Jodphur – The Blue City

Jodphur – The Blue City

Jodhpur

The Blue City

Another interminably-early morning bus ride took us Jodhpur, home of the pants of the same name, and famed for the blue walls of its hourses, and fantastic fort – Meherangarh, which was described by Kipling as “the creation of angles, fairies, and giants”. It sits formidable atop a 125 foot rock, glowering down on the town below. Like most such forts, it was added onto over hundreds of years by a succession of rulers. It has intricate carvings and decorated walls throughout. One of the most haunting displays is handprints of the 20+ wives of a particular ruler, made on their way out of the city to perform “seti” (throwing themselves onto a burning pyre) as their husband went to find a battle to the death as invaders overtooks the city. [below, center]

  

One of the last great palaces of India was built by the Mahraja of Jodhpur in the 1940s, just as they were relinquishing their royal privileges after independence. There was massive unemployment for the time, and this massive new project was seen as a way to create jobs. The palace still is home to the local majaraja in one wing; the rest of the palace is a very luxiurious and upscale hotel. We went to have a drink there, to experience briefly how the other half lives. The single drink cost about the same as two days worth of food at our budget restaurants- but one had to admit the setting was lovely. The real coup, though, was that Scott stole a big bar of sandalwood soap from the men’s room. Our budget hotels offer miniscule slivers of industrial-smelling soap, hardly enough to get through a single shower. We treasured the large, smooth, sweet-smelling palace soap throughout the rest of the trip.

This was a whistlestop tour for us – just an afternoon to look around the city, then off to our next destination — the middle of nowhere

Next: Bhenswara

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