Day 3 continued. Textiles and “downtown Jodhpur”

25 06 2009

After the photographic ramblings of the previous post, I felt the need to trim and compose the latter half of the day. I promise, short and sweet. No, really.

Previously we had been to the Meherangarh Fort, and the Jaswant Thanda. Now it was time to head into town. Being an old town our bus couldn’t fit, so we abandoned it on the outskirts and tuktuk’d it in.

We almost died only a few times in the traffic, Indian drivers have this amazing ability to know exactly what is going on around them all the time (something Korean drivers really need to learn).

Still, we arrived at a (very famous they say) textile shop. 4 or 5 floors of mountains of fabrics. They claim to have had many famous people buy from their store as well as selling lots of “overruns” of things they make for high end western fashion houses. How true is it all? No idea, but all the girls got excited and shopping commenced.

Ignoring the textiles, it was time for a brief wander into town. The old town is a maze of tiny narrow streets, bustling with all forms of commerce.

Delivery drivers are not quite the same here as back home, more of the pedal powered vareity.

Delivery Driver

Also nice to see are the locals just going about their daily business. This lady was just having a laugh with her friend in the house over the road.

Stopping for a chat

Not everything was bright and cheerful. Being an ancient place, the water supply was not what we expect in a city. Many people are still serviced by pump well’s in the town squares, sending their kids down to collect water for the family whenever it is needed.

The Water Boy

Getting late, so we headed back to the textile shop. Girls still shopping (another central theme of any Indian trip). Lucky for us the owners took us up onto the roof, gave us delicious chai and let us take sunset pictures. A perfect end to a day.

A Jodhpurian sunset

The next day is a big travel day, so back to the hotel for dinner and bed. Delicious food, shame about the 90 minute wait for it 😦

Next, the amazing moustache, Jain temples and cute village kids.

Day 3, Jodhpur, Forts and Mausoleums

24 06 2009

Picture this. You are asleep on a train (yeah, as if). Your bed is next to the door to the carriage, so every time the door opens you know about it.

Even better, every time you wake up expecting the train to actually move its stopped dead, waiting.

Just when you get to sleep, real nice deep sleep, the door bangs open and you hear “chai chai chai” in a loud nasal voice. Chai ? The hot sweet spiced tea that India is rightly so famous for. Perfect after a night of limited sleep.

Still, adventuring on. Our 8am arrival to Jodhpur turned into a 10am arrival, something perfectly normal and acceptable in this part of the world.

Upon arrival at our hotel, we had a quick breakfast and went out to explore in the “waiting” time we had until the next step of our tour began.

The hotel was right next door to an Army base. Walk out the door and you are confronted with :

Want to Join the Army?

Further up the road a great tractor that was used by locals for hauling vegetables. Many vehicles in India have chilly and lime hung from the front, in an attempt for good luck. They certainly need it seeing how crazy the driving is in India.

Good luck Truck

The first real stop in Jodhpur was the amazing Mehrangarh Fort, a 600 year old sandstone fort perched on top of a hill.

Meherengarh Fort

Imposing walls of Meherangarh Fort

Walking in through the gates was imposing, the walls rising like a vertical cliff up into the sky. Giant gates, twisty roads and vast walls make this a fort that would have been terrifying to attack, if you could get close enough.

Just inside the main gate was a small door up some handy steps.

The doorway to ?

Continuing thought the places was amazing. You could really appreciate the wonders of India. From the canons on the roof overlooking the town

Canon of Meherangarh Fort looking out over Jodhpur

to the guards having a break up against the ancient walls

Break Time

The squirrels were cute too, playing all over the walls and cannons.

Squirrel war?

After all to brief a visit to Meharangarh Fort, it was time to move on, just down the road in fact to the Jaswant Thanda. A memorial to popular local ruler Jaswant Singh II (1878-95), members of his family are also buried here.

Jaswant Thanda

Up close it was beautiful, made of white marble.

Jaswant Thanda

Jaswant Thanda

At a few places along the walk to the mausoleum, there were young kids playing instruments, then demanding money, the usual "hey mister, one dollar one dollar". Very cute, but also irritating.

Money please?

Within the mausoleum it was wonderfully cool. Definite elements similar to the Taj Mahal, and a nice taste of what is to come.

Inside Jaswant Thanda

Looking out one of the stone windows screens, down the main stairs

Jaswant Thanda, inside out