Jodhpur

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The Blue City founded in 1459 as the new capital of what is now Rajasthan
Impressions of Jodhpur
 
Why are the houses blue?
Is it because?

   a) they are the homes of Brahmins?

   2) it keeps the interior cool?

   3) it repels mosquitoes?

   4) all of the above?

The main shopping street Nai Sadak leads into Sadar Market.  A typical Rajasthani market where you can find silver, jewelry, textiles, handicrafts. vegetables and an amazing array of aromatic spices.   A feast for the eyes, ears, nose and lens

 
The local authorities and some merchants are trying very hard to eliminate the touts who want to show you around and in particular take you shopping.
Touts claim you will get hopelessly lost and you do, but there are always a thousand eyes following your progress. They know where you are from, where you are staying, what you purchased, from whom and what you paid, "too much Madame".
Should Fanny and I get separated which happened often, someone was always at our elbow to guide us to "your friend" and hopefully visit his shop when you are reunited.
So there is really no danger of being lost, just don't loose your sense of humour, you will need it to cope with the indefatigable touts

Meherangarh

 
The most touching sight comes as you pass through the last entrance gate.   31 tiny red powdered handprints set into the wall.  The Sati marks of Maharaja Man Singh's widows who threw themselves on to his funeral pyre in 1843.  The last time such a sacrifice was made in the name of the Maharaja of Jodhpur
Seventeen generations have come and gone since construction began on May 12th 1459.

Temples, palaces and courtyards have been added but they blend seamlessly with the spirit of the original. 
 Today it is hailed as the "finest living example of a Hindu fortress"

covers the whole fort

 
Courtyard of the Zenana Deodi where once the wives of the maharajas spent their days surrounded by the delicate sandstone carvings and screens 
Another handsome Rajput face, this time a Zenana Deodi guard.  Hopefully being a eunuch is no longer a condition of employment

 

The gilt covered Mahadol palanquin.
Won in battle from the Governor of Gujarat in 1730.  This was used by the Maharaja and required 12 men to carry it

 
An Elephant Howdah.
A two compartment seat fastened to the back of an elephant.   The King or royal personage would sit in the front with a raised protective metal shield.  Behind sat a loyal bodyguard, disguised as a flywhisk attendant


 
The Moti Mahal (the Pearl Palace)

So called for the lime and crushed shell plaster work which gives the room a pearl like luster.   Here the Maharaja held his most important Durbars, formal meetings on matters of state with his family, ministers, nobles and religious leaders.  The deep alcoves above the doors on the right are small secret balconies, where his queens could sit unnoticed and listen to affairs of state.  An opportunity for sober second thought?

 
The Phul Mahal (The Palace of Flowers) Was built in the early 18th century.  This exotically beautiful and opulent room, was dedicated to the arts of pleasure.   Nights would be passed with poetry, raga music and dancers dancing till dawn under the soft glow of the candlelight reflected off the mirrored ceiling
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