Reaching Jodhpur is a smooth slide into the Indian culture. Halfway between a dream and a slap to the face, the journey starts here!
To picture Jodhpur, watch a few pictures of Disney’s version of Aladdin. Allow yourself to be surprised by the haunting smell of simmering curry. Add a pinch of Indian folklore, Bollywood style, and garbage on the street corners for the last touch.
Jodhpur, Out of nowhere, your nose gets distressed, begging for help against the sudden assault of a certain putrid smell, vanishing as fast as a child’s bad dream. The sweet sugary dust of a Tchaï tea takes its place, a soothing respite for your maltreated nasal appendage.
No time to take offence for the pungent urine smell, a flowers, ginger and curcuma stall is there to calm your senses.
The merchant smiles at you!
This India for you: extremes to the extreme.
There’s a saying «India, love it or hate it». Smell may be the (pleasantly or not) surprised king here, but the other senses also get their fair share.
Once you overlook smartphones and blindingly shiny cars with tainted glasses and air conditioning set to max -aptly named tourist transit-, Jodhpur smells, looks, FEELS like ancient India.
The city is nearly as populated as whole of Mauritius.
500 years ago, the praised King Rao Jodha, a visionary, ordered the construction of the fortified part of the city. Blue was the chosen distinctive color of the Brahman districts, also said to repel mosquitoes. To this day, household are painted blue as part of the tradition. It’s worth noting that modern mosquitoes didn’t quite get the memo and seem oblivious to the color’s repelling effect.
The Mehrangarh fort rises high above the fortified city.
Of all the monuments we visited in India, this one was our favorite for several reasons:
it’s the best preserved fort of all Rajahstan.
the Moghol art collection displayed in the museum is amazing, and well preserved too.
the place is empty if you get there early enough.
the ticket is easily affordable.
the free audio-guide allows you to get back to the future, 500 years in the past this time (sorry, no hoverboards there!)
Most of the visitors don’t remain longer than 2 days in Jodhpur. We stayed for 2 weeks, allowing us to better discover the everyday life.
We wandered out and got lost in the Brahmanpuri district, inhabited the Brahman descendants (millenarian cast of scholars, keepers of peace and order).We also immersed ourselves in the city’s charming atmosphere, built friendships, pillaged all the restaurants around our place, and visited lots of guest-houses.
Indians behave like children! The playful ones will gladly take advantage of your naïve credulity, whilst the generous ones will want to share all their meagre possessions with you. Nothing is set in stone either, the playful becoming the generous, and vice versa.
India thus teaches valuable life lessons.
Lucky us, we managed to take a few photography classes! Delphine also got to learn moghol miniature painting techniques in the school of Jodhpur.
To be continued...