Jodhpur - The Blue City
Trip Start Apr 15, 2006
16Trip End May 08, 2006
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Next stop for the day was breakfast. Not ours though . . . Vijay picked up some packets of crackers and on the way he stopped at an area with tons of monkeys. Black faced ones so we were fine! And then he proceeded to get out of the car and start feeding them. They were very cute. They would grab the crackers right out of your hand. One guy had a cracker in his mouth. Snatched one from me in his right hand and then another in his left. He was very fast! By the time I was near the end of my packaged I had about a dozen or so monkeys around me and a pesky cow looking for a snack. Smart cows have figured out a good thing. Once again, my doctor would have cringed at the site but it was such fun. And the monkeys were really cute to watch.
Next stop on the way was for chai at one of the hole in the wall roadside stands. They are all like this but not sure what better way to describe them. This was my first chai (tea with milk and sugar) experience in India and I hoped to enjoy it a bit differently but figured this was as authentic as they got. At least they gave me the glass without all the broken ridges. Vijay and I sat there and sipped our chai with some sort of spicy pepper chips to go with it and the rest of the people there sat around and watched us. I wish I understood what they were saying . . . I can only imagine. And of course, this was the one day that I thought we would be in the car all morning so I wore a t-shirt and not one of my longer sleeved blouses. Oh well. At least I had long pants on. I have been covered from head to toe for this entire trip so far - except when in nice hotels that I walk around in - then I break out the skirt and flip flops. Feels very liberating.
A few hours more and we reached Jodhpur - The Blue City. Jodhpur is an old city whose buildings are all painted blue. Traditionally, blue signified the home of a Brahmin, but non-Brahmins have started to paint their homes blue as well. In addition, the colour is thought to repel insects.
The city is huge which is amazing given that it is in the middle of the desert and all we had passed on the way over were small towns and shacks. The city was founded in 1459 and the main site to see is Meherangarh which is the huge fort that dominates the City. This has been my favorite site so far. The reason being is that they have audio tours of the palace and fort - no guide needed. I loved it! Could just play the tape and walk around the grounds at my own pace. Unfortunately, we reached the city at about noon and I was unbelievably hot! But I still enjoyed every minute of it. I also went to visit Jaswant Thada which is a white marble memorial that the Maharaja's wife built for him. This was a quick walk around trip. Took me more time to wake up the ticket attendant in order to pay to get in. Quite amusing.
After that we headed to the hotel which is really nice! Great rooms and internet access. Finally. I told Vijay that I would call him later if I wanted to go out but after showering and using the internet I think I will lay low this evening and get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow we head to Jaisalmer - and that will be a long drive!