Trip Start Jan 20, 2009
120Trip End Jan 19, 2010
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Where I stayed
From the bus station we finally made it to our hostel via a rickshaw driver who tried to drop us off at a hotel in which he was paid commission. We stood our ground and eventually he dropped us off where we originally asked to go. After checking in we explored the town, and what we found was the most polluted, dirty and charmless city in India so far, although it did have a lot to live up to following Amritsar and Jaisalmer.
The reason most visitors come to Jodhpur is to visit the fort, which stands towering some 80 metres upon a hilltop above the city. Where as Jaisalmer is a childlike, picture perfect sandcastle, Jodhpur's is a stern looking, defensive fort which is impressive rather than beautiful. On climbing the hill to the fort we found it a great place to explore, not as quaint as the last fort, however it did contain a superb museum detailing the life and times of Maharaja who occupied it since 1459. It gave you a real taste of the opulence and the extravagant lifestyle that they once enjoyed. There is also a very nice view from the top of the fort and you can see the reason Jodhpur is called the blue city, as all the houses in the old town are painted blue. Other than the fort and a visit to a marble temple designed as the last resting place of the Maharaja’s there isn’t a great deal more to see, so we headed for our next destination.
We are both enjoying India but we have differing views on it. Many of our preconceptions have proved to be true; it is extremely dirty, suffers from extreme poverty, is highly polluted and is incredibly inefficient in almost every aspect. It is also completely chaotic and most organisation is completely shambolic. On the other hand it’s also one of the most colourful and spectacular places we’ve been to so far - it’s a complete attack on the senses. It’s a photographers dream; everywhere you look great photo opportunities abound, from sacred cows that are as common a sight in the streets as pigeons are in London, to the incredible buildings and the vibrantly dressed people.
It’s fast becoming Paul’s favourite countries of the whole trip; however I have one or two negatives. My biggest bug bears are the amount of male attention and sexism in India society, women seem to be treated very much as second class citizens and men openly look you up and down. Paul is always asked what he wants to eat first, given the menu first, gets spoken to first and is given the change even if I pay the bill, it drives me insane! The bureaucracy is something that needs to be seen before it can be believed; India is the only place where I needed to give my passport details before I could use the internet, and let’s not even get onto the train reservation system! On the plus side I like India and so far it’s not as difficult as I feared, maybe 10 months travelling has been good training.
Here are the photos.
Next stop, Udaipur, which is billed as India’s most romantic city.