JODHPUR, BLUE CITY,
Next morning we find all the cushions piled inside & our favorite table tilted to drain as the dining terrace was innundated!
He seemed to know of a place for lunch different than the one listed on the schedule. Parking outside a stucco wall with an open gate through which we walked to discover a pleasant grassy dining/entertainment venue with painted decor, some of which which seemed to mimic the convex mirrored mosaic we’d seen recently in the forts & havelis. The chairs in its large outdoor venue with a covered serving area with the usual chafing dishes to serve the ubiquitous Indian buffet were tilted to drain but at the back of the lawn was a smaller pavillion which stone columns were festively painted with folk designs. Next to it was a thatched structure… an outdoor “kitchen” to which the host led us to lift the lid of a large pot simmering on the wood fire releasing rich spicy aromas… we were immediately sold by this olfactory menu!
Sharing our usual large bottle of Kingfisher beer we watched a man making Roti… a simple traditional flatbread… this time using a flour of local red millet, so tasty for my gluten-free diet! In a large broad bowl he added water & skillfully kneaded the dough before he patted it out between two hands & placed it to bake quickly on a hot griddle suspended over the wood fire. After it was browned he lifted & leaned it vertically against the fire to finish baking & stay hot, soon being replaced with another freshly made patty. Simple skill obviously long & well practiced. I was impressed, educated & very happily well fed!
The hotel was outside the core of Jodhpur proper, a property which had begun as a family’s farm house had been thoroughly built-out in a sensitive manner, surrounding older parts left as a museum. Large Painted murals, similar in style to those at the restaurant where we’d had lunch, proved to be typical in this area. Two large murals of processions flanking the entrance welcomed us.
The room was a bit overdone, perhaps in lieu not having any history of carved mineral… although the bath was happily stoned! I used the terry bathmat in the generous shower because the floor was so slippery.
We can claim some bit of familiarity with Jodhpur because the Seattle Art Museum mounted a large show last year titled Peacock In The Desert displaying a wonderful collection of art & artifacts from the collection of the current ruler, who seemed to have sent the cream of his collection, because, although the museum at the Fort has a room full of palanquins the one at SAM was a much more superlative example.
The show had many of the highly complex paintings known as miniatures, although they are largish. Each contained hundreds of miniature realistic portraits… crowds of identifiable courtiers recorded attending court events & rituals in sets of palace gardens & courtyards overwhelming one’s visual senses with rich rhythmic composition. The ones we saw here did not at all match museum quality… understandable because this venue is not a proper gallery space, nor probably would they be appreciated by the crowds of tourists we joined.
Our guide this time
was a bit disappointing, not fully informed nor really capable in English. Not really interested, not interesting. He was repetitive, knowing only the single word”beautiful” to describe anything with any depth or nuance. I joke that he only knows four paragraphs in English, which he kept repeating. He seemed more impressed by all “royal” than many a Brit. Still, he had certain capabilities & qualities I liked, so I basically had to ignore the lack of learning what could have been better broadening, not because he didn’t have some of what I would wish for, but that he did not have the ability of language… I must take that critique for myself, of course.
We visited the royal mausoleum
This is one tall fort!
SSo tall there is now an elevator… with a good information plaque… about stone!At the top we have saved several hundred steps…