Saturday, December 04, 2004

The purs

Jodhpur was orginally home to the Brahmins who liked to paint their homes blue, this is still very much in effect and provides a mesmerising view at sunset. Also it looks spectacular when illuminated at night.
I thought I would attempt to shake off the tuktuk driver as they take commision from your hotel and therefore the price is increased. I asked to get dropped off at the clock tower but he took me to a hotel anyway! Still the hotel didn't look too good, so I left to find one on my own, much to the drivers bemusment.
I had spotted a sign shortly earlier for a hotel I had heard of in my guide book, so I followed the signs but they were full. Luckily there was plenty of other hotels in the vicinty. As I was wondering about with my backpack another tout soon latched onto me. This hotel was a building site, so I just walked back out. It might actually of been okay past the hall, but I managed to shake off another tout!
I then found a place to stay, the Sunrise Hotel. I opted for a room with a balcony (not much view though!) which was a mistake as I paid more for a noiser room, still live and learn, eh?
Besides being a blue city the other thing which immediately stands out is Meherangarh, a huge impenetrable fort rising above the city. Just one look at it and it is no suprise that it has never been captured. Besides having great views back over the city, there was also an interesting musuem with an audio guide telling the history. The musem contained some large fancy chairs for carrying the important people, as well as various other artifacts such as swords and weird statues. In another room the emperor's ceiling was decorated with disco balls. Outside the fort has detailed marble lattice screens and inside stained glass windows. From the top of the fort you can get a good view over the surrounding landscape. Also on the roof, wheeled cannons dominated the surface. When I was there a part of the fort was being used for shooting a Bollywood film. It seemed to have hundreds of people behind the scenes all milling about. Then all the tourists were taking pictures of the actors and actresses dressed up in period costumes, annoying the film people. Although it did lend a medeival feel to the occasion. And here is a photo of a wall.
Just about every hotel claimed to have the highest rooftop restaurant in Jodhpur. I think I went to the highest one, where I had a strange chow mein. If Heinz made chow mein this is what it would of tasted like. It seemed like chopped up sphagetti in tomato sauce rather than noodles were used.
I was planning to take a train down the line to Mount Abu, but after getting confused at the train station a change of plan.It seemed that the only train would arrive at some unearthly hour, besides the weekly train, all the way to Bangalore, which left yesterday.
So with that in mind, I decided to head to Udaipur, which meant another six hour bus journey, hurrah!
Udaipur has a famous lake palace (suites only $900/night), unfortunately a drought means the lake is pretty much dried up.
Strangely, a lot of the hotels have nightly screening of Octopussy, which was partly shot in Udaipur!
You can tell when your in a more touristy spot, as most menus have continental food, pizza & burgers, and shops selling english books. Looks like a good place to swaps some books, they get heavier carrying them around after being read.
French toast is on the menu here, but will it be sweet American French toast (yes such a thing exists) or proper French toast (not as eaten by the French, though)?
And on that cliffhanger, I'll end!

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