Before the sun unleashes hell upon us North Indians and before the sweaty ambience of monsoon takes over us, it is always advisable to visit the many towns of Rajasthan and enjoy the Rajput culture there.
Jodhpur is one place which you can easily cover on a weekend with no extra holidays to think about. An evening bus from Delhi to Jodhpur with a 10 hour journey or an overnight train from Sarai Rohilla train station to Jodhpur city is comfortable enough.
Unfortunately for us, we had chosen an Amar Travels sleeper Volvo and the journey turned out to be disastrous for us. First they shifted us to a different bus after crossing Delhi. Then in the middle of the night after crossing Jaipur, the bus developed a technical issue due to which the bus operators decided to shift us to a different Amar Travels bus. The problem was that we girls were safely provided the same sleeper seat but the other passengers had to adjust and hence an ensuing ruckus that lasted two hours. I won’t go into more gory details but it is absolutely unsafe to travel by Amar Travels – the worst bus operator.
We reached Jodhpur at 9:30 a.m. and decided to travel by Ola to our hotel instead of the local autos because they charge double. Our stay was at Mapple Abhay and we were quite pleased with their hospitality.
Our morning breakfast was 3 egg omelette and Poori-Bhaajhi and the taste was satisfactory.
Since we were sleep deprived and tired on the first day, we decided to visit Umaid Bhawan Palace. Now Umaid Bhawan Palace is situated on a small hillock and while returning, you will have to wait for atleast 10 minutes for your cab.
The museum at the palace is informative and well maintained. The courtyard, the parallel arches and the innovative table & wall clocks are beautiful and enchanting. The only disappointment is that the major portion of the palace has been closed off to the tourists, so we actually missed many beautiful facets of Rajput architecture.
The Rajput royal family has been known to have a grand collection of vintage cars and they are displayed in a separate enclosure near the gardens. Do not miss to feast your eyes!
After an hour at the palace, we returned to our hotel for some rest and then went to Toorji ka Jhalra – the Instagram famous step well in the old Jodhpur area. It is in the market area behind the clock tower and locals will help you in finding it. But if you wish to take good photographs with least human interference or shall I call it diving experiences, then better to come in the wee hours of the day. Nonetheless, on the steps towards the main platform, we spotted many sparrows – a beautiful sight to look at considering they are almost extinct in the cities.
The lunch was followed at 4pm at Sree Ram Bhojnalaya. We had Chakke ki sabzi with chappatis. The chakke ki sabzi is actually a curry based dish prepared out of fried bread squares. This is something which you will only get in Jodhpur.
After that, we went to the Emporiam where we bought Bandhej suits. The myriad assortment of colours will indeed baffle you.
The next day was reserved for the famed Mehrangarh fort. A short cab ride in the morning and voila, we were at the lofty gates of the fort. The fort is situated on a hillock so better to wear your sports shoes because the ascent does take a toll on your feet. A small passageway and you are greeted with a local lute player singing Rajasthani folk songs.
The jharokhas, the rustic doors, the courtyards and the arches are the perfect places to click and get snapped as well. The sun was not that harsh in early April so we were able to traverse comfortably.
The terrace area where the canons are placed is one area not to miss at the fort. The whole view of the Jodhpur city is visible from there and my my, what a site to feast your eyes with.
There is also a temple in the fort complex and the passage towards that has miniature windows on the railing side. You can sit there for hours and keep marvelling at the site outside.
Our next stop was Jaswant Thada, a beautiful carved marble cenotaph in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh. The intricate marble gazebos, the flower gardens erected in neat geometrical rows and the water ponds with fresh lotus blooms will steal your heart away.
There is a small lake behind Jaswant Thada with hillocks guarding it and the scenery is worth a thousand moments to glance into.
The return to Delhi was with a comfortable sleeper Volvo of Jain Travels. The bus operators were very helpful and even told us to come to a bus stop which was safe for ladies for boarding. A cue for my next trip to Rajasthan!