Jodhpur: second day in India

There’s probably no better way to get to know a city, than by touring with the locals. That was precisely the amazing opportunity presented to me on day two of my journey in northern India. In Jodhpur, India: Possibly the best day ever! I discuss my visit to Mehrangarh fortress and Jaswant Thada. We motorcycled through dusty roads and markets, stumbled into street processions, and encountered fabulous meandering cows. But the following day, we had less control over our plans. Let me explain.

Jay met me in the morning at my quirky accommodation, LG Paying Guesthouse located in Mehrangarh mountain, and straight away, we headed by motorbike to Neralidani, a casual fast food restaurant. I ordered a Janta Thali, with a nutty Kesar shake, while Jay ordered an Idli Sambhar. We learned the day prior that Jay’s friend Sham, his wife Yogitha and their two young daughters, as well as Yogitha’s brother, sister-in-law and their baby would be visiting Jodhpur for a day. So we intended to all hang out together. Meanwhile, Jay invited Sharvan, his employee, to accompany us and guide us around the city. Sham and family all live in southern India, and they were enjoying a month’s holiday, sightseeing around northern India.

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We rendezvous at Neralidani, they also ate, and soon, the fellas went hunting for a conveniently located hotel. We thereafter all relocated to the Gulab Sagar hotel around the corner, where Jay had skillfully got Sham and family a great hotel price using Make My Trip app. The families  cleaned up as they had just arrived from a very long overnight train ride, while Jay, Sharvan and I waited and chatted with whichever family member was no longer upstairs in their respective hotel rooms preparing to leave.

IMG_1697It must have been around midday when we finally headed up to Umaid Bhawan Palace. We piled into two rickshaws, and I took funny photos of the children as we kept passing each other on the winding, deserted roads! The girls, especially the younger one, was quite the poser.IMG_1709

IMG_1708There was an entrance charge, however, I don’t remember the amount. The grounds itself were large. Picturesque gardens surrounded the main palace, which is still inhabited by the Umaid Singh Jodhpur royal family.

IMG_1706IMG_1713Inside, we wondered through courtyards and museum exhibition halls, detailing the history of the palace construction and British influences. Outside was very hot, and we were hard pressed to find any shade! Before leaving the grounds, we stopped to see the vintage cars exhibition. The cars were entombed in glass showrooms, and some of the vehicles were in desperate need of love due to scratches, rust and other decaying elements.IMG_20170424_193011IMG_20170424_192845

Our waiting rickshaws took us back downtown, and we headed to a huge dirty pool at the base of Mehrangarh mountain close to the Ghandaghar clock tower. Unfortunately, there was a lot of rubbish in the water, and also the footpath bridge which crosses the pool was lined with trash. On the other side, we met with some cows and dogs, which was the only scene remotely worthy of a photograph! In retrospect, I wish I had photographed the abundant trash to draw attention to it!

We stumbled into a local gym which seemed like a scene from an old 1950s film. Men had loincloths wrapped around their sexy parts for modesty, and they grappled with each other in the central pits. The gym was also lined with dumbbells, boxing bags and other equipment. I wanted to take photos, but actually I felt embarrassed to snap away because all these fellas were almost naked. I retrained myself, and then we headed to Sadar Market and the Ghandaghar clock tower.

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IMG_20170424_211826IMG_1728IMG_1731We stood off to the side in a central space, while motorbikes swerved around the slow, meandering crowd. There were families everywhere, and all the women were dressed in traditional clothing, bright yellows, fusia pinks, rich oranges and grass greens. Children ran around while fathers monitored them, and people were everywhere, chatting and eating in the street in groups of families.

We headed to Mishrilal Hotel, a famous local lassi café, but quickly changed our minds and went to a street corner where a samosa business thrived. The fat owner proudly sat at the entrance, watching the customers approach and his staff serving them. Despite the many distractions, I specifically enjoyed observing him!

There, we picked up samosas, pani puri (crispy balls filled with fragranced water), and just hovered around eating with all the other families near the street vendors. Some families made picnic spaces on the concrete ground, and other family wedged themselves between parked motorbikes to enjoy their evening street food. After eating, Sham and the families impressively piled into just one rickshaw, and away they went.IMG_1739

IMG_1738IMG_1734IMG_1733Left to our own devices, Jay, Sharvan and I returned to the lassi café. The lassis were saffron flavoured, and the yogurt had a smooth, rich texture. We then headed to a shisha bar recommended by Sharvan who knew the owner, and we were shown into a dark room with comfortable sofas. We ordered a peppermint-grape mix which was delicious. Some other fellas wanted to join our room and sit at another table behind us, but interestingly, the owner decided that they wanted our little entourage to enjoy privacy, and redirected the other customers to another room. We hung out there for two hours, listened to music on our cellphone devices, and eventually Jay dropped me off at my guesthouse.IMG_20170424_212733

IMG_20170424_213043IMG_20170424_212918That night,  I met Sunil. At first, I didn’t know what to make of him. He seemed aloof and a little arrogant. He hardly said anything about himself but asked me fifty million questions. We ended up chatting for hours. Mostly, I talked about my love life history, while he listened and asked questions. He proclaimed that I have an interesting life story, and that I should write an autobiography as soon as possible. He said my story reminded him of a story called, Eat, Pray, Love. I replied that I have never read the book or watched the movie.

I ended up enjoying his company very much. He had a very funny, high pitched laugh and would laugh extensively at things I didn’t find funny. It was a very interesting evening.

 

Subscribe to my page get my follow up blogs, Jodhpur: Day Three and my travels through Jaipur and Agra!

 

 

Keep learning!

Have you had the chance to tour with a large group? What were your impressions? Please like, share and comment below!

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4 thoughts on “Jodhpur: second day in India”

  1. Your India diary is very interesting filled with places and people. That’s gracious of you to be going out with other families with children. For a tourist, that would be a big minus on your itinerary list. By the way, I love your very colorful bag.

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  2. This brings back a lot of memories for me of my trips to India. I’ve visited twice now and it’s one of the most fascinating places! Although I was in Rajasthan, we skipped Jodphur but I’d love to go back and visit one day. Indian people are so kind and welcoming- I came away with a completely different impression of the country than what’s painted in the media! I’m so glad that you’re keeping this wonderful diary to show people what it’s really like. Happy Travels- namaste! ♡

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  3. Saffron lassi…gorgeous architecture…Indian inspired fashion…your life is your own version of Eat.Pray.Love. I love how seamlessly you seem to fit with others and share your lifestyle stories with groups or individuals. Traveling with groups has its ups and downs but the opportunity to mingle with differently minded individuals has to be my favorite.

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  4. You’re making me long for India. I still think it’s a trip best for a chunk of time reserved, but the yearning is strong. I like how you met that random dude and just spent the evening in conversation. Getting to know strangers and their life stories is a highlight about travelling that not enough people experience imo.

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