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Beautiful blue Jodhpur

Beautiful blue Jodhpur

India, Rajasthan, West

My Jodhpur memories are a beautiful jumble and this had been one of the earliest posts I had written as a travel blogger. To begin with, I have no recollection of when I had visited there and what circumstances had taken me to the famous “blue city”. At that time, I had been living on and off in Jaipur and an overnight train from Delhi had brought me to the bejeweled western part of Rajasthan. The great princely state of Rajasthan, until then, had been a puzzle to me and my brief, highly isolated living in Jaipur had failed to make me experience its true glory. Today, however, after my smatterings of travels into its more deeper parts, I have started recognizing the beautiful layers that exist in the desert state and although much commercialized and over hyped, Rajasthan is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous places in the world.

On that trip, I had clubbed Jodhpur with Jaisalmer and the stunning romance of western Rajasthan had blown my mind away. Somewhere en route, a small Bishnoi village too had featured on my itinerary and it had been a regular Delhi – Salawas village – Jodhpur – Jaisalmer trip. Two overnight train journeys had taken me from Delhi – Salawas and Jodhpur – Jaisalmer and I think I had taken a Rajasthan Roadways bus to travel to Jodhpur. The Bishnoi village had given me the much required quiet start of a very bedazzling journey and I had stayed at a traditional mud hut with thatched roof home stay of a community weaver. It had been winter at the time of my visit and I vividly remember the sun basked days and cold, shivering nights of rural Rajasthan. Western part of Rajasthan had been quite different from the landscaped city of Jaipur and I had felt its gritty aridity there. The dry golden sandy land had been interspersed with thorny scrubs and flowering khejri trees and wildlife had roamed the Bishnoi region free. Famously known as tree hugging community of Rajasthan, Bishnois love and protect nature more than their lives and it had been much later, that I had found out that visits to such ethnic villages had been popular day activities among Jodhpur based travelers.

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Proud and glorious Jodhpur

Incidentally, perhaps because of the rural quiet, today I have more poignant memories of Salawas than any other place from that trip and in my mind Jodhpur has remained as a culmination of all things exotic about India. The city had arrived amidst swirling traffic, crazy noise and stubborn cows and I had watched in awe at the gorgeously dressed residents. Resplendent in bold colours, twisted turbans and curling moustaches, in my eyes they had looked as beautiful as the massive fort which had loomed over the city. That had been the famous Mehrangarh fort, at the foothills of which the historic old section had coiled like a snake and the modern Jodhpur had spread beyond the fortified sea of blue cube like houses. Also known as the Sun City, due to its brilliant throughout the year sunshine, the erstwhile capital of the royal state of Marwar had been a popular and beautiful destination. The city’s much photographed and written about blue fame had come from the splendid old Brahmapuri area and in olden times those had been the houses of the Brahmins. Since the blue tint had also repelled insects, slowly even the non Brahmins had started painting their houses in the same shade and the blue city is indeed gorgeously blue.

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Although, the best views of blue Jodhpur had been from the top of the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, simply wandering around the tangle of winding, glittering time forgotten aqua lanes of the fortified old city had been a heady experience. Brahmapuri had been encircled by a 16th century old city wall and magnificent gates had cocooned exotic Rajasthan inside its blue whirls. Bazaars, fresh produce markets, temples and traffic had meandered through the blue lanes and crumbling mansions had been separated by tangle of old electrical wires. Cows, cricket, spices, garbage, open sewer, scams and incense had made their presence felt loudly and Brahmapuri had been exquisitely touristy. It had been a shopper’s paradise too and popular with residents and travelers alike. Thus Hare Krishna t shirts and harem pants had rubbed shoulders with fashionable Jodhpur trousers and bejeweled veils and dreadlocks had fought for space with massive turbans. The combination had been completely movie like glamourous and it had been perhaps this charm which had drawn travelers, invaders and opportunity seekers to Marwar throughout history.

The old princely state of Marwar (of which Jodhpur had been the capital) had been extremely powerful and wealthy and its royal family especially the iconic Maharaja Gaj Singh had been responsible for turning the city into such a popular tourist destination. Smart, industrious and far sighted, they had lovingly restored and turned many of their royal properties into excellent hotels and tourist attractions and thus had provided means for these monuments to sustain themselves. The grand Umaid Bhawan Palace is one such heritage hotel where tourists are provided a taste of the royal treatment for around 400 USD/night and the most dominating landmark of the city, Mehrangarh Fort is an immensely popular paid attraction of India. Extremely strong and magnificently built, Mehrangarh is an architectural jewel and it is also the largest fort of Rajasthan. Fully equipped with escalators, elevators, cafes and excellent expensive restaurants, Mehrangarh is extremely tourist friendly and the fort also houses one of the most beautiful museum palaces in India.

