Getting lost in the blue city

The sun was quickly going down and every street looked like the last. Men grinned from dark corners, their smiles showing more gaps than teeth. We had been in Jodhpur for a couple of days and I thought I spotted our inn on the next street – it wasn’t. Finally a group of men outside a bank helped us with directions, whipping out their Samsung phones to google map our inn. “Let’s just take them back, they’ll get lost” one said to another. Generally I would call this out as #shady but honestly I was so tired that I figured even if they did take me to their slave trade dungeon at least I could have a break from walking… I hopped on the back of one of the men’s scooter and he drove us straight to our inn, whilst informing me in Hindi and broken English that we were staying in a dangerous part of the city. My mum had arrived with the guy’s friend too and they chatted for a while (well they talked to my mum and I pretended to understand the conversation). Apparently they were Brahmins and were happy to learn we were too, and they left us as bhaiyyas (brothers).

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The blue city (Jodhpur’s old city) from Mehrangarh fort

Jodhpur was a bit of a confusing place, I had read that many people got lost but I thought I had grasped the city well – until our last night there. We stayed very close to the fort so at least there was no getting lost there, it was just a couple of minutes walk through an….aromatic….back alley (I suspect there’s a sewerage line passing through here..). Mehrangarh fort is often thought to be one of the best forts in India, or at least in Rajasthan. I’m not completely sure, but the view of the blue city is certainly one of the most stunning.

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Mehrangarh fort
Rajasthani man plays the Sarod whilst the woman sings
Rajasthani man plays the Sarod whilst the woman sings

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Mehrangarh fort, Jodhpur
Mehrangarh fort, Jodhpur
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Apparently I’ve become interesting to non Indians too, as at least five European tourists lined up to take my photo with this fort worker

Mehrangarh fort, ceiling,Jodhpur,blue city, Rajasthan,

Definitely pay a visit to the old city and check out the amazing blue houses. It’s said that blue was traditionally the colour of Brahmins, however many other people joined in and painted their houses blue. However this is only one of the many explanations for why the city is blue, so its origin remains ambiguous.

Jodhpur; whilst the origin of the many blue houses remains ambiguous, this woman was paid to allow a film crew to paint her house blue
Jodhpur; whilst the origin of the many blue houses remains ambiguous, this woman was paid to allow a film crew to paint her house blue

Also go to the Sadar Market, Jodhpur’s main bazaar and have fun navigating the cows, shouting sellers and autorickshaws. I ended up buying some Rajasthani dress material here at one of the fixed price stores along the road too. It’s easy to while away time here by walking along the road, and exploring a side street here and there – just make sure you know your way back!

A small pooja by. Lake just behind the fort on the Old City side
A small pooja by the lake just behind the fort on the Old City side

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3 thoughts on “Getting lost in the blue city

  • Thank you for sharing the informative post! The way you have described about your journey and stay in the city of Jodhpur makes me think about one of the popular place of our nation.The outstanding photographs depict the life of Jodhpur so well.

  • I found your blog on Google’s 3rd page after searching for “Vegans in Jodhpur”. I think I am the only one in the city. I do not travel often, so never got a chance to personally meet one. Next time you are here, do not forget to contact this compassionate animal lover!

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