05.12.2010 - 05.12.2010 110 °F
This morning I hired a tuk tuk to drive me to the Meherangarh Fort. The fort is located on a huge rock hill overlooking the old city of Jodhpur. Rudyard Kipling wrote about Meherangarh Fort in 1899 and said “The work of angels, fairies and giants . . . he who walks through it loses sense of being among buildings; it as though he walked through mountain gorges . . .” This 15th century edifice is Rajasthan’s most impressive fort with walls that are 400 ft high. The fort was so well-designed; it never fell to its many invaders.
It was a special day at the fort so entrance was free! Digital audio players are offered in multiple languages that tell about the history and battles that occurred. I really enjoy places like Meherangarh because you are free to roam the entire grounds without restriction. There were nicely dressed armed guards with turbans at key areas so a visitor is always within view. I found this nice because this kept touts (men that aggressively attempt to sell or extract money from tourists) away.
Oh, I used my new hat which was a lifesaver… was 110 degrees outside and I would have been sunburned without it.
The view from the top of the fort walls is spectacular. One can see a beautiful panorama of the blue painted houses below. Most blue houses belong to the Brahman caste. It is noted that the blue color may help keep the mosquitoes away as well. Old cannons are in neat rows on the top viewing area. Some were very large and were made of wood and cast iron. I liked the squared metal rivets, and hammered iron mounts; they remind me of the Dark Ages tools of war.
After taking a lot of fort pictures, I walked down to the blue houses below and was invited into a Brahman's home. He was very cordial and introduced me to his wife and we sat in the shade and talked about each others background. The Brahman works for an electrical company installing high-voltage equipment. His wife stays home and takes care of the house. Most Indian family units are like this. He has a son and a daughter. They are married have their own families.
Continued my journey through the blue houses and was greeted many times by locals with no intention of selling anything. It was nice compared to the irritating touts in Varanasi. Found the main street and hired a tuk tuk back to the guesthouse.
Tomorrow I will say goodbye to Jodhpur, the wonderful Mandore guesthouse and take an early train to Jaipur.