort–once a beacon of royal tradition and arts, it now ages elegantly with time.
Elegant design and handiwork are markers of identity, natural beauty and the humbling effects of time. The frescoes of the fort, although fading, still invoke a sense of admiration and humility—as our minds weave stories of the artisans of yore who took the time to create their art. On a recent visit to Narain Niwas Palace with a client, I was shown Room 01. On entering the room from an open courtyard, I was slightly taken aback to find that hidden within the masculinity of the exterior was a room that exuded feminine elegance. Even with its furnishings stored away, it entranced.
Rohida wood—an indigenous, hardy yet malleable wood from Rajasthan had been elaborately carved into panels that adorned the arches of the room; frescoed, lime plastered white walls against the backdrop of dark wood panels and pillars awash in the cool tones of a fading grey- green —all created an ambience of relief, coolness and respite from the dry heat of the outdoors.
Elegant interior design and natural, slow handiwork always have an understated yet weighty charm—perhaps a by-product of respecting time and hand craftsmanship.
Words: Sigandha Das and Shivani Dogra
Images: Shivani Dogra