The story of Jodha Bai on Terranora

Where do you start an epic story, I suppose the day I met my sole mate and gorgeous wife Susan 35 years ago. Now married 30 incredible years, 4 awesome children, Wade 30, Amber 28, Brad 23 and Brandy 22. These exciting years have been interjected by lots of travel, business, working abroad in SE Asia and culminating in the CEO of successful public renewable energy forestry company.

Then at the age of 47 the life altering experience of being diagnosed with an extremely rare terminal illness, Amyloidosis and given three to six months to live. Not one to give into anything and with an eternal positive attitude to life, an incredible supportive family and fantastic medical treatment I sit here 10 years later to tell the story of how and why we built part of an almost exact replica of a 450 year old Indian Palace, Jodha Bai Palace in Fatepur Sikri, India.

Now, we must go back to 1571 when the city was founded as the capital of the Mugal Empire by Emperor Akbar. Akbar the Great was considered one of the most progressive Mugal Emperors and had three main wives, one Muslim, one Christian and one Hindu. Akbar’s favourite wife was supposedly his Hindu wife, Jodha Bai, who had a summer and winter palace. Jodha Bai retreat is modelled after her summer palace

Keen not to be dictated to by our vision and design by some large architectural firm we instead employed an architectural draftsman now our dear friend Richard Matthews. After five years of planning, 2 trips to India and nine months to get our Development approval we finally started construction in 2015 and as owner builders took 5 years to complete.

It might be an opportune time to mention and thank our dear friends in India, who have overseen the design and delivery of over 300 tonnes and 11 containers of hand carved Indian red Sandstone and Indian joinery that all needed to so closely replicate that of Jodha Bai Palace. Their and the dedicated craftsmen’s contribution to this project cannot be understated.

Every family member has contributed immensely to our build and we love them all the more for their awesome input. It has made everyone appreciate the build and the gaining of new and invaluable skills. We now look forward with my beautiful family to welcoming guests to our awesome home.

What an adventure, what a legacy that we pass on to our children and what a building that will stand the test of time

Cliff Peiffer


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