Jodhpur - Day 2

This is a link from my blog about my trip to India in 2014
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Jodhpur - Day 2

Post by david63 » 06 Nov 2014, 11:43

Today we set off on the tourist trail again viewing the main sites of Jodhpur.

First of all we were taken to Umaid Bhawan which was a palace built in the 1940s by the then Maharaja as a job creation project for 3,000 of his subjects. The palace is believed to be the last great building in India built by the Maharajas before they had to cede their property to the new nation. This palace now serves three purposes – the first being a home for the Maharaja and his family, the second as a museum open to the public and the major part is an hotel run by the Taj group. The palace also has a superb collection of vintage cars, including a silver Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.

From there we then went to Jaswant Thanda which is a dazzling white marble (the same marble as used in the Taj Mahal) cenotaph to Maharaja Jaswant Singh. The site is also where the Royal family are cremated and the site of each cremation is marked by a monument – with the lesser members of the royal family being furthest away from the main monument. There was a brilliant local lad who gave us a tour of the main monument.

One of the things that we have found wherever we have been, be it one of the “tourist” sites, around any of the cities or in and around the back streets is that the vast majority of Indians are pleased to see you and will return a smile with a smile or a wave and they like nothing more than you showing an interest in them or in what they are doing.

After the visit to Jaswant Thanda then it was onwards and upwards (literally) to the main event – Meherangarth Fort which was built in the 1730s. Having been to many impressive buildings since being in India this has to be up there with the best of them. There is just so much intricate carving and whist much of it appears to be timber it is in fact all done in sandstone. How anyone could carve that much that well is beyond belief.

Whilst Meherangarth Fort is, by its name, a fort it was also a palace for the Maharajas but on a different scale to many of the other palaces that we have seem. The palace is quite compact horizontally but much higher vertically than many others where the reverse is true – they low spread out buildings. Being a palace there are/were many opulent rooms – sadly over the years the lack of upkeep, and in some cases poor maintenance has removed much of what there once was.

From Meherangarth Fort we then started our walk down into the town passing through the “Blue City” named because many of the buildings are painted blue. Why they are painted blue is somewhat debateable but one explanation is that the colour is associated closely with the Brahmins, India's priestly caste, and the blue houses of the old city belong to families of that caste (there are other versions available).

The walk was not exactly the most comfortable due to the fact that the roads were narrow and there was an incessant stream of motor scooters flying up and down in both directions sounding their hors at ant, and every, opportunity and not bothering about the tourists who were there to take in the “sights” and sounds and smells! Eventually we arrived back at our hotel in one piece – well actually two pieces as there are two of us!!

Jodhpur is also a major military base, in fact is the main headquarters for the area, due to its close proximity (about 200 miles) from the Pakistan border.

Tomorrow we set of for Udaipur which is something in the region of a six or seven hour drive.

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Re: Jodhpur - Day 2

Post by Dancing Queen » 06 Nov 2014, 12:58

I'm hoping you will be posting lots of fabulous photographs when you return, these places sound amazing.
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Re: Jodhpur - Day 2

Post by david63 » 06 Nov 2014, 16:10

Photos are here - although they need a bit of tiding up doing later

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Re: Jodhpur - Day 2

Post by Dancing Queen » 06 Nov 2014, 19:46

Lovely photo's thanks for sharing.
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