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It is a city of the sun

Exploring the massive fort is a whole day affair and it had been a complete city within a city. While the highest perches had belonged to the royals, the rest of the space had been filled with staff quarters, temples, stables and watch towers. While, in olden days, the fort had acted as a fully functional enclosed city keeping its residents safe within in its massive walls, today, it is an exciting cornucopia of galleries of royal weapons, utilities, treasures, photographs and even turbans. Grand, showy and not a little ostentatious, tourism had become the highest priority (and revenue earner) of the fort and Mehrangarh had delivered an unforgettable royal experience. Everything about it had been designed, keeping in mind to provide the visitors a blast from the royal past as well as a taste of the local culture and so the fort had teemed with performers, employees dressed up in period costumes and official “royal family endorsed” tour guides. The fantastic Turban Gallery had been one such quirky enjoyment and the displays had been beautiful bejeweled head pieces, that had adorned many proud heads in the olden times. They had seemed multipurpose too as some had mirrors, daggers and even opium pipes tucked in them.

Check Out : Most beautiful places to visit in Rajasthan

Somewhere, in the midst of the dazzling royal show, a few gory realities of the past had also peeped out and I had found the Sati Palm collection to be the most haunting sight. The horrific Sati custom which had dictated Hindu widowed women to join their husbands’ funeral pyre to fulfill the marital promise of being partners in life and beyond, had been strictly followed for a long time, until abolished by the British. The custom had been upheld by the queens and commoners alike and the royal brides had always willingly opted for Sati whenever their kings or princes had been captured or killed by enemies. Their royal pride had never allowed them to be at the mercy of the conquerors and women of Marwar had hardly ever been conquests. Famous for their beauty as well as their artistic temperament and excellent warfare skills, Rajasthani history is riddled with stories of brave queens’ Satis and the palm collection had been a chilling reminder of the olden days, when power tussle had been the biggest savage.

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The creation of fairies, angels and giants

That had been a quintessential Jodhpur experience and the grand old city had a way of recollecting and rehashing the past without much changes. Being less cosmopolitan and further located away from Delhi than Jaipur, time had flowed at a more traditional pace at Jodhpur and some of its raw edges had still been pretty sharp. Shaken by the Sati Palm Collection, I had left the fort visibly shaken after paying brief visits to the much popular Mirror Hall, Flower Hall, Pearl Hall and the exquisite queens’ inner chambers. Despite, being winter, the day had still been dazzlingly hot and bright in the Sun city and I had left the melee of equally exotic gaggle of tourists from all over the world for some quiet moments. The nearby cool, white marbled Jaswant Thada had been somewhere on the way and the silent cenotaph had provided lush respite from the peaking sun. Exquisitely carved and beautifully maintained the quiet royal cenotaph had been a far cry from the bustling fort and its city. Peaceful with hardly any body around it, Jaswant Thada had left me alone with the migratory birds floating noisily on the glassy surface of the lake while the flowering frangipani trees had dropped blossoms on its mythical treasure gardens.

According to legends, in olden days the Marwar royal ladies, before jumping into fire to commit Sati, had the practice of burying their family treasures beneath the gardens of the cenotaph. Thus, for many years, Jaswant Thada had been a popular destination for treasure hunters from all over the world until the government had sealed off the place. With that firm restriction, the cenotaph had once again retained the peaceful quiet fit for the royal deceased and and it had been the perfect place to spend a Jodhpur sunset.

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Welcome to Rajasthan’s
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Exotic blue city
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The pride of Marwar
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Indulge in the exquisite opulence
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Of Jodhpur’s glorious
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And chilling past
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Drawing tourists
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From all across the country
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And the world
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The Mehrangarh Fort
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Is a lively, busy place
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Teeming with attractions
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For some peace and quiet
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Head out towards
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The pristine Jaswant Thada
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A far cry from
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From the throbbing Mehrangarh Fort
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Jaswant Thada had been all about
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Beautiful solitude

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About the author

Hi! I am Svetlana, a cloud gypsy, a story teller and a Maverickbird. A mother, writer, entrepreneur, traveler, foodie and an animal lover, I am a Super girl from India.

