Posts Tagged ‘holidays in Jodhpur’

Jodhpur Holidays in Rajasthan

 

Jodhpur, Rajasthan’s second largest city, has long been a popular destination with international tourists. Few, though, know the origins of it’s tag, “the blue city”.

The city is a wonderful example of vivid colours providing a photogenic backdrop to everyday life. One colour, above all others, impresses visitors to Jodhpur Holidays; blue. The colour is closely associated with the city’s identity and Jodhpur carries the well-known sobriquet of “the blue city”.

Jodhpur – A City of Bustling Bazaars

But upon arrival in Jodhpur visitors may well be tempted to ask why the bustling city has that tag. So many other colours can also be seen on the busy streets and in the bazaars. The majority of Rajasthani women wear long, colourful skirts as they visit the shops of the Nai Sadak and while examining wares on the stalls of the Sardar Market. Eye-catching, bright oranges and yellows are popular colours for their fabrics. And the Rajasthan tourism tradition for women to cover their heads with scarves – in materials of complementary hues – adds to the impression that life takes place among a vivid swirl of colour.

That’s exacerbated by the men wearing sizable turbans. The yellows and reds of their traditional tribal headgear is as much a draw to the eye as the women’s garments.

The Blue City – Jodhpur’s Old Town

Yet to gain an understanding as to why Jodhpur is known as “the blue city” one has to push on from the market places and away from the new town, and head into the older quarters of Jodhpur. Here, under the centuries old protection of Meherangarh Fort, whose foundations were laid on the orders of the city’s founder, Rao Jodha, in 1459, many of the houses are blue in colour.

The walls of the old town’s buildings explain why Jodhpur is tagged as “the blue city” but even experienced tour guides cannot agree on the underlying reason as to why that colour was chosen. Agra Holidays

Some say that blue is associated closely with Brahmins, India’s priestly caste, and that the blue houses of the old city belong to families of that caste. As a consequence, they are frequently called “Brahmin Houses”.

Did the Blue Repel Termites?

Dissenters argue that termites are the real reason. Proponents of this argument believe that, historically, termites caused significant structural damage to a large number of the buildings of Jodhpur. The termites are said to have munched their way into the walls of dwellings and businesses. The residents repelled them and discouraged further damage by adding chemicals, such as copper sulphate, to their standard whitewash.

Those who believe in the termite theory say that it is mere coincidence that many of the blue houses are owned by Brahmins, and that there are numerous families from other castes who also live in blue-painted homes. They even rubbish the theory that chemical compounds are added to the whitewash, swearing that Jodhpur is a fine example of an environmentally-friendly city. Nothing but indigo, a natural dye, is the cause of the blue tint, they say. Jaipur City Guide

So while there may be no way of establishing the root cause as to why the houses are blue, strolling through the streets of the old city enables visitors to peek into the homes. Many of the doorways remain open, allowing an insight into moments of everyday Rajasthani family life.

Viewing the Blue City From Meherangarh Fort

But for an overview of Jodhpur, and the blue houses of the old town, nothing beats the view from Meherangarh Fort. A winding lane leads up the 125 metre high hill, upon which the ancient fortress is built. The walls are 36 metre high in places, providing additional elevation to appreciate just how many of the houses in Jodhpur are blue.

Not all cities deserve their sobriquets, but anyone looking out over the flat roofs of Jodhpur, from the perspective of the Meherangarh will realise that the term “the blue city” is indeed apt, whatever the true reason behind the prevalence of that colour.

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