Jodhpur City, India
26° 17' N 73° 1' E
Feb 01, 2006 22:02
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All the colours of Rajastan

Hi everyone, Clare here.

We arrived in Jodphur late last night, to be honest it was too dark to see much and we thought the place had a really busy 'markety' feel to it, dark, dusty and full of people and bad smells. We managed to bag an oasis of a hotel for a knockdown discount, had a beauiful meal, a couple of cold ones and a well earned sleep. When we awoke it was hard to believe we were in the same place. From our rooftop we could see most of the city and it was really beautiful. The place is alive with colour; from the brightly painted blue houses to the colourful Rajastan turbans and skirts. Here colour operates on many levels; the specific shade of blue you paint your house tells the world what caste you are, and Rajastanis can tell where exactly a man or woman is from, their profession, age, and social standing just from the colours of their turban or skirt. And of course the men all pride themselves on their long twisty moustaches.

After breakfast we headed up to see the fort. It is pearched on top of a magnificant natural cliff and lords over the city. This is a fort that has never been forcefully breached and it's easy to see why. It's almost impossible to walk up the bloody hill to get to it never mind even thinking about carrying a battering ram. This fort was built by one of the maharajas and it is a living museum of opulence and beauty.Belgian stained glass windows colour the very light that comes into the rooms, 24 carat gold lines the walls and every type of precious stone, metal or marble is carved, sculpted and designed to within an inch of its life and used to decorate all available space. The only bare bit in the entire fort is a small section in one of the palaces that remains unpainted. This is because the artist died after spending most of his life painting the rest of the room and no other was considered skillful enough to complete it. The maharaja lived here and continued to build palces and walls and monuments throughout his life, not really for his amusment but more of an early social program. During his reign the area was suffering a major drought, so to keep the people employed and fed he just built stuff, pretty decent guy.

So, tomorrow we head south again to Mumbai  ( Bombay ) and we have a lovely 28 hour train journey to look forward to. Brilliant. Oh and did I mention it's warm? mid 30's, so we've ditched the woolies and are counting the hours until we reach the beach!

Laters

Clare and Gareth xx

 

Photos / videos of "All the colours of Rajastan":

Woman at the market in Jodhpur young market trader stall at the market Omelette shop in Jodhpur Jain temple in Jodhpur Carved doorway to fort in Jodhpur Ancient remains in fort the blue city