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  • Writer's pictureDhruv Badaya

The City of Blues

Updated: Aug 19

As I navigated the bustling streets on my motorcycle, a captivating sight caught my attention in the midst of the vibrant cityscape. A mighty fort perched atop a hill, watching over the city like a vigilant guardian. It was unmistakably the iconic Mehrangarh Fort, and at that moment, I knew I had arrived in Jodhpur, the famed Blue City of Rajasthan. This city, the second largest in Rajasthan, held stories etched in its walls, a gateway to the Thar desert.

Contrary to the notion of a fully blue city, Jodhpur presented a vivid palette of colors. Only a small sector of the old town, visible from Mehrangarh Fort, was adorned in shades of blue, while the rest painted a vibrant picture. The city's essence enveloped me immediately – it was a sprawling labyrinth of narrow alleys teeming with life and orchestrated chaos. Unlike the modern touristy charm of Udaipur, Jodhpur was a step back in time, an experience akin to wandering through history's pages. To truly uncover its charm, one must embrace the labyrinthine alleys, capturing life's candid moments through a lens.

Having arrived from Udaipur, the sun already marking midday, I made my way to my chosen guest house. This haven was strategically located, offering a panoramic view of the mighty Mehrangarh Fort. After a revitalizing tea and a brief respite, I set foot once again in the bustling streets of Jodhpur. This city was remarkably compact; most attractions lay within a 15-minute walk. First on my list was Toorji ka Jhalra, a stepwell tucked a stone's throw away from Ghanta Ghar.

Built by Rani Tawarji in 1740, Toorji ka Jhalra was a piece of history reclaimed from debris. This sandstone marvel, with depths of over 200 feet, once boasted intricate carvings and a remarkable water distribution system. Today, it stands as a cooling oasis, drawing locals and visitors alike to its pristine waters.

Midday proved to be the ideal time to capture the well's vivacity, as locals sought refuge from the heat. Their laughter and splashes provided the perfect symphony for my lens. With a contented heart and a growing appetite, I ventured in search of authentic Rajasthani fare. Despite the dominance of Western-style cafes, I managed to savor a hearty local meal before setting my sights on the unparalleled Mehrangarh Fort.

Mehrangarh Fort's grandeur was evident even from a distance, its imposing presence dominating the skyline. With a plan to explore the complex over two days, I ventured to its entrance. The journey to the top was an awe-inspiring experience, my anticipation mirrored by the towering walls that enveloped me. Once within the complex, I was lost in its splendor for hours, my camera a faithful companion as I attempted to capture its magnificence.

Exploring the vastness, I noticed two entrances, each offering a distinct approach. The northern entrance, flanked by Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, unfolded an alternative path with scenic views. The southern entrance, quieter and more serene, provided a tranquil escape. As I exited the fort complex, I was enchanted by the chaos and vibrancy surrounding Ghanta Ghar. The Sardar Bazaar brimmed with colorful handicrafts, local delicacies, and the hum of life.

In the evening, I strolled to capture the city's nocturnal beauty. The fort's illuminated walls glistened against the night sky, a reminder of its timeless grandeur.

Another day began, welcomed by the gentle embrace of dawn. Aloo parathas fueled my energy for another exploration. My focus shifted to the Fort Museum, a treasure trove of history and culture. Guided by my desire to learn and discover, I delved into the stories echoing through the walls, feeling a kinship with the past.

The blue streets of the city beckoned, promising to reveal its character. The blue houses, a tradition stemming from Brahmin residence, painted an indigo tapestry that seemed to echo with stories of old. However, the streets were quiet, a realization dawned that Sunday mornings were meant for slumber. Nonetheless, my persistence was unwavering, even though life remained elusive through my lens.

The afternoon led me to Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, a testament to nature's resilience. Once dominated by an invasive shrub, the park now hosted an array of native flora and fauna. A serene stroll amid the greenery revealed the city from a different perspective, while the golden sunlight played its magic on Mehrangarh Fort.

As the day waned, I sought the perfect sunset view. Maa Jwalamukhi Devi Temple, the City Viewpoint, unveiled the Blue City against the backdrop of a painted sky. This enchanting vista was the ideal way to bid Jodhpur adieu.

With each sunrise, Jodhpur's allure grew stronger. As the city's colors faded into the distance, I carried a treasure trove of memories and photographs. The road to Jaisalmer beckoned, yet a piece of Jodhpur remained embedded in my heart, a reminder of a city that wore its history proudly and invited me to be a part of its tapestry.


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