Thursday, December 06, 2007

Jodhpur, Rajasthan : Blue City - Day 3

Rajasthan Road Trip - Day 1.
Udaipur, Rajasthan : City of Lakes, Venice of the East - Day 2.

Driving from Udaipur to Jodhpur is quite a surprise. It takes you through green mountains and valleys that you don't really associate with Rajasthan. Saw a lot of charming water wheels in the villages. Be prepared for the villagers to hound you if you stop anywhere to take pictures though. Go over the water wheel and see for yourself :).

A couple of wrong turns and flunky checks later, we reached Jodhpur. Jodhpur was by god the best experience in our tri-city tour.
The business minded Marwari families of Jodhpur do not rely on tourism for their livelihood. This leaves you to explore the city peacefully without aggressive peddlers. Old city Jodhpur did not disappoint us either. Narrow galli's (impossible to take the car through them, no matter how much you try; we did try, we really don't learn do we!). Churan shops, old men playing cards in the neighborhood prayer hall. It's amusing to walk through the lanes just watching them.

Singhvi Haveli, Jodhpur, RajasthanWe stayed in an old-fashioned Singhvi Ki Haveli in the old city. I really like the old houses, they seem to add a room on top of others like lego blocks, and to get there, just put up a few stone blocks. Ours was the Maharani Suite, 4 flights of stairs up and you are on top of the city! I will highly recommend Singhvi Ki Haveli, it has an amazing view of the Blue City and of the Mehrangarh fort! The lucky few are also graced by a performance of monkey's indulging in procreation activities... haa, quite a sight. No, I didn't click pictures!

Blue City, Jodhpur, RajasthanMehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan

The towering Mehrangarh fort is the most tourist friendly fort I've seen so far in India. No need of stretching your imagination here. Traditionally dressed men greet you with drum rolls as you pass through the gate! We hired a guide for the tour, but our friends swear by the audio tour which features sound bites by the royal family too.

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, RajasthanMehrangarh fort has the most exquisite rooms. The Marwar royals must have been a flamboyant lot! The richness they enjoyed is evident in the exquisite rooms of the fort. Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal and Takhat Vilas have fantastic gold painted walls and ceilings, stained glass on the jali windows! Not to forget the quirky christmas balls hanging from ceilings! Every few minutes of the tour you run into a mustachioed Rajasthani man sitting by his hookah and opium paraphernalia or a musician playing Rajasthani songs on his wooden flute... it was beautiful! I can't stop gushing about the fort's amazing arrangement.

Jali Windows, RajasthanAnd just like Disneyland or Vegas, it all ends in a museum shop :). But the souvenirs on offer are quite unique...miniature paintings on old stamp papers.

Ghanta Ghar, Clock Tower, Jodhpur, RajasthanThe Ghanta Ghar (clock tower) Market is an interesting place to just wander around. Didn't particularly enjoy the much touted Makhaniya Lassi (it was like having a glass of shrikhand!) or the Mawa Kachori. I would really like to see the statistic on diabetes in Jodhpur, they seem to have a fondness for really really really sweet eatables :).

Bishnoi Woman, Jodhpur, RajasthanOne thing we fell for and didn't really enjoy was the Bishnoi Village tour. We thought it would be a good opportunity to see the villages of India, specially seeing that the Bishnoi's had become so known since the Salman Khan case (just between us, it was the mention of an opium ceremony that hooked us in!). Instead of getting a dekko into the natural settings of village life, it seemed staged, with the villagers knowing just the right camera angles that tourists would like to capture. The saving grace were the peacocks, black bucks and deer you get to see wandering near the villages.

One thing that we missed by a day was the Rajasthan International Folk Festival that is held every year during Sharad Poornima (full moon) in the fort. Wouldn't it be great to listen to music sitting in the fort, all lit up at night! A great reason for us to revisit Jodhpur next year :).

Jodhpur. Check.

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan : Sand Castles - Day 4

1 comment:

Birju Patel said...

hey chica, i read your ccomment... well i wish there was more i could do... anyways my yahooid is patelville