Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pataliputra The Largest Jewel in India’s Crown Part.V

A series of pavilions scattered through the formal gardens contained the private rooms used by the royal family. The interiors were light and airy, and the rooms were sumptuously furnished with cane and wooden furniture, rich fabric hangings and animal skins. The royal residents could look out over gardens stocked with ornamental trees of every variety. Peacocks and tame gazelles wandered about between flowers fountains, and fish ponds.
 Among the buildings in the gardens was one which did not have much of a view. This was the harem where the royal princesses and concubines lived, ruled by the reigning queens. Outsides its walls, armed women, often dressed as men, stood guard. The princesses and concubines spent much of their time indoors, and most wore very few clothes when inside the harem- often only bracelets on their wrists and ankles and a jewel studded belt. Occasionally they strolled through their own gardens, or accompanied one another on excursions into the city or to the river, escorted by their female guards. On rare occasions, the entire court would parade through the city streets to attend a religious festival, or to watch the animal fights staged for the amusement of the people in arenas outside the city walls.
                                                                   Pataliputra was a city that could afford luxury and extravagance on an almost unimaginable scale. Its wealth depended on trade, and it controlled the Ganges- the main freight route across the north of India. Along the city’s northern walls, the fingers of dozens of wharves stretched into the great river. Boats shuttled between landing places and warehouses, unloading produce. Food was a common freight- the population of Pataliputra was too large to feed itself from the produce of its own lands alone. But cotton, stone, timber, and luxury goods also passed through the docks in enormous quantities. The population of the city grew as people were drawn in by its wealth, and new satellite towns sprang up nearby to house the excess.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.