In this hundred and sixteenth archive story by Kristian Bertel, we are learning about women working in India at the Amber Fort in Jaipur. Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
An Indian woman is working in the garden of Kesar Kyari also known as the 'Saffron Garden' at the Amber Fort near Jaipur, India. The gardener's labor during the year include planting flowers and other plants, weeding, pruning, grafting, deadheading, mixing and preparation of insecticides and other products for pest control and tending garden compost.
An Indian woman is working in the garden of Kesar Kyari also known as the 'Saffron Garden' at the Amber Fort near Jaipur, India. The gardener's labor during the year include planting flowers and other plants, weeding, pruning, grafting, deadheading, mixing and preparation of insecticides and other products for pest control and tending garden compost.

Amber Fort portraiture

Weeds tend to thrive at the expense of the more refined edible or ornamental plants. Gardeners need to control weeds using physical or chemical methods to stop weeds from reaching a mature stage of growth when they could be harmful to domesticated plants. Early activities such as starting young plants from seeds for later transplantation are usually performed in early spring.


What is gardening?

Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture. In gardens, ornamental plants are often grown for their flowers, foliage or overall appearance as useful plants, such as root vegetables, leaf vegetables, fruits and herbs, are grown for consumption, for use as dyes or for medicinal or cosmetic use.


Gardens in India
A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation or enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature, as an ideal setting for social or solitary human life. The single feature identifying even the wildest wild garden is control and the garden can incorporate both natural and man-made materials. Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture. In gardens, ornamental plants are often grown for their flowers, foliage or overall appearance useful plants, such as root vegetables, leaf vegetables, fruits and herbs, are grown for consumption, for use as dyes or for medicinal or cosmetic use. Gardening may be very specialized, with only one type of plant grown or involve a variety of plants in mixed plantings. It involves an active participation in the growing of plants and tends to be labor-intensive, which differentiates it from farming or forestry.



"Gardening ranges in scale from fruit orchards, to long boulevard plantings with one or more different types of shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants, to residential back gardens including lawns and foundation plantings and to container gardens grown inside or outside"



Women working in India
Contrary to common perception, a large percentage of women in India are actively engaged in traditional and non-traditional work. However, there are far fewer women than men in the paid workforce. In urban India, women participate in the workforce in impressive numbers and in rural India in the agriculture and allied industrial sectors, women account for as much as almost ninety percent of the labour force. The traditional occupation of India is agriculture and traditional occupations have been described as occupations practiced by successive generations, rooted in customs and practices and focused on subsistence economies, pre-dating colonization and the industrial revolution and agriculture is the backbone of the country. India was called self-sustainable country when agriculture was the backbone of the country and people residing in rural areas depend mostly on Agriculture.

Portraiture at the Amber Fort
Amer Fort or Amber Fort is a fort located in Amer, Rajasthan, India and is situated on a forested hill promontory that juts into Maota Lake near the town of Amer about elven kilometers from Jaipur city, the capital of Rajasthan. Mughal architecture greatly influenced the architectural style of several buildings of the fort. Constructed of red sandstone and marble, the attractive, opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard. It consists of the 'Diwan-e-Aam' or 'Hall of Public Audience', the Diwan-e-Khas or 'Hall of Private Audience', the Sheesh Mahal also known as the 'Mirror palace' or 'Jai Mandir' and the 'Sukh Niwas' where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace. Hence, the Amer Fort is also popularly known as the Amer Palace. The palace was the residence of the Rajput Maharajas and their families. At the entrance to the palace near the fort's Ganesh Gate, there is a temple dedicated to 'Shila Devi', a goddess of the 'Chaitanya cult', which was given to Raja Man Singh when he defeated the Raja of Jessore, Bengal in 1604. Jessore is now in Bangladesh. Raja Man Singh had twelve queens so he made twelve rooms, one for each Queen. Each room had a staircase connected to the King's room but the Queens were not to go upstairs. Raja Jai Singh had only one queen so he built one room equal to three old queen's rooms. The palace is divided into six separate but main sections each with its own entry gate and courtyard. The main entry is through the 'Suraj Pol' also known as the 'Sun Gate' which leads to the first main courtyard. This was the place where armies would hold victory parades with their war bounty on their return from battles, which were also witnessed by the Royal family's womenfolk through the latticed windows. This gate was built exclusively and was provided with guards as it was the main entry into the palace. It faced east towards the rising sun, hence the name. Royal cavalcades and dignitaries entered the palace through this gate.

Since the photographer first arrived in India back in 2008, he has been drawn to India. A country where he experienced a side of human existence that he had never seen anywhere else. A land of the unknown, the India that nothing can quite prepare you for because of its very essence touched the photographer. "- I literally saw people working with their bare hands and one of the moments I remember most was this woman in the photograph above. She used the plastic bucket in the gardering work", the Photographer says. If you are interested in seeing more photos and pictures from India, you can see one of the slideshows, which are also displayed on the photographer's website.

Read also:  An Indian portrait




Read also:  An Indian portrait

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of a woman near Jaipur. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.