Jodhpur, India 12/29/13

Today we got up and drove to Jodhpur. We are spending one night in Jodhpur, then flying to Delhi. A few kilometers outside of Jaisalmer we passed a long procession of people and animals. Jim thinks there were a couple of thousand people in it.

First came the people with camels

He is pushing a cart and pulling a camel

That is pulling a wagon

With people walking behind the loaded wagon

At first the groups of people were small

Interspersed with elephants, camels, goats, sheep, and cows

I am embarrassed to say, this is the best photo we have of our driver Sodhi. He helped make our trip as great as it was.

Oh yes and horses

Then kilometers of people

“Sodhi, I really need a photo of a free range camel.” That was all I wanted before leaving Jaisalmer. We had seen them everyday for the past 4 days, but I had yet to get a photo of one. I was told these camels are not wild, that people just let them out then collect them again.

In addition to driving us where we ask him to, Sodhi is a big help in choosing what we see. Sometimes we have something specific we want him to take us to, but often we just ask him what he thinks we should see. When we got to Jodhpur we checked into our hotel. Sodhi told us he would pick us back up in 45 minutes. Then he took us to another fort. You might think we would be done with forts by now, but each one has been different from the others. We have enjoyed them all. I will never read another story about a fort the same way again. Another issue we deal with is whether to get a guide or not. Sean prefers not to have a guide because the guide sets the pace when we go through, not us. I usually prefer to have a guide, because I get more out of the site when we have one. This is not a guided group tour, those I dislike as much as Sean does. A personal guide is almost always worth it. Our guide’s name was Pawan.

The walls of the City fort in Jodhpur are 180 meters high

and 10 kilometers long.

You can still see where cannon balls struck the wall, and I am not very impressed with the amount of damage either. I think arrows dipped in pitch and sent flaming over the walls would be much worse. The cannon balls were fired during a war between Jodhpur and Jaipur. Both were part of the Sun Dynasty. Jaisalmer and Bhati are the only areas in Rajasthan ruled by another dynasty. They were both ruled by the Moon Dynasty. Or what about a vat of boiling oil? That would do serious damage in Jaisalmer or Jodhpur, except it might cool down too much by the time it reached the attackers below. Here is a thought, you have a bunch of human feces right next to the outside wall, what about just throwing that, deadly no, but it is not something to run toward either, LOL.

Building on the City Fort started in 1459 and took 350 years to complete.

The word falsa means gate. This gate was built sometime during the 15th century.

It used to be a custom for someone to sacrifice their life prior to the construction of forts and palaces. This person would be buried alive. This was done to protect the building in perpetuity. The person sacrificing their life volunteered for this so they would obviously be very loyal to the person it was being built for. This loyal spirit would stay at the site protecting it. This stone is in commemoration of the person who was buried alive sacrificing their life to protect the City Fort of Jodhpur.

This is called the Iron Gate. The turn is so no one can get a running start to ram the gate when attacking.

This is the suttee wall. Suttee is the practice where widows throw themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre while it is burning. The widows subsequently burn to death. This wall is meant to discourage suttee. The British banned suttee in 1814.

This is called a peeking palace, because ladies would hide behind screens and gates and peek out through the grillwork looking down at events. We have heard a few times that the segregation of women comes from the Muslim influence.

Palanquins are used to carry people by people.

These are elephant saddles.

This man gave us a demonstration on the practice of smoking opium, which is against the law, but alive and well as far as practice goes.

In addition to demonstrating the technique used to smoke opium, they were giving a turban wrapping demonstration here.

Often in Indian art the faces are in profile. This is a stylistic thing. I would breeze by much of the art, Sean is the reason we spend time checking it all out. He finds it very interesting. He would much rather go to an art museum than a history museum. In fact he has dragged me into two art shops this trip just to look at what they had on display.

These are the last three kings of Jodhpur. The last one is on the bottom. Doesn’t he look a lot like Prince?

I hate to break it to the restaurant where we ate a marvelous vegetarian dinner, but lamb piccata is definitely not a western dish 😉