Looking heavenward and journeying onward....
16.11.2010 - 18.11.2010 70 °F
Enter Jodhpur. A sprawling blue roofed city set upon the borderland of the shrubs of the Thar desert and the grass of West Rajasthan. For my traveling-companion-childhood-best-friend-Amy Jodhpur (the so-called "blue city") was the place she was most looking forward to. For me, without any real preconceptions, it proved to be, at first, a bit of a let down. From the vantage of a windy mountain road opening into the city, there is nothing but a patchwork of cereleun, white, and honey. All, magically flat roofed buildings, sleeping below an immense brown-stoned fairy-tale palace-fort. Within the city however, it was all exposed sewers, messy markets, and crowded dirt roads.
India is undoubtedly the most photogenic of countries. Every animal - pigeon or cow - sits posed and ready for the rose colored lens of a camera. Jodhpur proved no different. After just a night, and a choice hotel selection, the city was reborn into a romantically dishoveled princely state. From the rooftops of our two hundred year old historic hotel and the gorgeous luxury of the Mehrangarh Fort, the blue roofed valley was stunning. Hawks circled above and people paraded the streets below in vibrant saris and turbans. Maybe the best place to be in Jodpur WAS above - somewhere high between the earth and the sky. The maharajahs knew this with their hillside palaces and fortresses. The locals too understood this with the standard of picturesque rooftop patios and gardens.
Indeed, maybe the prevalence of rooftops and blue walls somehow had elevated the people of Jodhpur heavenward. In every shop, we were treated with such sunny smiles we hesitated in our typically smart haggling. Servers politely smiled and welcomed us to India. A lofty mood... no an elevated mood... seemed to be the way of things.
When we left Jodphur, I felt very Indian in my demeanor. It seemed natural to passively meander through the dirt and rubbish of life and paint a house the color heaven.... to find beauty in the quotidian. Looking up at immobile star and sky it seemed silly to travel-on-the-run as our Rajasthan Roadtrip was thus far. Staying a few days - perhaps a week - and soaking it all in seemed almost a spiritual imperative. The impressive temples of Ranakpur awaited us and then onward to a long needed siesta in the Venice of the East: Udaipur.