Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Day in Jodphur

This morning, I got up and asked my dad where we were.  He looked at me and said, “Rohan, it's time to wake up.”  I noticed we were stopped and asked if we were in Jodhpur.  I would have thought Dad would wake me up long before we arrived.  Yes, surprisingly, we were there!  Ravi found some porters to help us unload all the boxes of medical gear.  When we were all outside of the train station with a huge stack of baggage, we took a pre-arranged ride to our hotel.   We checked in and from the third floor of the hotel, we had an amazing view of the Jodhpur Fortress (known locally as the Mehrangarh ) over looking the city.  In fact, we planned to visit the fortress after breakfast. 

We had a yummy breakfast consisting of a traditional honey pastry and the best lassi I have had yet.  The lassi was extremely sweet, with a scoop of cream on top.  Yum!  Maybe tomorrow morning we can go back there again. 

To get to the fortress, Adam, Andrew, my parents, and I took two rickshaws and met back at the top.  At the fortress gates, we bought a ticket, a camera permit, and an audio tour for each of us.  The architecture was spectacular.  The fortress walls were covered in windows, each with beautifully detailed wooden shutters.  Above the windows, were stone arches.  The building was built into the cliff and the walls were very high.  Inside the fortress, there were several open courtyards with long stairways leading into the many rooms and floors.  The building was made mostly out of stone and wood.  I was amazed at how much work went into building this massive and detailed fortress.



As we followed the tour deeper into the buildings, we learned several bits of history.  We learned that over five hundred years, the fortress walls had never been penetrated.  We heard that within a decorated section of the wall, a human had been buried alive as a sacrifice.  We also saw holes in the walls where canons were said to have hit long ago.  In the hay-day of this fort, armies used elephants to assail their enemies castles.  I could just imagine a swarm of elephants and men attacking the doors of the palace! They also used elephants to carry important people.  In the Fortress museum, we saw beautifully adorned seats that were placed on elephants to carry the important people. I learned that when the Maharaja (the Hindi term for King) died, they would burn his body.  His widows (he often had several wives) would  jump into the flames of their burning spouse.  Wow, what a harsh tradition!
A Bronze Seat for Riding on an Elephant
After the Fortress, we set out to see Mondo Garden.  This is a group of temples said to hold several monkeys.  We walked through the gardens and found a quiet, peaceful, place.  We saw several stupas with many small gargoyles and decorations upon them. Several of the buildings had high arching domes and some had doors which were locked.  I was curious to see what was in the doors.  On one fairly large stupa, there was an unlocked door.  I looked inside and found an empty room that smelled like a sewer.  I think the rooms may have been locked for a reason!

The whole temple scene was quite interesting.  However, we saw no monkeys!  We were then lead by some local boys to a wooded area in the park and found monkeys cooling off in the shade.  The monkeys had long, thin tails and were eating bananas.  I did not know that monkeys truly ate bananas.  I had just thought that this was a monkey stereotype, and that they actually ate nuts and other forest foods.  Well, call me a monkey’s uncle!

We walked back to the hotel, ate a quick lunch, and came home to do my blog.  I love Jodphor and will write more about the city tomorrow.


Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!                  


  1. Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Timmy, Happy Birthday to you!! Hope you are celebrating well. Much love, Mom/Grandmalish

  2. A camel, monkeys, cows, a goat, and stories of elephants -- Marlin Perkin's paradise. Glad you're having a great time in Jodphur!

    Happy Bday Tim!

  3. Happy Birthday Tim!
    Rohan, I love your pictures. Is an elephant strong enough to carry a rider on a bronze seat? I read online yesterday about Jodhpur (after checking out the location of the Ganges River). It was nice to see the blue houses that the article mentioned. Sometimes Jodhpur is even called the Blue City.
    I also read about lassis and am glad you had a good one for breakfast.
    Do you believe the Maharaja's widows fonts
    jumped into the funerial flames?

  4. Grandmalish, my dad had a nice birthday and is happy as a clam! Chopper, this is the first time I had ever seen a camel! Doris, yes I am glad you looked up my location. I love that you are thinking of us!

    Love, Rohan

  5. Rohan - Another great post! You have a good eye for photo composition. What camera are you using? Are you into "photo shop"? If not this would be an obvious next step. That said, it does take time and you are already doing a ton. I especially like your "people" shots! It was great fun arriving in Jodphur with you and having a vicarious sensation of the place. It looks really fascinating and the architecture is wondrous. Please say hello to your parents and happy b day to Tim! You guys rock. I am leaving for Antarctica tomorrow for a month and I will miss your posts. Keep it up peter

  6. Thanks peter!,

    I am using a compact,power shot, tiny camera right now. When I get back to Alaska I will think about getting a SLR. I do some photo shop(changing the AV or cropping things out) but anything more than that I think is cheating. I like having a photo that was all me and not the computers.


  7. your photographs are great for this blog.. if you wanted to enlarge any..make sure to shoot it at largest setting on camera..
    the subject matter is whats awesome!
    Happy Late Birthday Tim..