Jodhpur, India. Founded officially as a city in 1459, Jodhpur is known as the Blue City – for reasons which should be obvious – in addition to being the source of those sexy riding pants.
We were up (relatively) early for us, and out the door at 10:00 to start our day’s adventures. We rode in a tuk-tuk for quite a distance to the ancient Meherangarh Fort, a stunning example of the art and richness that characterized this area, Rajputana.
The current Maharaja has created a foundation to rescue this complex, which was once in great decline. Building of the fort was what defined the creation of city in 1459, and additions/refinements continued up till the British took it over in the 19th century.
There are multiple palaces within the fort, and much evidence remains of the life of luxury lived there.
We started at the penthouse level, as there was a handy elevator, and were amazed by the views.
There are adjoining courtyards weaving throughout the complex, which give a great sense of privacy and serenity. We sat in one that happened to have a small almost-Frenchlike cafe – hard to find in India – and watched the crowds as we had a little break.
As often happens, many of the riches of this fort are not currently at home, because they are so famous that they traveled west while we traveled east. The silver elephant seats, the glass palanquin, the wonderful miniatures, the over-the-top automobiles and many other goodies are now on exhibit in Canada. I hope that certain people we know in Seattle got to see them when they were there! But there were still lots of other lovelies to admire, and we did a lot of oohing and aahing over what is still in residence here, including the royal cradles.
The real thrill of the visit was our decision to consult the royal astrologer, who doubles as a palmist. His reading of Don’s hand was so on-target from the first sentence that I couldn’t resist having mine read too. No, won’t tell you what he said, but he nailed us both and I will write down his advice in a nice private place. Mr. S.L. Sharma is a very refined and articulate student of human nature, and I have all new respect for his practice.
One of the last things we saw was the replicas of the handprints of Maharaja Man Singh’s widows, placed there in 1843 as they left the palace to commit sati on his funeral pyre. This was the last mass sati by wives of a Marwari maharaja.
Every view was this huge fortress was majestic and dramatic. The people just made it even more magical.
We tuk-tuked back to our own suburban fortress, which is even more impressive on the outside, now that we see it in the daylight.
Don’s Food Corner
There’s not much to say today, especially since we have not recovered from breakfast, when Jo was served pancakes with syrup and olives on top. Olives? A first. Not even in Greece. Unfortunately, Jo didn’t have her camera with her.
We settled for a sandwich and apple pie for lunch at the lovely cafe within one of the magnificent courtyards in the fort. We didn’t pay much attention to the food, so the sandwich disappeared before the camera came out. Sigh.