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Last Updated: Monday, 3 November, 2003, 16:00 GMT
Prince visits historic India fort
The Prince of Wales, flanked by Jodhpur Maharaja Gaj Singhji (2nd l), and Crown Prince Yuraj Shivraj Singh (second right) at Nagaur Fort
The prince and local royalty were shielded from the sun by umbrellas
The Prince of Wales has visited a restored 12th century fort in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

Prince Charles said he had wanted for years to visit Ahhichatragarh fort in Nagaur, 85 miles north-east of Jodhpur.

He was shown around by the Maharajah of Jodhpur, Gaj Singh II, and his son, Crown Prince Yuraj Shivraj Singh.

The prince, on a nine-day official visit to India, admired the fort from a roof terrace, while shielded from the 26C (80f) sun by two large umbrellas.

The prince is patron of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, which has been carrying out the renovation work.

Mahendra Singh, from the trust, said the prince had been keenly following its progress.

"He has wanted to see the Nagaur Fort for a few years, but as he says, 'they don't let me travel where I want to'," Mr Singh said.

He added that the prince had not donated funds to the project.

"I think his support to us is more important than his financial contribution."

Polio children

The fort is made up of a walled complex of buildings, fountains and gardens.

Considered one of the most important historic buildings in Rajasthan, it was first built in the fourth century.

It was rebuilt in the 12th century, and came under attack several times during its varied history, changing hands between rulers.

It fell into disrepair in the years after Indian independence, but has now been under sustained renovation for several years.

Boy does a handstand at the Sucheta Kriplani Shiksha Niketan school.
Child polio victims did handstands and sang songs for the prince

Earlier on Monday, Prince Charles met youngsters suffering from polio who attend the Sucheta Kriplani Shiksha Niketan school.

The girls and boys, who have been left disabled by the disease, did handstands and sang the John Lennon song Imagine.

It is the prince's first visit to India since 1992, when he visited with the late Princess Diana.

On that occasion, she travelled alone to the world famous monument to love - the Taj Mahal - and was famously photographed on her own, fuelling speculation about the future of their marriage.

The prince has visited several conservation, restoration, environmental and polio projects during his visit.

Later on Monday he was flying to Bombay, now known as Mumbai.




SEE ALSO:
Prince Charles gets into Indian groove
02 Nov 03  |  South Asia


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