Tarun Chopra is an internationally acclaimed photographer who has produced some of the most stunning photographic art books on India. Each book of his has been a commercial success story in itself, with some titles well into their lO?" edition. Art connoisseurs from across the globe collect his photographs, resulting in numerous solo exhibitions of his work being held in different parts of the world.
His assignments know no geographical boundaries. He has recently finished shooting a Mexican hacienda and a series of copper industries near Mexico City. Before this, he has been on assignments in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
At present, Tarun is working on a project called Threads of Compassion, for which he is travelling around the world and interviewing and photographing world religious readers in their own habitat. The pursuit of this endeavour has made him trek to the Tikal Jungles in Guatemala to meet the Mayan leader, accompany Chief Rabbi to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, get an audience with the Imam in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and photograph the Chief Priest of Greek Orthodox Church conducting the Mass in Athens.
Since time immemorial, India has been associated with magnificence and extravagance. Growing up in India, one invariably got to hear stories from epics such as Mahabharata and Ramayana. Stories in which fabulous palaces with lavish decorations were vividly described, stories where people dressed in silk garments and were jewelled from head to toe, and stories where children played with glass marbles, only in this case the marbles were made of rubies, pearls, and emeralds . . . Stories of India of the bygone era.
Royal Pa/aces of India is an attempt to capture the very same flamboyance, opulence, and the luxurious lifestyle of the rich and the royal of India. Most of the palaces that adorn the pages of this coffee-table book are from the Medieval era onwards. Author Tarun Chopra has selectively picked the most ' luxe of royal spaces to showcase the rich and glorious past of the country.
From the arid land of Rajasthan, which has astounding palaces like the City Palace, Jaipur; Udai Bilas Palace, Dungarpur; Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, to the land of Nizams and Wodieyars, with the strikingly beautiful Falaknuma Palace and Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad, and Mysore Palace and Lalitha Mahal in Mysore, you will find captured in these pages, pictures that provide a sumptuous peep into the homes of India's royalty. The palaces are a living testimony of India's abundantly rich cultural heritage. In fact, calling them ‘the story-tellers of the bygone era? wouldn't be too off-the-mark.
These famous palaces exhibit grandeur, showcase a brilliant range of architectural styleand artistry, and reflect an elegance of style that could have only been mastered over eons. Apart from being royal residences of the kings, these palaces are the finest example of sheer luxury ?and comfort. There is an opulence to them that cannot be replicated. Their absolute majesty is something that needs to be seen to be believed. So, delve in and have a royal time.
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