The blue city and fortress Meherangarh

Jodhpur Travel Blog

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Left Mount Abu for Jodhpur with an increasing number of locals wearing very distinctive large nose rings, bangles that cover the whole forearm and arm bracelets that cover the whole upper arm that are so tight they must have been worn from a young age to get above elbow. 

Jodhpur, the Blue City, so nicknamed because of the number of houses surrounding the fort painted blue, another dry desert town.  We arrived in daylight and thankful for our prebooked hostal (Cosy) had sent a rickshaw pick up as quickly discovered that the streets around the fort a narrow maze and quickly lost track of the turns made from the bus station.  Arrived at the hostal to find only two rooms left and with Laura/Richard taking the cheaper room and Gerard happy to take the expensive room, it left me looking for a new hostal until I got offered a tent on the roof.

  At less than half the price of a room, I took the best view in the house looking across the rooftops at the massively impressive Meherangargh Fort.  

Cosy hostal a very welcome removal from most Asia hostals by having a very comfortable communal area on the rooftop with comfy cushions on the floor and straw chairs looking out to the fort.  Having arrived at late afternoon, our little group happy to enjoy a relaxing evening with a couple of beers watching a pleasant sunset over the town. 

Next day, we set off to walk around the much hyped and recommended Meherangarh Fort.  Standing in the shadow of the fort we enjoyed a meander around the city as we tried to find the correct alley to lead to the slope up to the main gate.  Every angle of the fort very photogenic especially with the blue houses in the foreground.

   By far the most imposing fort in Rajasthan.   

The initial ramparts still 100 foot below the sheer rock walls of the fort itself impregnable and provided good views over the surrounding area.  Not only does the fort look impressive from afar, but far more impressive how the fort was built on top of the rock high above the plain below.  Adding to the defences are the outer gates, specially built to defend against attacking elephants with the gate at a right angle to the slope (to prevent getting any speed) and gruesome 6 inch spikes still pointing out at elephant head height.

The entry fee to the fort includes a highly recommended audio guide that includes contributions from the ruling maharajas (who now uses his time promoting the heritage of the fort and history of the maharajas).

  The guide very professionally put together that gives an excellent background to the history of the fort and detail to all the main features and museums en route. Interesting optional extras providing more peripheral detail to the culture e.g. caste system, sati suicide, architecture.  The guide enhancing the experience alongside very well presented rooms that give a real feel to life as a maharaja.  Walked through beautifully carved courtyards and royal rooms, armoury and galleries before arriving at the bejewelled windows, authentic furnishings and gold ceiling of the Flower Palace.  The upper floors of the fort providing great views over the blue city with the tour ending on the upper ramparts with an impressive collection of cannons from all over the world that have been captured from attacking armies that were never able to sack the fort.
The whole package of location, fort and tour making this by far the most impressive fort in Rajasthan.

With little else jumping out to see in Jodhpur, jumped in a rickshaw to save the hastle of trying to find the hostal and picked up bags for the next bus trip on to Jaisalmer.  Jodhpur deserves more than 24 hours, but time is running out on this trip and needs must.

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photo by: lrecht