The palace was huge, made of red sandstone, with shady gardens - so efficient were they at blocking out the sun that my party puffa was well and truly zipped up and any small pockets of sunshine actively sought out to stave off the post fasting shivers - and a restaurant ideally situated on the edge of the large moat-cum-lake, which was home to Siberian Cranes, pelicans, moorhens and other wildlife.
Nilghi are very cool. Odd looking animals, we spent a disproportionate amount of time trying to describe them in terms of what beasts they could be the progeny of, which perhaps says something about us as a family and our creative attempts at conversation just over half way through a 'family holiday' comprised entirely of adults.
What we lack in chat however, we've always made up in exploration, and our own pedestrian 'safari' around the estate led us to an exquisitely located 1930s bungalow atop a miniature hill overlooking the palace and lake, which was entirely dilapidated and according to Dad suffering from damaged foundations. To restore it to life, he said (and if you know my father, you'd pay heed to his thoughts on buildings and construction), one would have to knock it down and start from scratch on the same footprint. But in my humble opinion, it would be well worth it. Beautiful fireplaces, a stunning view over the lake, two terraces so you had the warmth of the evening sun or shade from the midday heat... there was even a lift (now defunct) to set any 'well to do' residents decidedly apart from the riff raff of the street. Only beggars walk.
We also came across the now derelict and run down Maharani's palace, complete with empty swimming pool and layer upon layer of bat droppings. Unsure if we were allowed to or not, we (of course) sneaked in and had a look around. This was a great opportunity for me to indulge the latent architectural photographer within, inspired by the striking Ruins of Detroit by Marchand and Meffre. We even found the hidden walkway leading to the main palace, so ladies could come and go without being seen, thus retaining their modesty. How marvellous the palace must have been once! A real shame that it is now in such a sorry state. Ripe for renovation though, and a new queen: Me.