The magnificent Mehrangarh fort perched 120 metres above the city, is justifiably the main attraction in Jodhpur. It is one of the largest and best preserved of Rajput citadels. And one of the better maintained as well, cared for as it is by the Mehrangarh Museum Trust under the aegis of Maharaja Gaj Singh himself.
The interiors are impressive, the gift shop well worth a visit, the cafe serves a mean espresso (although at Parisian prices!) and it affords spectacular panoramas of the blue city.
The ‘blue’ in the nickname is derived from the blue wash that apparently once helped distinguish the homes of upper caste Brahmins. They seemed diminished in number since my last visit (over a decade ago!) and far harder to locate on the ground, than the views suggest. We were told that the best way to get up-close with the blue houses was through a pedestrian path leading from the fort down to the clock tower in the centre.
I would probably have got there, and early, if I was staying in a city centre hotel. But as it was, I had a date with chef Jodha later in the afternoon, so I opted to drive down to the market area via the beautiful royal mausoleums in Jaswant Tada and tried my luck in vain.
But there was no dearth of colour or atmosphere in the bazaars radiating from the clock tower. Aside from the modern vehicles and the incessant honking (on the main roads) that I am convinced damaged my eardrums temporarily, it seemed like little had changed in the five hundred odd years since Rao Jodha started construction on that fortification towering over it all.
Take a look….