>Travel Pictures


Jodhpur Fort

Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput, on an important trade route.  Wealth was amassed by trade in opium, sandalwood, dates and copper.  Meherangarh Fort dominates the ridge above Jodhpur. 
We rode a rickshaw there and amazed at how the size of the place grew in enormity with every turn on the track up.

The Fort is still owned by the Maharaja of Jodhpur (yes, they are still around!) but it is now in trust as a non-profit.  This makes absolute sense; in the 1970’s the Indian government passed sweeping land reform laws that took away much of the wealth of the ruling Rajasthani Rathore families.  It is the only way a fort this immense can survive and be maintained. 
And being maintained it is!  WOW!  We were so impressed with how neat and clean and decay-free the whole place was; serious attention to detail and authenticity were apparent at every turn.
We really enjoyed the educational and informative audio tour and spent the entire day wandering around.  There are 7 gates built over the centuries, all to commemorate victory or defeat in some form. 
There is one (only one, fortunately) that has the hand prints of the Man Singh’s wives who all committed sati and threw themselves on his funeral pyre in 1843.

Between the cannons perched high on the wall, overlooking the entire city, and the spires of the Hindu temple tucked away in the back, the fort seemed to have all tourist bases covered!

One of our favorite exhibits was of the fancy elephant saddles in which the royalty used to ride around town!

The many palaces of the fort have telling names: Moti (pearl), Sukh (pleasure), Phool (flower) …Our guidebook tells us that the walls are painted and adorned with a special mix of gold leaf, glue, and cow urine!

A quick stop in the museum gave Alea the chance to ponder life's mysteries in the shadow of some evil-looking spears!

And the Indian schoolgroups certainly helped reinforce gender stereotypes - the girls all clustered around the perfume-bearing pottery, while the boys checked out the weaponry!

Full of culture, we headed into the fort's shopping area and stocked up on camelhair rugs and Ali Baba shoes before heading to the Jaswant Thada

Rajasthan trip 2010:

Jodhpur - Jodhpur Fort - Jaswant Thada - Evening performance - Bishnoi - Nagpur - Karni Mata - Jain temples - Bikaner - Camel ride - Festival

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