Is Jodhpur the Blue City, Sun City or Blah City?
Jodhpur is one of the few cities in India that underwhelmed us. I’m not saying that we would discourage people from visiting, but I also wouldn’t encourage them to go out of their way either. As the second largest city in Rajasthan I was expecting more, but I’m not sure why.
Our day began at 9am when we made our way through the Sardar Market to meet Lalu (our driver) and our guide ‘Singh’. We stopped at Vicky Chouhan Omelettes (a Lonely Plant rec) and enjoyed a delicious ‘to-go’ breakfast for the low price of Rs100 for both omelets and a 1lt bottle of water ($1.30). Vicky was awesome and even let me come into the stall and record his routine. He has 20 books filled with notes of praise from happy customers of all nationalities, and he is very proud to provide snacks that make everyone so happy.
We didn’t realize it then, but the omelet stop would turn out to be the cheapest and most entertaining part of the day. We spent the morning visiting the Umaid Bhawan Palace, Meherangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada. While they were all pretty, none of them were especially interesting and, in our opinion, the fort was significantly overpriced at Rs990 ($16.50). Jaisalmer’s fort, while less grand, was much more interesting (and free). Again, others may have different opinions, especially those who enjoy museums, but we were left feeling ripped off.
After seeing the sights (yup, that’s pretty much all of them) we stopped for lunch and then did a quick ‘tour’ through the Sardar Market. I say ‘tour’ because it wasn’t so much of a guided tour as it was Adam and I visiting the market as our guide walked in front of us. The market is a fun place to explore and a great place to pick up some gifts, so if you do come to Jodhpur definitely spend some time there.
So, since we don’t have much to share about the visit from a narrative perspective I figured it might be better to just share our best photos from the day. Enjoy!
Vicky Chouhan Omlette Shop (just outside Sardar Market)
I was pretty excited about my Masala Cheese Omelet! Vicky let us take some great video of his omelet
making skills but that will have to wait until we have a faster internet connection 🙂
Because why wouldn’t there be an elephant waling down the street at 9am?
Umaid Bhawal Palace – Very pretty, but just a lot of information about the royal family that had it built.
The strangest part was that most of the decor was from the art deco style, since the palace was built in
the 1940’s. It felt more like the Gatsby mansion than a Maharajah’s palace.
Surprise, we’ve adopted a little India girl!
In one of the odder moments of the tour, our guide offered to take our photo, but
right before snapping the picture he grabbed this child from a stranger and had her pose with us.
But the views were gorgeous. And just in case you were wondering what a $1.5 million house looks
like in India, here are 10 or so to admire.
Then we headed to the Meherangarh Fort
Even before you set foot inside it’s clear that the fort will be gorgeous.
Main Gate into the Meherangarh Fort
Spiked doors and slanted lanes that would be filled with boiling oil during attacks would have
deterred me, but this fort was taken 3 times.
The hand carving found throughout the fort was very impressive, even if the purpose was mostly
to keep the women hidden, away from the helpless eyes of men.
Great views from the fort as well…
…and you can see why Jodhpur is often referred to as the ‘Blue City’
One of our favorite parts of the fort were the ‘No Smoking’ signs…
I realize that might seem strange, but in a country where the English signs are often ridiculous,
these were actually entertaining and socially responsible at the same time.
Next was Jaswant Thada, the memorial for Maharaja Jaswant Signh II.
The grounds and memorial were beautiful and, again we enjoyed great views of the city.
Off to the right you can see the fort and in the next picture you can see the palace in the distance.
These were the memorials built for the succeeding Maharaja’s. Don’t get me wrong,
they’re gorgeous, but in comparison they seem kind of whimpy.
The carvings throughout the building were really very beautiful. Everywhere we go I am inspired
by the designs and I’m determined to integrate them into our home (when we finally get one).
Inside people tied pieces of cloth and made wishes in front of the memorial shrine.
Great shot with the Palace off in the distance!
Outside of the main wall, but still on the grounds of the complex, were the memorials built for the
soldiers who had been killed in battle. Once we were done exploring the memorial we headed back
into town for our ‘tour’ of the market.
The entrance into the Sardar Market from the main road.
No matter where we go, there is almost always a collection of Tuk-Tuks waiting to cart around the
tourists. However they are rarely this neat and orderly looking :).
The Holi celebrations have already started here in Jodhpur and you can see it all over the people
and the streets. We can’t wait for the 17th and our Udaipur Holi experience!
We were told that the market was a more crowded than normal because everyone was preparing
for Holi, but it seemed par for the course to us.
Power lines draped with old flower garlands.
The Clock Tower marks the center of the Market’s main square. The space is a nice break from
the crowded side streets that make up most of the market.
So, while there were some lovely sites to see, I dont think we’ll be rushing back to Jodhpur anytime soon. Have you been to Jodhpur? What did you think of the city?