It was pretty late in the evening when we arrived by bus to Jodhpur (AKA Blue City). We checked in at Shivam Paying Guesthouse, which sits just at the bottom of Mehrangarh Fort’s walls, and were greeted with a smile by a young guy (the only one of the bunch who smiled at all). He took us to our already-paid-for room, but after discovering the ceiling fan didn’t work, he upgraded us to a pretty swanky room – much to the dismay of his boss who we heard shouting at him outside. I’d love to say that we had a good night’s sleep in here, but I was up all night taking cold showers, then laying down, then I’d heat up after 10 minutes and do the same thing… I was pretty knackered the next day! The guesthouse restaurant upstairs provides a good view of the tower clock which lights up in the evening and changes colour, in front of a colourful firework display.
The morning after our hot, sleepless night, we decided to walk up to the huge Mehrangarh Fort, which rests on a gigantic steep hill! (We were glad of our water!) This is supposedly one of India’s “most magnificent” forts. Standing on a 120-metre-high hill, this enormos landmark offers one hell of a view. As always, we bought an audio guide to give us a tour of this historical marvel, which took 3 to 4 hours, including a drink stop.
After almost dying in the sweltering 43-degree heat, we found ourselves at Indique, a nice little restaurant in which we stayed inside to enjoy the A/C. The food was decent, and we returned that evening for drinks – and again the following day for lunch. I also got some cheap Henna artwork done on my arms by the lady running it.
The next day, after walking around the market underneath the clocktower, where we bought the best cheese & masala omelettes from The Omelette Shop, and unusual tasting lassis from a nearby stall, we walked over to the temple not too far from the fort, and saw why they call Jodhpur “Blue City”…
(Originally, a blue house signified that of a Brahmin, though now some non-Brahmins also like to paint their house blue. They also think the colour might act as an insect repellent).
After lunch, we headed back over to the fort to take part in Flying Fox’s zip line circuit! I knew I’d be petrified, but still really wanted to do it.
The circuit consists of six zip lines over walls, bastions and lakes, of various heights and distances, and is supposed to take two hours. There were 10 in our group, and still the course took only just over an hour… it was over pretty quick and most of the time was spent waiting for others to cross (or me, who was usually last!).
That being said, the experience was incredible and by the final two zip lines I felt pretty confident…ish. I was glad for the ‘practice’ lines we did before venturing off to such heights. The safety standards were really good and the guides made you feel at total ease, despite making it clear they have done this trip far too often and it no longer excites them.
This certainly worked up an appetite and so we headed to a really nice little restaurant not far from Indique. I have forgotten the name, and feel awful about it. We were the only customers in the restaurant, and there was only one man working there, who was lovely! He prepared and cooked the food himself, served it himself, and cleared everything away. The food was awesome, and I wish I could remember the name to recommend.
Stomachs full, we headed back to our guesthouse to pick up our bags and headed for the train station… Next stop: Jaisalmer.
An extra note: I really urge anyone who visits Jodhpur to visit the Sambhali Boutique. The Sambhali Trust is an NGO dedicated to providing underprivileged women and girls with educational, vocational, and social skills to help them to become confident and financially independent. I think the work that they do here is really great, and encourage everyone to support them, even if it’s just by buying a toy camel.