The blue city

Table with mirrors

Royal chamber

Jaswant Thada in the distance

Courtyard at the Meherangarh

Courtyard at the Meherangarh

The walls of the Meherangarh

Towering facade of the Meherangarh

Jaswant Thada

Memorials at the Jaswant Thada


Jaswant Thada

Statue pointing towards the Meherangarh

Busy market in the old city

The clock tower and the Meherangarh

Locals on the rooftops in the blue city

The fortress under the lights

Carvings at the Umaid Bhawan Palace

Umaid Bhawan Palace

Jodhpur, India

The Meherangarh

August 9, 2013


All that shimmers in this world are sure to fade away

- Fuel

Landing in Jodhpur was an interesting experience because the airport is shared with the Indian Air Force. Looking out from the window of the plane I could see several fighter planes and I even got to witness one takeoff on the runway as my plane waited to taxi to the terminal. From the airport it was a fifteen minute ride to the old city, a crowded dusty collection of markets inside the gate of the old city walls. Just inside the gate was an old clock tower at the center of the main square in the midst of a teeming market area. Jodhpur is a well touristed city so there were many hassles here from the numerous sellers. In the distance from the clock tower the towering Meherangarh fortress is visible.

The amazing fortress is perched atop a rock outcrop and was carved directly from it so that the high vertical walls blend smoothly into the base. The fortress itself is a maze of royal rooms surrounding a series of courtyards, all with elaborate carvings, furnishings, and artwork. The views of the old city from the top are also stunning. There are many bright blue colored houses that form a colorful palette that distinguishes them from the surrounding dirt. From the fort you can also see Jaswant Thada by a large pond which features memorials to former Mughal royalty. The modern day Umaid Bhawan palace can also be seen several kilometers across the city, showing that the potential for craftsmanship has not diminished since the glory days of the Meherangarh fort.

The Meherangarh and its impressive position is by far the main draw. In the late afternoon, the old city surrounding the fort comes alive. The narrow labyrinth of streets and patchwork of blue and white buildings all feature rooftop terraces where locals congregate after the mid-day heat subsides. Kite flying is the big passion here and dozens of kites can be seen in the fading afternoon sun. After the sun goes down the lights around the base of the fort come on, illuminating the imposing fortress in a soft glow. This peaceful and timeless view is enjoyed by tourists across town over dinner and drinks on the numerous rooftop terraces of restaurants and hotels. However, the lack of nightlife leads to an early start for the next destination.