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Published: September 12th 2018
The blue city
View from fort
We arrived in Jodhpur late last night and it was a little bit of a shock to the system after 5 days camping in the countryside. It’s noisy and busy and full of Tuk Tuks. Our hotel (Raj Mahal boutique home stay) is in the old city, which our taxi was not allowed to enter, so after a 3 hr drive from Ranakpur we had to switch vehicles and get a tuk tuk the last little bit.
As we drove from Ranakpur to Jodhpur the scenery changed dramatically from lush hills to flat, stony, arid looking land with small scrubs and poor grasses growing. We left the clouds behind, the sun came out and the temperature soared.
The hotel is not in a auspicious area. It’s down a small alley full of rubbish and surrounded by busy shops on a main road. Once inside though it is stunning, with thick walls and double glazing to minimise the noise. We have air con, a huge bed, beautiful en suite bathroom and our own balcony with swing and rocking chair.
After a much needed hot shower we had dinner in the rooftop restaurant with superb views of the fort.
View from our hotel roof
Given that we had just spent the previous 4 nights camping in rather soggy conditions it’s unsurprising that we lay in this morning. After a good breakfast (they’re clearly very used to tourists here and do an excellent cup of tea) we went for our usual wonder around the area.
The past few days we were wet and cold. Here it’s well over 30 degrees and we have been melting somewhat. Despite this we managed to walk through some of the narrow old streets to the Sandar market where the clock tower is, along to a beautiful old step well and across to the Gulab Sagar pool. These bodies of water are really beautiful but sadly spoilt by the volume of rubbish dumped into them.
After finding some food on the rooftop of another Haveli we headed to the North of the old city to the Jaswant Thada, a marble memorial to Maharaja Jeswant Singh II built in 1899. On the way there’s a statue of Rao Jodha on horseback, towering above the city. At this point the landscape changes to red rocks and looks much more like the deserts we were expecting. The Jaswant Thada
is small but very pretty with well kept gardens, a small lake full of birds and plenty of shade to hide under.
Wondering back down to the old city we decided to go through the fort and try to see its gardens. You used to be able to do this but it appears things have changed since our guidebook was published and its now a ‘private gate’ for the museum only. Despite this we did manage to persuade them to let us walk through so we could leave by the Fateh Pol Gate, just 5 mins from our hotel. Unfortunately we couldn’t see how to get into the palace gardens so we are hoping they’re now part of the museum. We are also slightly concerned that they won’t let us enter via the Fateh Pol Gate tomorrow and we’ll have to walk to the other gate instead which is a lot further away.
Overall I have decided that Jodhpur is a city best enjoyed from afar. Whilst the tiny streets are fascinating and the blue buildings beautiful the volume of rubbish sadly spoils it. It’s much noisier, dirtier and busier than Udaipur was. That said from
Still being used by local young men for diving practice
the hill behind the city, inside the fort or sitting in a rooftop restaurant it’s stunning.
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