Maybe it was partially joy at being well again, but Jodhpur wrapped me completely around its finger. We arrived late Thursday night (after our train was delayed because it hit first a cow, and later a camel!! :-/) and had two full days in the blue city.
It is considerably larger than Jaisalmer (population of around 850,000, versus Jaisalmer’s 60,000 souls). It also has a fort (also considerably larger. Once the home to generations of Maharajas, it’s at the center of the city and absolutely towers over everything), and with its historic ambience, busy market squares, crowded, narrow streets and resident swallows wheeling overhead, like Jaisalmer I found it had something that evoked memories of Italy in summer for me. Although all comparisons to Italy definitely end there: Jodhpur has a fantastic vibe of its own and is all Indian.
We spent the first day just exploring the town and the second was the fort tour plus enjoying the town some more. We stayed at the Cosy Guest House, a squashy, slightly run down but mostly in a charming way budget place with, to quote their menu cover, ‘a killing view’ of the fort from the rooftop restaurant (happily we seem to have survived). It was a bit removed from the action but all the more enjoyable for that fact – I absolutely loved the sweet, vibrant neighborhood we were staying in. It was just great poking around as we slowly found our way by foot from the hotel to the busier, more touristy main square on the first day.
The residents of Jodhpur totally charmed me; I found them open, quick to smile and greet you – especially, of course, the children. We’ve met friendly people in lots of parts of India but in Jodhpur the exchanges felt completely guileless and felt great to share that brief but open contact everywhere we went.
Two quick dining highlights: We had a stunningly atmospheric, candle-lit sunset dinner on the rooftop restaurant Indique (inside a tastefully upscale hotel, Priya) – felt like we were floating above the city as the dusk settled into night and the stars came out. Just gorgeous. Although the palak paneer (happy to report being sick didn’t ruin Indian food for me! 😀 Although I may be free of my single-minded obsession – I am now starting to get really excited for Thai food… :-D) wasn’t bad it was totally bland. Felt like half the ingredients (i.e. the spices) were missing. For once, an Indian dish I could actually make better myself! The rest of the food was great though!
As well, although we were only there two days, we became regulars at the Sheesh Mahal Cafe. Absolutely loved this place. Although I will admit it was an little slice of the Western escapism set in Jodhpur – felt a million miles away from anything Indian except for the guys working there watching old Bollywood flicks on the TV. Roomy, clean and simple, very peaceful with comfy couches, tasty cafe frappes and saffron lassi and best of all, a small library of English books to enjoy while there.
Pics from around town
The ‘killing’ view of the fort and blue city from our hotel roof
Broken elephant, old flowers outside a small Hindu temple in ‘our’ neighborhood
Tomatoes for sale
These two little guys made me take about half a dozen pics of them – SO cute. I always feel weird about pictures of strangers – there’s probably a thousand I would have taken by now if it hadn’t felt like it would be totally rude and intrusive, so it was fun to have totally willing subjects. 🙂
One candid shot of them after the photo shoot
Possible copyright infringement?
Not exactly sure what this is about but it looks interesting