Day 149: Feeling blue
Jodhpur Travel Blog› entry 199 of 260 › view all entries
Thanks to the people I met here and/or travelled with: Ed (Netherlands)
Having had so much fun with our 'ultimate playlist' we set ourselves a similar task for today's journey. Our destination was Jodhpur, also known as “The Blue City”, so we made a playlist of all songs with the word 'blue' in the title. Well, since we didn't have enough 'blue' songs to cover the whole trip, we soon changed to cover version, turning our journey into a pop quiz as we challenged each other to name the performing artist as well as the original performer of each song.
Jodhpur was a big step up from Jaisalmer. Whereas Jaisalmer has become some sort of tourist trap, Jodhpur is still very much a living city. We had a great time strolling around the streets and checking out the local markets.
Our hotel was also a big improvement on Jaisalmer. Smack in the centre, we stayed in an beautiful old haveli, with view on the Mehrangarh fort. Our room wasn't so much a room, it was a suite! It came with two bed rooms, a huge living room with dining area, seating area, TV and fridge and the bathroom was the size of a ballroom. The bath tub alone was big enough to accommodate a small party!
This room was definitely the most impressive we had had this entire trip, so obviously it had to feature in our 'Project' film.
For dinner we went to a restaurant recommended in the Lonely Planet: Indique, a slightly more upmarket eatery on the rooftop of a hotel, which offered excellent views on the fort and the old city. The food was good, but the unfortunately the same can't be said about the staff.
It was really getting on my nerves. I had wanted a nice, quiet and enjoyable meal. The whole reason for going to a bit more upmarket restaurant was to get away from the constant invasion of personal space for a moment. Well, not so. Personal space does not exist in India. I had come to conclude that India won't be making it to my list of favourite countries any time soon. Travelling is supposed to give you a kick, adrenaline, an energy boost. Travelling in India is the opposite, the constant attack on the senses, the people who will not leave you alone for a single moment, the oppressive weather.
I guess I just needed a good night's sleep. I hadn't slept particularly well over the last couple of days, so I guess my level of tolerance was a bit lower than normal. So I went for an early night.
It seemed to do the trick, the next morning I felt much better. Before we would head off to our next destination, Ranakpur, we went to visit the Mehrangarh fort and the nearby Jaswant Thada memorial. The memorial was erected for Maharajah Jaswant Singh II in the late 19th century. It is a beautiful white marble building and quite austere for a royal tomb (well, apart from the prime location on a hill overlooking Jodhpur, that is).
The Mehrangarh fort is considered the finest of all the forts in Rajasthan - not an easy thing to pull off, considering the competition.
It was once again time for an audio-tour - the audio tours at the Rajasthan sights are surprisingly good quality and certainly better than the alternative: hiring one of those over-zealous, happy-to-please, semi-official guides at the entrance.
We weren't alone in the fort. Over the past few days we had seen many people walking along the roads - pilgrims on the way to the Ramdreva temple, near Jaisalmer. Thousands of people undertake this pilgrimage every year, walking for days or weeks to reach their destination. Several hundred of them had taken a morning off from walking to visit the Mehrangarh fort.
These were people from the country side, people who don't often see foreigners, let alone have any business with them.