By the time we reached Jodhpur we were pretty done with ruins and forts. There are only so many one person can see before they all merge into one.
We got off the train around 6:30pm.and grabbed a taxi to the old town. It couldn’t take us to our hostel as the roads were too thin, or as it turns out, too steep. We’d booked ourselves into a guest house that didn’t have views of the fort, but was instead in the side of the cliff holding the fort with views out over the blue city.
It was a pretty nice place, but to get to it you had to do a lot of steps and didn’t passages that were not on Google maps making the first attempt quite a challenge! We’d eaten (very spicy thali and bryiani) on the train so we had a fanta looking over the city and went to bed. It was my first Fanta out here, I was high as a kite!
We woke up the next morning to drums blaring and speakers pumping. Another wedding? Shiva’s wedding. And who owned the largest speakers? The home opposite our guesthouse.
We got up and headed to the fort. I know I said we were bored of them but this one was different. It was carved into a huge hill overlooking the city, completely dominating the skyline. We headed up the steep hill, sweating in the heat at 9am! Being the stingy people we are, we then stood outside the ticket house for a good 10 minutes outraged that it was a whole 600rs each (for fort, museum and audio guide) before deciding we should do it.
It was fabulous. The audio guide was actually quite good, and we spent hours wondering round the outer areas of the castle (because we’d accidentally walked past the museum) and then went to the museum. Built in the main building and with tens of not hundreds of different sections, every time we thought we’d finished we’d find another out house or building with three floors filled with new and interesting things. Or swords. There were lots of swords.
Back in the 50s the king of Jodpur dies in a plane crash, leaving his kingdom to his 4 year old son. The youngest king Jodpur had seen, he grew up as king but still carried on with his education, went to university and then came back. ‘King’ really was just a title as he had no ownership over the town, just his fort. In order to both preserve it and keep financially afloat he turned his fort into a museum with the help of his wife. He still ‘rules’ today from the palace across the city (half palace half hotel).
The next day we decided to do a walking tour of the city. It was us, a guide and a Japanese photographer who’s Instagram is stunning!
We wondered the old streets, tried a local breakfast – puff bread with lentils in it? Very nice. And of course, chai. Our guide took us round the back of the fort to some stunning views, through blue streets, with blue houses and blue shops and blue signs. (See previous post)
Into beautiful gardens where he offered us the chance to zip line the city. Nope. And then down to the markets, which were similar to all Indian markets apart from the huge pikes of green leaves for the cows. Huge. Which seemed to be covering the streets.
After a full day of touring we popped back to our room and then set out to the namaste cafe. We’d eaten here before and we’re keen to go back.
As we walked down the higgledy and windy streets we passed an area that during shivas wedding had been covered in material with 6ft speakers and shrines, but now was a simple dusty path, however, about 10 people were blocking our way along it. Mainly children with a few adults. All male. And they were throwing marbles towards one of the walls. I took a bit of an interest and smiled as we passed, which led to an invitation for us to join.
What were the rules?
We were each given a handful or marbles and I think the aim was to throw them into a small dip in the road. I of course was horrendous at this. Gregor? Pretty good.
So. Marbles were thrown into a small dip. If you managed people would cheer. Then what?
Someone would point at a marble they didn’t end up in the dip and you used the marbles that did end up in the dip to try and hit the one pointed at. Are you following? I’m not.
If you got your marble withing a hands width of the pointed at marble then people cheered and I believe you win.
I will take this moment to point out how incredibly unfair this game is. You have to have your toes behind a line but your allowed to lean. So tall people are closer to their target. Then if I miss my marble by, say, 7cm I would lose. Due to my tiny weeny hands. Gregor however would win due to the fact his hands are the size of dinner plates.
At this point we thought we understood the game. Then Gregor played someone and win in about 3 minutes. Then I played someone and 15minutes later the game was still going. Why, who knows. They just kept giving me marbles!
Anyway. We made friends. Eventually we left the gang and had dinner. It was excellent so we decided to have pudding. Hello to the queen to be exact.
Hello to the Queen.
The mysterious dessert we kept seeing on menus. What is it? Heaven. Banana chocolatey nutty heaven. Oh, with ice cream.
It was a good day.
I think we then spent the next day buying fabric, after realising another show we’d been to was a massive con, we spent far too much on family in a lovely place in the square. And then decided to go back to the guest house for dinner and an early night.
Next door are having a wedding! And guess who were the owners of the massive 6ft speakers? 😒
We literally could not hear ourselves think, let alone eachother inside our room. It was shaking from the bass. This was a low point if the trip. A few too many nights of noise pollution in a row. We genuinely considered moving accomodation for the night and decided to go for a beer in the centre of town to decide.
We could genuinely still hear if from the other end of town. There were two weddings on full volume booming out over the city. Indians are loud. We know this, but they used to be loud with acoustic instruments. Now they all have 4g, Spotify and sound systems that weigh more than Gregor and I put together and it’s officially too much. Most states have a noise pollution policy and weddings can’t be over a certain amount of decibels. Guess which state doesn’t? Rajasthan!
We were ready to leave. The music was over by midnight and we went to bed ready for an early start the next day. We discovered the best coffee in India and then got a car down to udaip