Sun City: Jodhpur

Clock Tower, JodhpurA hot cup of coffee is my utmost requirement when I am tired and post my shopping adventure I sure was tired, famished and in no state to go searching for a coffee cafe near the “Clock tower” of Jodhpur though it has many eateries catering quick bites. The market place near the clock tower is the much sought after shopping area for handicrafts and ethnic clothes.

Someone told me to head for “Shri Mishrilal Hotel” which isn’t a hotel really but a small room in the extended arms of the Sardar Kot Gate known for its thick ‘lassi’ or sweetened and very thick buttermilk. This little joint exists since 1927 and is recommended by the Lonely Planet Guidebooks. It lived up to its fame because after one glass full of the lassi and a plate of Jodhpur’s famous ‘mirchi vada‘  (stuffed and fried large chilli) I was myself stuffed enough to skip dinner.

Shri Mishrilal Hotel

The much written about and much  visited Jodhpur is famous for its forts, palaces, lakes, Rajasthani meal thali and furniture much of which is exported. Besides shopping, the love for architecture, history and visiting new places becomes an added reason for my weekend trips to Jodhpur from Barmer, my current place of residence.

Jodhpur is known as the sun city may be because the rulers of the Marwar were sun worshippers and also because the city enjoys bright sun all through the year. It is also called blue city because of the blue painted houses which can be seen from the fort ramparts. Probably the blue colored houses were meant for the upper caste brahmins during earlier days.

Blue houses seen from fort

In a recent two day trip to Jodhpur, I squeezed in some time to visit the well known Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan besides my shopping spree.

MEHRANGARH FORT :

This magnificent 500 year old largest fort of India still stands tall with thick sturdy walls on a hill 400 ft above the city spreading to a massive 5 km expanse. The original name was “Mihir-Garh” (Mihir=Sun + Garh= fort) but due to mispronunciation and local slang it acquired the current name.

Fort model casted in metal

Fort model casted in bronze

 The existing fort was made during the reign of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, in 1638. There are about five stories to the fort added by successive rulers. The fort museum houses large collection of paintings,armory, palanquins, head gears and turbans, musical instruments etc.

The fort has seven colossal gates one of which still bears the cannonball marks that hit the gate during the attack. Following the attack the fort walls were raised and another gate, the Loha Gate which was the seventh and last gate, was added to the fort.

The fort also houses grand palaces like Sheesh Mahal or the mirror palace, Phool Mahal or flower palace which are decorated with Belgium glass, intricate gold work,  hand woven huge rich carpets etc..

Every year Mehrangarh fort host the Rajasthan International Folk Festival in October. Local musicians, dancers and famed artists participate in the festival. The current maharaja is the chief patron of the festival. Considered to be one of the best 25 international festivals, it is also supported by UNESCO.

I haven’t had the chance yet to see the festival but I did listen to the street artists who attract tourists by playing their instruments within the fort complex.

 

A street artist with local stringed instrument

A street artist with local stringed instrument

Umaid Bhawan:

A major part of the palace is converted to a hotel managed by the Taj Hotels and was out of bounds for visitors. Out of the 347 rooms that the palace has only 10 rooms are accessible to tourists.

The king employed thousands of villagers for construction of the palace to provide them employment at the time of famine.

The palace boasts of a collection of vintage cars of the current owner of the palace Maharaja Gaj Singh.

Scaled model of the palace

Scaled model of the palace

There are many places within Jodhpur which I still haven’t visited and there is loads of shopping yet to be done. I must plan for a longer stay in Jodhpur, I guess….

 

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About shoma abhyankar

I like to believe that I am a creative person. I read, write, paint, sketch, rustle up some quick and some elaborate meals for friends and family, love chess, su-doku and scrabble, can hum an old Hindi song tentatively, always stand up for women rights, hate fake people, bugs, roaches, spiders and cigarette smokers!! I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1998. Soon after, I married an officer in Indian Air Force and have been on move since then. For a brief time of two years when we were posted in Pune, I worked as a junior architect in a firm. Being aware of frequent movement that we would have to live with, I chose to be a homemaker and concentrated on creating a warm and welcoming home for my family. But sitting at home without any creative activity was not my cup of tea. I learnt candle making and soon put up an exhibition at Poona Club when my daughter was barely a year old. I also enjoyed a short stint as a home-based entrepreneur, supplying chocolates and cakes on demand, while we were posted in Bareilly. With an inclination towards writing, I completed a diploma in ‘Creative Writing in English’ from Symbiosis College of Distance Learning, Pune. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Now I hope to not only travel and share my experiences with the world but also to pen a book someday....
This entry was posted in Architecture, Destinations, Historic India, Rajasthan, Travel India and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Sun City: Jodhpur

  1. chinks says:

    Lovely pictures there. Wish to visit the sun city someday. The name blue city because of the blue coloured houses was new to me. Thanks for sharing:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks chinks. Jodhpur is good for visit from October to March.

    Like

  3. Have been to Jaipur but jodhpur is on list

    Like

  4. VJ SHARMA says:

    Beautifully compiled. Loved going through your post on Jodhpur.

    Like

  5. Jodhpur is truly beautiful. But I somehow prefer Udaipur.

    Like

  6. I have always thought of going to India someday and I hope that it will be in the near future. The country has so much to offer. It has history, culture and good food. It has romance, adventure and other things which you could ever want in your travels. Your pictures here just affirms my own images of India. I hope to set foot in Jodhpur someday.

    Like

  7. Thank you …You surely should make plans to visit India

    Like

  8. freemindtree says:

    I have my travel plans for visiting Jodhpur and Jaisalmer in early next year.. Your pictures just add on to my excitement..

    Like

  9. Thank you. I am glad you found my write up helpful.

    Like

  10. Majestic and full of rich culture and history. It’s like traveling back in time. Thanks for a great adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for visiting..

    Like

  12. Great post. Its so wonderful to see Mehrangarh Fort through your beautiful pictures. I visited it a few years back and loved it. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  13. Thanks for liking the post….

    Like

  14. I have been to Jodhpur numerous times. It is a dream location for every photographer. I have covered many weddings and photoshoots int this beautiful city and the experience has always been wonderful. It is easy to find picturesque spots in Jodhpur. I enjoyed reading about your journey thanks for sharing it with us, Shoma.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Sun City: Jodhpur - Holidify

  16. Pingback: Fast-tracking through Udaipur, The Venice of East | Astonishing India

  17. Pingback: The Land Of Royals, Jaisalmer | Astonishing India

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