|Jodhpur market and fort|
Another tale of train woe to start this trip. It was supposed to be a short morning ride from Jaipur with an opportunity to see some countryside in the daylight and still have half a day to look around Jodhpur. Of course the Indian train world rarely goes to plan and, after checking just how late the train was expected to be, we arrived a couple of hours late to the station. A couple of hours more and we were finally on the train and moving and we arrived only about 5 hours late. So much for looking around Jodhpur that day.
|Passengers jumping onto the moving train|
Anyway, Jodhpur turned out to be probably our best stop. It is much smaller (less than 2 million) and feels a little less hectic except around the main bazaar areas. The old part of the city has many houses painted blue as this used to signify the houses of the Brahmins (the top caste), though now anyone can paint their house blue or any other colour. Within the city area there are two major attractions, the first being the last grand palace built in India (in the early 20th Century). The 300+ rooms are occupied by the Maharajah of Jodhpur and his family plus a 5-star hotel, so without paying the $US600+ a night fee it isn’t easy to see inside. Luckily the other attraction, the Mehrangarh Fort makes up for everything. It stands at the top of the old town looking very impressive and is the best I have seen in India.
|Umaid Bhawan Palace|
Before we got there though we visited the textile warehouse that I mistakenly referred to in the last post as being in Jaipur! When you’re moving to new locations every other day it is easy to lose track …
We had ample opportunities to purchase clothes, spices, bangles and rubber ends for chair legs from the incredibly hectic market. So colourful and loud but a nightmare to navigate with stalls everywhere, half the city’s population, and all sorts of traffic competing for the roadway.
On with the Mehrangarh fort. Built in the 15th Century it was never conquered and that is not surprising given the massive walls and position on top a ridge above the city. The usual collection of courtyards and decorated rooms along with a huge collection of cannons on the walls. There were plenty of local Rajasthanis with their traditional moustaches dressed in traditional garb awaiting photo opportunities, for a price. Interesting was watching one demonstrate tying his turban. They must be 30m long and require a companion to hold one end while he slowly wraps it around his head. Once it is all tucked in the turban can be taken off and put back on again just like a hat.
|in the armoury|
|Jaswant Thada - final resting|
place of the Maharajahs