Looking onto the Old City.
One of the rather ornate rooms.
A Jodhpur-ian goat. Future mutton???
August 16, 2006
Happy Janmashtami! Today was Lord Krishna’s birthday. Well, it was when he made his first earthly appearance in Mathura
(a town we drove through en route to Agra). Considering he is the religious bigwig over here, this is almost the equivalent of
Christmas over here. Actually, they consider it more of a combination of Christmas and New Year’s as this marks the end of
the ‘year’ for them. This falls on the eighth day of dark fortnight in the month of Bhadon. Honestly, I don’t understand any of
that stuff. How do people know this? I am astronomically-stupid and cannot understand how people can figure this moon stuff
out years in advance. Anyway, back to their holiday… It is celebrated by over 930 million people in the world (amongst those,
two million in the United States). They fast all day and have celebrations galore. Then at midnight, when the new year begins,
they can eat again. Obviously there is much more to this holiday that I am not even going to try to pretend to know. My advice
is to seek the consult of a Hindi regarding this. I am just here to tell you that there was a holiday today.
And then we would arrive in Jodhpur. They are really into their colors out here in Rajasthan and this city would be labeled
‘The Blue City’. This city is blue for a reason. It’s the home of the Brahmins. This group is a member of the ‘priestly’
caste…also known as the highest caste in the Hindu world.
It is time for me to fess up about something. A couple days ago I said I was done with forts and palaces. But there is really one
main thing to see in Jodhpur and that is the Meherangarh that towers over the entire Old City. There was never really a
question of me going there…Kumar just told me that was where we were heading. Okay.
One of the wonderful qualities about myself is that I can easily admit when I am wrong. And I was wrong. Not all forts and
palaces are created equal.
This was by far my favorite thus far (though I still hope there are not too many more to see). Being up there makes you realize
why this is, in fact, ‘The Blue City’. Next to the surrounding colors (mainly browns), the blue just looks electric. The views that
I was seeing within the first ten minutes already made this little venture worthwhile.
But I did not come here for the views…I came for the palace. And what a palace it was! Not only that, no guide or guidebook
would be necessary as they have an audio self-tour. This made it so that I could go at my own pace (and skip all of the
narrative about the oh-so-not-important-to-me armory). Some of the rooms were phenomenal – the colors, the ceilings, the
architecture. The palace also satisfied my apparent door fetish that I seem to have – there was a great-looking original door at
every corner. I won’t go into too many more details but I will just leave it at that I was impressed.
Being wrong sometimes definitely has its advantages…