Rajasthan-II Day 2

Next morning we woke up to a foggy day. We first visited the Jain temple near the dharamshala. It was a splendid way to start the day. After breakfast we went to Mehrangarh fort. The fort is situated on a hill spreading over an area of 5km, it has a grand view and looks over the ‘sun city’ aka Jodhpur as a guardian.

Mehrangarh Fort
Mehrangarh Fort

 

As we entered the fort, we spotted some souvenir shops and also cafe with a regal look. To hear the interesting stories about the fort, we hired a local guide to show us around the fort.

As we moved further inside the fort we were amazed by its sturdy structure and beautiful delicate carvings.  Each window, arch, stone is intricately engraved, showing off the great talent of the artisans of their period.

WP_20131223_004 DSC_0106 DSC_0138

 

Inside were various royalties on display such as dresses of kings, swords, guns, scripts but the thing that stood out and caught my attention was the palanquins for the queens and carriages of kings that were used by them for travelling. They were beautiful, some gold some silver, covered in rich silk were of different shapes and sizes.

DSC_0023 DSC_0026 DSC_0042

 

Next were the weapons used during battles, the armour of soldiers – each of which has a story of its own to tell!

DSC_0060 2013-12-23-1220

There was this beautiful jewelry box of queen made of ivory.

DSC_0055

The minute ivory work – carving, the velvet lining in the case was just wonderful. Well, that’s one of the perk of being a queen!! Anyway moving on.. We roamed around the fort seeing the various things of museum, until we reached the Sheesh Mahal and that made our feet halt automatically. DSC_0088The shining mirrors painted in vivid colors, gold painted pillars, shining due to sunlight, etched a permanent image in our minds.

sheesh mahal
sheesh mahal

We just stood there marvelling the artwork and clicking pics of Sheesh Mahal. After that, we moved to the very end of the fort where the canons were kept as though they are ready to go off any time if anyone so much as dare to look at their suncity –Jodhpur with evil eyes.

DSC_0094 DSC_0068

At the far end, there is Chamunda Mata Temple who was the deity that Rao Jodha of Jodhpur worshipped. After praying to mata, we went over to canons for closer look and also to see the spectacular view of Jodhpur city. Here, we found out why The ‘Sun city’ is also called ‘Blue city’.

DSC_0158 DSC_0118

It is so because most of the houses are painted in colour blue. The sight from the top wall was amazing, the cold breeze, the sun playing hide n seek with clouds, made it all the more perfect.

After the fort, we visited Jaswant Thada, which is nearby the fort complex. It is a cenotaph (an empty tomb) of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and since it is built in white marble, it is referred to as The Taj Mahal of Marwar.

DSC_0211 DSC_0216

 

Jaswant thada is peaceful and beautiful. The splendid work on marble left us in awe. There were hundreds of pigeons flying about making picture perfect. We loafed in the complex, sitting on various steps posing differently for each picture. It was refreshing. And the view of Mehrangarh fort was literally a cherry on top.

DSC_0260 DSC_0255

Full fort can be viewed from here. The fort standing on the hill in its full glory was just superb, beyond description.

Next we went to Umaid Bhawan Palace, which is still a residence of present king and a part of it is converted into hotel.

DSC_0285

Though the palace is well built, there is nothing unique or great about it.

We saw the vintage car collection held on display in outside corridors of the palace. By the time we were done with Umaid Bhawan, it was lunch time. We went to Gypsy reataurant which is famous for its Rajasthani Thali though they also serve other Indian snacks too. The thali had numerous varieties of dishes, I didn’t know the names of half of them, but each and every dish was authentic rajasthani and quite delicious. It was the best Rajasthani food we had ever had. After lunch we visited Guda Bishnoi village and Guda Lake. This village is famous for sightings of black buck. Eventhough we couldn’t get a closer look, we were lucky enough to see few of black bucks. Such beautiful creatures I don’t understand why some people hunt them?

Guda lake is known for migrating birds, however we didn’t see many of them.

DSC_0292

Then at around 5pm we returned back to dharamshala and rested for an hour. At 6pm we went to Jodhpur market for shopping. Market is decent, especially providing great variety of rajasthani jootis. My cousin and I bought a pair each. Having spend a fun time in the market, we went near clock tower where there is famous shop called ‘Shahi Samosa’ famous for its samosa chat. We had tasty samosa chat and hot mirchi(green chilli) pakoras. For desert, we went to a place right next to clock tower. They serve the best rabri and makhani lassi in town.  After having filled our stomachs upto the brim, we returned back to our room as slept as soon as we hit bed.