Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

I arrived to Jodhpur at 6am this morning on an overnight train from Jaipur. Jaipur train station was alive with people at midnight with dozens sleeping on the ground both inside and outside the station. Men pushed freight around on single axle trolleys and an adjacent train continuously made ear-piercing noises letting off its pressure.

The 2nd class sleeper was comfortable although I was woken up several times by fellow travellers’ alarms. The same alarm repeatedly rang. I’m guessing that the only way to get off at the correct station is to be awake AND alert when the train stops. There is no visual or audible station alert and the outside was not visible from my compartment. I’m glad the other couple in my compartment were also getting off at Jodhpur, otherwise I could have missed the station.

As Dragos didn’t want an overnight train journey I came to Jodhpur myself. Upon arrival I wandered the streets for more than an hour. Stallholders and shopkeepers were setting up market, students going to school and people cleaning their street frontage. The usual cows and dogs provided further company.

Many of old Jodhpur’s buildings are coloured blue from which the place gets its “Blue City” nickname. From the old town I walked up to Merangarh Fort. The foreigner entry price of 300 rupees included a self-guided audio tour. The spoken word descriptions gave life to this large and historic complex and the exhibitions it contained within. The miniature paintings, elephant seats, weaponry, lavish rooms and elaborate courtyards wonderfully illustrated how wealthy the Maharajahs were.

I’m about to go to Umaid Bhawan Palace before catching the train back to Jaipur this evening.