Chennai Journal
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Back to Jodhpur

I never did finish writing about Lia's and my trip to Rajasthan, especially the trip to Jodhpur. As Jaipur is called "the pink city," Jodhpur is known as "the blue city." You don't have to be there long to understand why. As the photo shows, building exteriors in the old city are awash in blue.

This has an interesting history. A section of the town was occupied by the Brahmins (highest Hindu caste) and they washed their houses in blue to identify themselves. Over time, non-Brahmins also adopted the distinctive coloring for its practical application--keeping cool in the hot Rajashthan summers.

The train station in Jodhpur, which Lia and I experienced because we took the train from Jaipur, is probably one of the sleaziest I've seen here. In the main lobby, hundreds of people, most looking like beggars, were sleeping when we arrived shortly after midnight. Touts were all about, and it was a good thing I had arranged for the hotel to pick us up, especially since the hotel was almost 10 kilometers outside the city.

The most imposing and impressive feature in Jodhpur is the Meherangarh Fort, which overlooks the city. In retrospect I was glad I chose this place to visit with Lia, because the climb would have been difficult to impossible for either Roberta or Marty. The climb is worth it, though--the view of the old city from on high is breathtaking.

And yes, the origin of jodhpur riding pants is this city, which is world famous for polo. There are museums and lots of pictures from the days of the Raj, and if you're so inclined, you can even have a pair made while you wait. (I didn't).

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