Rambling in the blue city!

Here I am, with yet another travelogue. This time writing about a quick escape to have a peek into the rich heritage of the royal family of Jodhpur. Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur. It is also called the blue city because of the houses in the city painted in indigo. Earlier, only Brahmins were allowed to paint their houses with indigo color that depicted their high class. As of now, not many houses are in blue color(as shown in the pictures on Google) but anyone can paint their house with indigo, shunning off the social barriers.

There are direct trains from Delhi to Jodhpur and takes around 10 hours to reach Jodhpur. It is also well connected to major cities like Jaipur via roads.Belonging to a class of  working professionals and always getting less leaves than required (story of every working person. Sigh!!), we prefer to travel during night so that we get whole day for wandering and exploring the city.

The journey started on Friday night on Mandore Express at 9:15 pm from old Delhi railway station. As per IST (Indian Standard Time), train ran late and we got little late to reach our destination. Finally, after around ten and a half hours of journey, we breathed into the city which greeted us with a unique scent. Crossing the narrow alleys of the city in auto (which the hotel owner had sent for pick up), we reached our hotel. Hem Heritage is a simple hotel with basic amenities. The streets around the city are not clean. After getting fresh and satisfying our empty tummy, we were ready for rambling around the city.

 

#Jawsant Thada
Jaswant thada is a mausoleum built by Maharaja Sardar Singh in his memory. It is made up of very finely carved sheets of white marble. The intricate jali work on the windows shows the prolific work done by sculptors. As per the locals, such a fine marble is used to build up this cenotaph that it glows when sun rays fall on it.

Jaswant Thada

Jaswant Thada

 

There is a also a a beautiful pond with lotus floating in it, surrounded by lush green garden.

Just outside it there was a man playing a long instrument. As of a curious nature, I went to him and asked about the instrument. It was Ravanhatha, “Ravan” used to play this instrument while worshiping. It was like Indian version of violin. We tried our hands on it and the music that came out was as bad as it can be. To all those who are reading this,  I would request that if ever anywhere you come across such musicians, acknowledge their talent by giving them some money. It won’t pinch our pocket but will be of some help to them.

 

#Mehrangarh Fort
It’s one of the largest forts in India built by Rao Jodha. It is built few meters above the city and is enclosed by thick walls. There are many palaces in it which are carved beautifully. On climbing the narrow stairs that lead to the top floor, one can see the view of city along with the huge cannons on display. Yes! you can get a picture clicked with cannons and boast about it on a social networking site 😛 :D. We spent few hours clicking pictures here and of course getting ourselves clicked :).  It’s a huge fort and you can surely get tired. But don’t worry!  there is a restaurant in the fort area, you can quickly grab a bite of Rajasthani delicacies and re energize yourselves. The fort also have treasures like armory, guns, swords, palanquins, musical instruments  from that era.10631148_10152394480213471_600199889968817592_o

Though it was only 5 in the evening, we decided to go back to Jaswant Thada and spend our time there. It’s at lesser height than Mehrangarh Fort but height is good enough to have a view of city. We relaxed, talked, danced, sang and desperately waited for sunset. Just after the sunset, the cool breeze started blowing and city was immersed in lights. The view was mesmerizing. We tried light trails and took some really nice shots and left the place with happy hearts.

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We then headed to gypsy restaurant for a Rajasthani Thali. They have a fixed price and menu for thali that serves unlimited food. The food was good enough to satiate hungry evil in us. We then walked towards our hotel singing some really cheesy Bollywood numbers. We were drunk without even drinking ;). After hatching a plan for next day, we went to catch some Z’s.

The day started early for me and one of my friend, as we wanted to witness the sunrise. Walking on the steep road, huffed and puffed, we managed to reach Mehrangarh Fort. The cool breeze,  fort lit under moon light, moon playing hide and seek with clouds, the stars, the view was majestic and is unforgettable.

Sunrise View

Sunrise View

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Ready for Zip Lining

It took me to a different world. The feeling is unexplainable. It is something that can only be felt. Anyways, as the sun rose, we heard roaster crowing, we saw people waking up from their sleep on their terrace and getting busy with their day’s activities. One thing we noticed was that almost every terrace had a design made by marble on the floor. I don’t know whether it carries some significance or it is just for decoration, we just noticed it. In some time, day started getting hot and we headed back towards our hotel where other friends were getting ready for zip-lining to get an adrenaline rush. Absorbed in the aura of sunrise, two of us decided to unlax.

We then went for breakfast to Jhankar restaurant. Food was awesomely bad but we had great time in consoling ourselves about the greatness and richness of food. Not satisfied with the food, we finally headed towards our last stoppage – Umaid Bhawan.

#Umaid Bhawan

Umaid Bhawan is a private property maintained by royal family of Jodhpur. It was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh to give employment to the people of Mewar. Only a very small area of it is open for public in which there are treasures on display that marks the testimony for richness of the royal family. The glassware from Belgium, the old fashioned clocks from Italy, Greece, Paris and paintings of His Highness will surely woo you. And if that is not enough! the vintage car collection which includes the car used in “Mard” movie of Amitabh Bachan will surely make you go gaga over the rich heritage of the royal family. It was now time for lunch and after having a heart breaking food in the morning we wanted to have something awesomely good to gratify gastronome in us. We headed towards the restaurant in Hanwant Mahal for experiencing the royalty. It was a really splendiferous meal

We then reached our hotel, packed our bags and started journey back to Delhi making plans for our next trip 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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