This is the third post in the highlights of Rajasthan series
After visiting mystical Jaisalmer, I took the six hour bus to majestic Jodhpur. Known as the blue city, Jodhpur is another puzzle piece in the history of competitive city-states and violence in historical Rajasthan.
‘But why is it blue?’ I hear you ask… Well, it was painted to reflect the brahmin caste, which is the priestly caste in India. They say that the blue paint also repels insects, but I’m not sure if this has been scientifically established. It’s magnificent to see the box shaped houses creating a blue ocean in the middle of the Thar Desert.
The spectacular Mehrangarh Fort is the icon of this city. Unlike the Jaisalmer Fort, it is no longer occupied by locals and exists as a tourist attraction and cultural centre.
The fort is a massive structure and towers over the city. You can imagine how impenetrable the huge walls would have appeared to an invading army. As you enter the fort you will see huge doors with big spikes on them to prevent elephants from knocking them down. You’ll also see scars on the walls from cannonball hits during the 1800s, when there was a conflict with the Jaipur royal family over who would marry the princess of Udaipur.
Inside the fort you can tour the palace and see the many halls and meeting rooms as well as living quarters. There are also impressive displays of art, weapons, palanquins and other historical relics.
In case you’re wondering, yes jodhpur pants get their name from Jodhpur the city… the royals were keen equestrians and the British liked their pants so much they adopted them.
Interestingly, the royal family of Jodhpur lives on, performing cultural and symbolic duties, but they no longer live in the fort.
The city of Jodhpur is loud, crowded and dusty so I didn’t feel like staying more than one full day. The markets near the square and the clock tower are fun to wander around but the fort is the main attraction.
I even got my haircut at a place downtown!
Fave eats: My hotel – I had some of the best Indian food I ate during my trip here. The family who run the hotel know what they’re doing in the kitchen. The omelette shops near the clocktower are quite fun and perfect for a quick bite on the go.
Where I stayed: Baba Haveli Guesthouse. This was one of my favourite places I stayed in India. The owner, Immy, was so helpful, kind and fun to be around. He arranged buses, trains and even a hotel for my next destination. The view of the fort from the terrace is magnificent and everyone was very friendly.
What I’m reading: Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah MacDonald
Have you been to Jodhpur? Did you find much to see other than the fort?