Oasis in the Vast Desert – Jodhpur

After having a wonderful time in Ahmedabad, I and my friends headed for the city of Jodhpur. We were told that this city is one of the favorite tourist destinations in Rajasthan.  And rightly so located on the foothill of a sandstone hillock, the city of Jodhpur looks like an oasis in the vast desert.

The flight from Ahmedabad to Jodhpur was quite comfortable and as we had already booked our tour there was staff from the hotel waiting for us on the airport to assist and guide us to their hotel Ajit Bhawan Palace which apparently is India’s first heritage hotel as told to us by the staff. Set in a peaceful and calm environment this palace turned hotel was once a home to the members of the Jodhpur royal family. The ambience was so good that the moment we stepped in there we felt like a guest of Maharaj’s family. Our rooms had a beautiful garden view. After keeping our luggage in the respective rooms we just sat in the balcony to unwind and relax. Most of the staff in the hotel was dressed in the traditional attire. I was mighty pleased to see the tall turbaned man who brought us tea and sandwich. The excitement had started to seep in, this I could feel and I was eager to take what Jodhpur has to offer to us.

Our first destination was Mehrangarh Fort. Perched high on a cliff and four hundred feet above the skyline of Jodhpur, it’s a magnificent fort. The view of it imposing over the city is simply incredible. Here I must say that the audio guided tour was very helpful. I found it very interesting that seven gates have to be crossed to reach the fort and just to be a witness to the marks of the cannon balls by the attacking armies on the gates was like getting transported to the bygone era! The gates had different names and most of them were constructed to commemorate victories over enemies. Inside the fort there were many palaces and each had their own sprawling courtyards. One of the palaces still has the royal throne of Jodhpur. Apart from the palaces it has many galleries and temples. The museum is fantastic; it is one of the well-stocked museums in Rajasthan they say.  Many movies have been filmed in this fort. One could easily spend a day here. The landscape, the architecture, the artistry, the scale, the details…everything is magnificent. There is a lift which takes you to the roof of the fort from where you can enjoy bird’s eye view of the entire city and can also have a look at the cannons on display.

It was crowded with so many locals holidaying and having fun with the families. One little boy wanted to get photographed with me but was little shy to approach. And when I said “how about a photograph with me”, he was all smiles. It was good to see women in beautiful saries walking around the old courtyards looking at their old heritage.

We spent the whole afternoon walking and appreciating the interiors and were famished now. The lunch was already organized by the hotel for us so we decided to have it before getting further on.

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