Sunday 19th November 2017
With only one day to explore the visually striking blue city, our time in Jodhpur targeted a visit to the Mehrangarth and the local fruit and textile markets. The rickshaw ride through town that followed the stomach-curling 6 hour bus ride, situated us back into the shattering reality of the immense great divide in India’s population. Desperately looking into our rickshaw were women with their young, fragile babies begging for food and money- a sighting that never gets easier to be around or temporarily ignore. The hopeful desire to help is immediately met with restraint as our leaders day one cautionary instruction comes to mind (effectively any offerings promote a culture of begging and contribute to the continued abuse of children by black market circles). It is moments like these that rival your optimism and work to undermine your enjoyment of India, but if you can try to resist suffocating your emotions with this dismal reality, you will enjoy your time in India. For viewing India through this lens is essential for understanding India’s network of socialisation and its economy – but it doesn’t have to be a damaging tone to your trip.
With a hue of blue tones woven in the structures and aesthetics of dwellings and buildings, Jodhpur has easily mastered a refreshing, Mediterranean sensibility that distinctly sets it apart from its neighbouring cities. Why the ‘blue city’? To define a city by one singular colour seems problematic considering that the bustling streets of India can easily be associated with an abundance of other colours and complementary tones. From the markets to the Rajasthani women’s clothing, an array of colours enliven the dull, impoverished environment to create beauty in the midst of the ruined backdrop. Jodhpur is commonly known as the blue city for its association with the Brahmins, India’s priestly caste. The prevalence of blue colours that decorate the city is seen as a tool for distinguishing class and Brahmin properties, with the rich blue seen as an assembly of royalty and heritage across the city. The blue city is a photographers paradise, with contrasting points between the sandstone buildings, the dusty desert landscape and the blue dwellings providing a sense of ‘coolness’ (temperate) and refreshment in the midst of the Thar desert.
With an itinerary that seems overpacked with visits to forts and temples, a small group of us decided to take to the sky to see the Fort and the city from a different perspective. With 6 spectacular zip lines over the architecture and lake of the fort, the zip tour provides you with a new breathtaking view, and exhilarating experience of one of India’s most majestic forts. I would highly recommend the zip line tour as it provides you with a greater appreciation of the intricacies of the forts structures, and the diverse landscape of the Indian terrain.
To finish our day in ‘epic’ terms yet again, our group joined in a blue-lit rooftop dinner with scenic views of the fort- an experience that yet again seems to be nothing short of magical.