Monday, April 16, 2012

Jodphur....Rajasthan Part 2

I love Jodphur. I think of all the places we have visited in India to date it is my favorite. The fort towering above, the old blue city winding its way down the hillside, the hustle and bustle of the clock tower and surrounding markets, the peace of the Mandore gardens.....

We ended up staying five nights and we found plenty to do. As travellers/tourists go we are pretty slow!! We like to have time to unpack our suitcases and become familiar with the town, get our bearings and explore a bit off the beaten, have time to hang out, revisit places and find our 'favorites' As we were a little off season, it was starting to get hot, but that also meant there weren't many tourists and people had time to pour us chai and chat.
Even though we arrived at such an antisocial hour, the hotel was awake enough to guide us to our room, saving their traditional welcome until the morning! I have to give a huge thank-you to the Kothi Heritage. The hotel had originally been the family home for 4 or 5 generations, since the times of the Maharaja. The brothers converted it into a 17 room hotel and it's beautiful. It's a real nooks and crannies hotel with some wonderful pieces and artifacts (I could have brought a lot of them home with me!) The brothers could not have been more helpful. The great thing with small family run hotels is no-one wants to send you on an expensive tour when all you need to do is grab a rick and explore by yourselves.

I think my favorite part of Jodphur was the old blue city. Buildings painted blue for the cool - and it was cool in the shade, winding our way through the little alley ways. It seemed as the only place to go was up - that is how they built. Your family expands and you just build another room on top!

Although it was definitely warming up, we still found some cool in the shade of old ruins in the Mandore gardens. These temples were just there in the park for one and all.
Adam found himself an impromptu music lesson!

The hustle and bustle of the markets around the clock tower was where we spent our evenings. The colors - I know I keep going on about the pinks, reds, oranges but they were amazing. The markets were really for the locals so we could wander about without being hassled to buy. We'd then find one of the many roof top restaurants for dinner and watch the sun go down behind the fort. That sentence can be taken literally - we did find ONE of the roof top restaurants so good, so returned several times - tho' always to a different table, so not as to appear too unadventurous!!

We also had time to take in some of the less mainstream "to dos" in Jodphur. We found the  hole in the wall hotel which reportedly served the 'best' saffron lassi. This was the type of place I love - full of locals, so you know it'll taste good. But even so I was a little tentative after watching this yellow goo with a lump of something glutinous and white on top being slopped into a glass but seriously - man this was really good!

 We also ate the "best" Jodphur sweets, standing at a bar, fresh from the box - yummy!, discovered saffron, cinnamon and cardamon good. We had time in the one souvenir/artifact shop we went into (at least twice!) to meet the old grandfather, the shops now being run by the grandsons, who had worked in the shop for 76 years, yes - since he was 10! Now he was there to shoot the breeze, serve tea and give away miniature model gods. Sweetest old gentleman! But how wonderful to still have a role in the family business and not sent out to grass. And how things have changed, they now export and sell on e-bay.

We have seen some very unusual signage since we have been in India - but this one we spotted in Jodphur takes the prize so far....I'm not even sure I know what it means or do I?

1 comment:

  1. Super post. Loved seeing and hearing about it all.