24 Comments

  1. Umer Tahir
    June 2, 2016 at 9:50 am
    Reply

    Beautiful architecture!! Thanks for sharing

    • maverickbird
      June 2, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Thank you. Jodhpur and the Mehrangarh Fort had been very impressive.

  2. Fly With Shaunak
    June 2, 2016 at 10:21 am
    Reply

    Your posts are awesomely detailed. I always felt one who can write in an elaborating way, has certainly taken the effort in finding out and enquiring… So congratulations to you !

  3. Andrew
    June 2, 2016 at 12:23 pm
    Reply

    im hoping in the next 3-4 years to return to Rajasthan and visit Jodphur. And Jaisalmer – two places I havent been to before.

    • maverickbird
      June 2, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      That’s the magical, romantic western Rajasthan. You will love it there.

  4. Archana Kapoor
    June 2, 2016 at 1:35 pm
    Reply

    One of my all time fav places in India 🙂 Lovely pics as always 🙂

    • maverickbird
      June 2, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you very much Archana.

  5. Anupam Chakraborty
    June 2, 2016 at 2:01 pm
    Reply

    Loved revisiting Jodhpur through your Blog. The disturbing point was those imprints of Sati palms. I was awestruck by the sheer grandeur of the fort. Loved reading the post.

    • maverickbird
      June 2, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Thank you very much Anupam. Jodhpur had been very grand. The Sati palm imprints had disturbed me a lot too. It had reminded me of a few Sati temples I had visited in Jhunjhunu district. Don’t know which experience had been more nightmarish? The Sati palm imprints or glorifying of such a barbaric tradition.

  6. Moon
    June 2, 2016 at 4:03 pm
    Reply

    Beautiful post as always. Rekindled my memories of exploring Mehrangarh and Umaid Bhavan. I wish I could take a walk down the alleys in the blue neighborhoods of Jodhpur.

    • maverickbird
      June 3, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Thank you Moon. Jodhpur had been very memorable for me too. Glad that you liked the post.

  7. Jyotirmoy Sarkar
    June 3, 2016 at 2:15 am
    Reply

    The time i have started to follow your blog, i am mesmerized with the beautiful shots you have shared,.. these one are also mind blowing.

    • maverickbird
      June 3, 2016 at 8:14 am

      Thank you very much Jyotirmoy. I am happy that you like my work.

  8. Yogi Saraswat
    June 3, 2016 at 8:10 am
    Reply

    It was very difficult to read your post for a month due to some technical problem but now can read . Jodhpur has its own face like Jaipur as pink city but new Houses are not properly in blue . Your Pictures are always attractive and says a lot of things !!

    • maverickbird
      June 3, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Thank you. Yes the nes Jodhpur has expanded much beyond the blue space.

  9. d pilankar
    June 3, 2016 at 11:51 am
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing. Wonderful photos.

    • maverickbird
      June 3, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      You are welcome. Glad that you liked the photos.

  10. Tales of travelling sisters
    June 3, 2016 at 1:35 pm
    Reply

    Every picture in your post is so beautifully captured!!! Brought back all the fond memories from our Jodhpur trip.

    • maverickbird
      June 4, 2016 at 7:54 am

      Thank you very much. I am glad you liked the post. I have very fond memories of Jodhpur too.

  11. divsi
    June 4, 2016 at 10:35 am
    Reply

    Truly one of my favourite cities in the world. Jodhpur has still managed to retain its quaint, old world charm. Love Mehrangadh fort. One of the most well maintained forts of our country!

    • maverickbird
      June 5, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Thank you very much. Jodhpur indeed seeps with old world charm and there’s nothing like the mighty Mehrangarh Fort. It is amazing how well maintained and self sustainable it is. That’s a great inspiration for those who want to protect their heritage.

  12. BJ
    May 26, 2017 at 12:20 pm
    Reply

    Glad to read your post about Jodhpur. Since you mentioned that you enjoy photography and gardening too, we may have something of interest to you. Our very own home and garden decor brand: Beautiful Jodhpur. Check out our work on Facebook and Instagram: BeautifulJodhpur Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

    • maverickbird
      May 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you. Your site is beautiful. Loved your flower boxes and hanging cups and plant basket holder.

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