Jodhpur is the second-largest city in Rajasthan and located in the Thar Desert, giving us much different scenery than we had in Udaipur. Jodhpur is known as the “Blue City” because many of its older buildings are painted blue, although the reasons why vary depending on who you ask. The three main theories we heard:
- Blue is associated with Brahmans (priestly caste) who owned many of these houses
- Mixing insect repellent with the paint turned it blue in the sun
- Blue was a good color to keep the house cool in the desert heat
The best views of the city are from the Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in all of India. In classic Vesper and Laura style, we woke up late and decided to hike up to the fort in the middle of the day. A poor choice in the desert climate, but we just aren’t morning people. Despite the heat stroke, we were rewarded with magnificent views.
A short walk down the hill from Mehrangarh Fort is Jaswant Thada. Built in 1899, it is a monument to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and serves as the cremation ground for the royal family of Marwar. The white marble walls are so thin that sunlight gives it a nice rosey hue.
There are markets everywhere in India with overly pushy vendors, but Jodhpur’s was the first where we got so fed up that after five minutes we decided to leave and not come back. Before we even got to the market we had several people trying to “help” by asking what we were looking for and not taking no for an answer. A common gig for young men is to funnel tourists to their “friend’s” shop in exchange for a commision later.
We did manage to find one charming clothing store near our hostel where we bought some “Ali Baba” or “harem” pants. No one wears shorts in India so we needed something cooler than jeans to beat the heat.