Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Jodhpur – More than Jodhpuri Pants


We started early from #Pushkar after a heavy breakfast towards #Jodhpur. My spirits were high as I have heard a lot about the Mehrangarh Fort.

Jodhpur is a four hour drive from Pushkar.  

We booked our stay at #Hotel Haveli, which was located in the heart of Old Jodpur. We had to go into really narrow lanes and to reach our hotel we had to ask for direction numerous times as there was no scope to take a U Turn or to reverse our Innova. The hotel was nice and we could see the gigantic #Mehrangarh Fort from our room windows. The view from the terrace restaurant was splendid. It felt as if Mehrangarh Fort is standing tall to safeguard the city.

Post lunch we started our way to the highlight of Jodhpur… a very beautiful and majestic fort; truly a must-visit on anyone’s list when at Jodhpur - #Mehrangarh Fort. The fort is located on a hilltop and is huge and gigantic. It is a beautiful piece of architecture and has a lot of work of strained glass, mosaic on the floors and lattice. The closer you get to the fort, the more you admire the fort. Three words that aptly describe the fort are – Majestic, Outstanding and Magnificent.

Mehrangarh Fort
 To reach the fort one has to cross the old city of Jodhpur and then climb up the hill. The walk to the fort is fun and gives you ample photography opportunities.

There were musicians playing Rajasthani folk music at the entrance of the main Fort.

Folk musicians enchanting the tourist
The Palace has many important courtyards and areas. The popular ones are Sheesh Mahal - The Hall of Mirrors, Moti Mahal - The Pearl Palace and Phool Mahal - The Palace of Flowers. 

Moti Mahal
There is a separate ladies apartment where the royal ladies used to stay. The windows of these apartments are delicately carved and has intricate lattice work. The architecture and intricacy was beyond words.

Ladies Apartment where the Royal ladies lived in the Fort
The excellent view of the city from the terrace of the fort cannot be missed. From this view one gets the paranomic view of the city and the answer to why Jodhpur is known as the #Blue City. It’s a sight to behold!

Vew from Mehrangarh Fort
Panoramic View of Mehrangarh Fort 
At the end of the fort, there was a musician playing flute.

A musician playing flute
We spend around two hours in the fort and then headed to the impressive #Jaswant Thada which is some distance away from the fort. It is located besides a small lake and is the resting place of #Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Beautiful lattice (jali) works adorn the cenotaph. It is built in an open area offering amazing view of the city and the Mehrangarh fort.

At the entrance of Jaswant Thada, beside the lake a musician was playing a rajasthani musical instrument. The music, the sight of the lake, the ducks in the lake, Jaswant Thada on one side and the gigantic Mehrangarh Fort on the other made it a perfect sight.

The impressive Jaswant Thada
By the time we finished our tour to Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada, it was late to go to #Umaid Bhawan Palace. We were disappointed to miss the opportunity to see Umaid Bhawan and decided to halt at Jodhpur on our way from Jaisalmer to Udaipur.

Umaid Bhawan from Jaswant Thada
For the evening we decided to hit the local market of Jodhpur and do some shopping. We went to the sardar market which is one of the most popular markets of Jodhpur. #Sardar Market was an interesting mix of food sellers, leather items, spice merchants, dye and die (bandani & lahariya), jutis, silver accessories and a general chaos.

The clear rule of shopping in Jodhpur is to Bargain, Bargain and Bargain!!! As a rule, start from half the price quoted by the shopkeeper. After some haggling you will surely have a deal with a much lesser rate quoted earlier.

We could get hold of some beautiful jutis for Rs 200 each after bargaining. We also bought some rajasthani bags and jholas as gifts to family.

Jodhpur is famous for Jodhpuri’s skin tight ¾ length trousers but we were not able to see anyone wearing one.

On our walk from the bustling Sardar Market to our hotel we came across the #clock tower.

We asked a couple of people why the houses are painted blue. Strangely everyone had a different answer. Some said that the colour blue is cool and it helps to keep the house cool from the scorching sun. Other said that in olden days priests wanted to differentiate themselves from the lower castes and decided to paint their houses blue where as the lower castes painted their house white. Another reason is that the colour blue keeps the mosquitoes away.

The Blue City
We had our dinner on the roof top of our Hotel. The fort was lit up at night, making it a beautiful dinner and a beautiful night.

This gets us to the end of our trip to Jodhpur. Next destination is #Jaisalmer – The GoldenCity.

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