WHERE ON EARTH HAVE YOU BEEN?!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Adventures in Jodhpur!

Hello everyone! We’re in Jodhpur now, having had yet another interesting bus journey from Mount Abu. When you’re doing a trip like this, it’s really hard to know what to make of a city, town or village before you arrive. If you haven’t been somewhere, the two ways you have of judging a place – pre-judging a place (!) - are guidebooks and the advice and experience of other travellers. The advice from other travellers on Jodhpur was pretty much 50/50 that it was either boring and scuzzy; or beautiful and brilliant! Well I’m happy to report that we think it’s the latter and we’re having a great time!

We arrived yesterday at our hotel, set in a beautiful haveli in a quiet part of the city near the fort (there’s always a frakking fort!), at about 3:30pm and stayed there for the rest of the day. The building is incredible. There are murals and paintings everywhere, on the actual walls rather than just hung up. They show local scenes, traditions and history. Like the haveli we stayed at in Bundi, there are nooks and crannies everywhere. Jodhpur is known for being blue, a colour chosen to reflect the caste (kind of like our class system, but much stricter and still very relevant and often, unfair) of the people that lived here; but it’s also believed to keep bugs at bay! There were fewer bugs last night, so maybe it works! We have several rooftops at different levels where you can enjoy a beer and watch the sun set over the blue houses and you can see the fort. There are lots of other tourists staying in the hotel too (surprise, surprise), mainly German and Swiss, including our friends Cat and Marius who we met in Mount Abu.

Today we went on a tour organised by our hotel to go and see some traditional Bishnoi villages in the countryside surrounding Jodhpur. We watched a man make pots out of clay and even had a go ourselves!

Me having a go at making a plate or bowl of some kind:

video

Ania with her finished pot:

Our finished (but unbaked) efforts! Mine is the shallow bowl or plate in the foreground, while Ania's pot or vase is behind it!

Then we visited a man’s home just to see village life. He had a spectacular turban, a great tash and he offered us delicious chai tea too. Ania tried on some traditional clothes and took a puff of the tobacco chillum (clay pipe) which the man lit for us (I didn’t have any – it smelt like ten cigars at once!). We were also shown the length of his turban (oo-er), which he then tied back around his head with incredible speed.

In traditional clothes. That's me on the left.

Badass in a turban. Need I say more?!

Our native man lights up his chillum:

And here he is tying up his turban:

video

Next stop was to see a man who makes his living weaving rugs and carpets on a hand loom. He was very well read and spoke many languages. He’s also into green power and has installed solar panels at his village home!

We also saw a textile factory where they made patchwork quilts and blankets out of old clothing; and stopped at the tour guide’s home for a light lunch. We also met the man’s family, here’s his wife and son:

2 comments:

  1. It all sounds really, really nice.

    Apropos"Badass in a turban," didn't I see you in that film "Four Lions?"

    D

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  2. Thanks Dom! Haven't seen Four Lions, we tried to in Brighton when it came out but it had sold out. I'm sure you're right though! How is life in Vienna? Love to you, Dagmar and Leon as always x

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