Googling images of Jodhpur in Rajasthan is enough to entice anyone to go and visit the so-called Blue City of India. However, don’t expect the entire city to be blue! Heading to Jodhpur’s old town will indeed take you to predominantly blue houses. Nonetheless, actually being in Jodhpur will expose you to a whole lot of other colors of the rainbow in addition to its iconic blue shades. Here is my experiece getting lost in Jodhpur: India’s Blue City!
The best way to explore the old town of Jodhpur is by walking. Forget about maps while strolling, because you are sure to get lost in the maze of narrow streets, anyway!
I was barely walking for 2 minutes and it already felt like having my senses on steroids.
Once I reached the Mehrangarh Fort, you completely forgot that I was in India’s Blue City. The surroundings looks like it has been brushed in shades of brown.
Even the student uniforms camouflage the fort area. These beautiful young girls gladly posed for me before asking me where I came from.
The brown-themed Mehrangarh Fort is occasionally accentuated by colorful saris.
The details of these windows are incredible. It looked familiar yet different as I recall my days in Kathmandu, Nepal years ago.
I can’t believe how grand and solid Mehrangarh Fort is. It sure looks like it’s built to take heavy cannon beating and still stand as a protective stronghold.
One of the local street performers near the fort’s exit is playing music with a uniquely improvised wooden instrument
Want to get an idea where to see Jodhpur’s blue houses? Get at the top of Mehrangarh Fort for a bird’s eye view of Johdpur Blue City.
Upon exiting the fort, you’ll see a winding pathway leading down to the blue houses.
I found these kids “manning” the small store.
Going down the fort, my feet led me to a stepwell. A couple of boys were taking turns jumping off the roof of what apparently is a café. I regretted not going down the stepwell and staying longer to take more photos of the boys jumping. I wanted to stay longer but I was thinking I may not have enough time to roam around the blue houses before it gets dark.
Johdpur Blue Houses
As someone handicapped when it comes to sense of direction, I already expected that I’d get lost in Jodhpur’s narrow maze-like alleys. Despite traveling solo, I did not feel unsafe while exploring Jodhpur Blue City. My sense of sight was too busy being high while I was threading the streets of Jodhpur.
There is no single answer to the question why Jodhpur is blue. One explanation is that the blue houses represent the Brahmins caste of priests. This means that if a house is painted blue, it belongs to a family from that caste.
Some sources would say that the houses are painted blue to alleviate the all year round hot weather. On one hand, the predominantly blue-painted houses have also been attributed to the abundance of indigo plant, a source of blue-colored dye, in the area.
But did you know that a community called the Bishnoi Village, located south of Jodhpur Blue City, practices abstinence from wearing blue clothes? You can find out why by reading more about the Bishnois here.
I love photographing door photos everywhere I go and Jodhpur is definitely giving me a “doorgasm”. The cool colors, the textured walls, dogs, cows, bikes, colorful saris, parked bikes and motorcycles all add to the charm of Jodhpur.
I kept walking and was pleasantly surprised to suddenly emerge at a marketplace.
My mind was entangled in the scenes of Jodhpur and the next thing I realized, the sun will be setting in about 20 minutes. I started to turn on my GPS to at least have a sense of where I am and how far I am from the haveli I’m staying at.
I knew that I can always ask which way the Mehrangarh Fort is because my hotel will be close by from there. While finding my way out of the Blue City’s maze, I saw a couple having chai by their doorstep. Their smile and hellos somehow appeased my weariness until they told me that I’m heading to a dead end at the direction I’m moving at.
I just kept walking while occasionally checking my GPS (sometimes I’m losing the signal). I tried hard not to entertain the thought of scrambling in the dark and suddenly being cornered by unfriendly dogs in a narrow alley.
A few minutes before sunset, I was finally relieved to be walking a familiar path. Up I went to my haveli’s rooftop where I watched my first sunset in Jodhpur Blue City.