We left Jaipur by train to Jodhpur. Arriving at the train station, we were told: "This train is always late, you can go to the wait room". Indeed, we had to wait 4 hours for our train.
We arrived at Jodphur around 10PM and checked in a great guest house Shahi Heritage. We ate a biryani on the rooftop with an amazing view on Mehrangarh Fort. As Chefchaouen in Morocco, majority of the houses are painted in blue with the same technique. Also, all over the city can be found rooftop restaurants with great views. We ate so much delicious food, always spicy, even if we asked not spicy. The speciality is the thali, a plate with many small dishes and naan. Annabelle also loved dosa, a huge crispy crepe that you dip in different sauces.
It is very difficult to walk in the city, as the streets are very narrow with a lot of traffic: tuk-tuk, motorbikes, cows and even camels! Even to walk a small distance it takes quite some time trying not to be smashed by a motorbike. Despite the traffic, the city is actually very nice. Just by lifting our eyes up, we could admire the beautiful and detailed architecture of the buildings.
Jodhpur is also know as the "sun city", and it's actually true. I believe we never experienced a weather this hot and humid during all our travels. It was still nice to see some blue sky, as since we arrived in India we haven't been lucky with the weather.
The Clock Tower is in a middle of a big market, which is actually divided in many of them: spices, textile, saree (traditional woman's cloth), pottery, etc. Right next to it we also had very good fresh drinks: pomegranate juice for me and mango lassi for Annabelle. We spent lot of time walking around the city, feeling the atmosphere. It was exactly how we imagined it: so colourful.
When it comes to interaction with Indian people, you have to know 2 things:
- they always think that I am Indian
- they always want to take some selfies with Annabelle
It has created some fun situations where we met nice people!
Mehrangarh Fort & Mandore garden
The main attraction in Jodhpur is the Merangarh fort on top of the hill. It's been a few Forts we are visiting but each of them was always unique and pretty. This one was huge. It is composed of different courtyards linking to rooms. There was also a museum where we could observe unique pieces like a palanquin used by the Queen mother or paintings describing the Maharaja's life. We could also walk on the fortifications and it offers great view of the city.
From there, we walked to visit Jaswant thada, a garden where there are some tombs of Maharaja. Inside, there are portraits of them. The place is surrounded by a lake, nice!
On Friday, we went to Mandore garden in the morning, where locals come to relax. Some monkeys live there, a different race from what we use to: there were so big! Once again, locals asked us (Annabelle mostly) to take some pictures with them.
On the last day, we decided to go with Poly Travels agency to visit Vishnoi villagers living around 17 km away from the city. On the way, we saw antelopes and wild cow!
Vishnoi people are part of Hindu religion and follow 29 principles including not drinking alcohol, not cutting big trees, not killing any animals. They are actually the old version of what we call now ecology!
Poly travels is a tourism agency that tries to encourage people's interaction. It is not the big tourist tour. They know the villagers and bring them medicine regularly. They even organise volunteering experience with foreigners.
We visited 2 different villages. The idea was to be part of villagers daily life. We observed them cooking, playing with kids. It was really nice to see how and where they live, most of the time a very very basic house. It was also the opportunity to drink Chai Masala with them.