Monday, 6 October 2014

Jodhpur - The Blue City: Part 1

After admiring the gaudy, pink palaces of Jaipur, Angela and I were now bound for Jodhpur, the Blue City. Many of the houses in this old city - Rajasthan's second-largest - are painted bright Vishnu-blue, making for some striking cityscapes as one explores its narrow streets. These buildings encircle a steep orange bluff topped with one of India's largest fortifications, the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, which overlooks the city from its very centre, making it visible from practically every district.

Thankfully, while it's still pretty bustling and noisy (are there any Indian cities that aren't noisy, I wonder?), Jodhpur feels a lot more relaxed than Jaipur or Delhi, much to our relief. During our two days there we wandered its markets, explored its half-blue streets, and climbed up to the fort for some excellent panoramic views of Jodhpur and the surrounding Thar Desert.

Our driver Bubloo took us by car from Jaipur to Jodhpur, a journey that took around six hours.
Passing the Wind Palace as we drove out of Jaipur in the morning.
Passing arid hills and whitewashed towns.

The landscape became more and more parched-looking.

Soon we were cruising on a straight, flat road as we entered the Thar Desert. In the distance, we could see a mirage effect on the surface of the road.

Arriving in Jodhpur.
We stayed in a lovely white palace-like hotel overlooked by Mehrangarh Fort.
A painting of a man wearing jodhpurs. These wide-thighed pants originated in the city, and were exported to the west by the British during the colonial days.

Our neighbourhood was on the south side of the fort, where there were fewer blue houses than in the north.

A ladder-maker.
Sadar Market surrounds Ghanta Ghar, known as the Clock Tower of Rajasthan.

At the banks of a holy water tank, or salavar.

We spotted some more blue houses as we climbed up towards the fort.

In the distance we could see Umaid Bhawan Palace, a residence for Jodhpur's royal family.
We would see more of the fort tomorrow. For now, we admired it from the rooftop of our hotel.
For dinner I had Mutton Mughalai, consisting of morsels of mutton cooked and marinated in a white yoghurt and sour cream sauce. Angela had Mutter Paneer again.
Climbing back up to the fort the next day.
Caught some nice views of the town and the nearby desert as we climbed up.

Entering the fort.
These red circles are the imprints of cannonballs once fired by the attacking armies of Jaipur. 

Click here to continue the adventure in Part 2!

No comments:

Post a Comment