The Blue City
18.03.2016 - 18.03.2016
Day 6- March 18/3 Friday- Jodhpur for the day
We drive up to the Mehrangarh Fort. Again, such enormous beauty, master craftsmen have built a marvel. Overlooking the town of Jodhpur it is now clear why this is known as the blue city. Blue houses and walls everywhere give the city a blue hue.
We pay for the guided audio tour, and are soon mesmerised by the dulcet tones of the mans voice......we vote he sounds like Kamahl! The Maharaja of Jodhpur has definitely taken the view that he wants to make monuments available to the public, to ensure they are maintained well, and has turned part of his home, the Umaid Bawan Palace, into a museum. Another part is a hotel. We didn't stay there!
The architecture at the fort is again, different to the region, and incredibly detailed.
Upon arriving we see a lot of police, or army officers. We are then ushered away from the entry as four of five police cars scream it at high speed. They stop, and we see media people with cameras photographing this well dressed man. We ask who he is.....it is the Governor of Rajasthan. Okie dokie!
This fort, like the others is awe inspiring. Ceilings are ornately painted, with mirrors, mosaics and gold paint. I assume it was actually real gold. Inside some of the rooms were old elephant carriages, then the carriers that were carried by men. The detail, again, is hard to comprehend. The history and the people who would have sat in these is hard to fathom. Who walked these paved corridors before me? How many people died in this an on holes stills visible around the outside walls.
We continue through the maze of rooms. The audio tells of the Maharaja's memories of spending time in this fort. The rooms, so ornate, and used for everyday water systems again are incredible.
I enter a court, alone, and next thing, Mr Governor enters, flanked by protectors, and smiles at me. He is obviously very polite, and given I was the only person there, and clearly not a local, he seemed welcoming. Although he didn't stop to chat!
The detail in the stone carvings belies anything I've ever seen in colonial architecture. These buildings must have taken many years to complete.
We then enter the room of baby cribs. So ornate- you'd want to order one well before children were planned to ensure it was ready!
We are taken to lunch in a new restaurant that looked like an officers mess- best naan we've had so far!
Umaid Bawan Palace sits atop a hill and in the distance it looks directly across to the fort. It is a very imposing building, like most. The history of the current Maharaja and Maharani, and his ancestors takes pride of place. It is quite special for the Maharaja to take so much pride in his history, and to ensure the people can enter, and see it. He seems to be a very well liked man.
Anna tells us to frock up for dinner. Oh la la....... We all scrubbed up ok!
We are driven by our personal bodyguard, no, driver, Saheed to our restaurant. It is called On the Rocks. It is a gorgeous hidden oasis with lights mounted under the tables and with the white table cloth all the tables glow. There is a sand floor, and it is under a huge tree. Food wasn't great but the ambience was memorable.