Jodhpur: A Walk Through the Alleys of the Blue City of India

Jodhpur, the second largest city of Rajasthan was named after its founder, Rao Jodha. Rao Jodha was a Rajput chieftain from Rathore clan whose original habitat was the town of Mandore. In 1459 he conquered the entire territory and established Jodhpur, hitherto known as the kingdom of Marwar. He built a fort on the nearby hilltop and named it Mehrangarh Fort. The town circling the fort grew and prospered with time. Today Jodhpur has grown into a much bigger city but the old part of the town remained the same. Well, almost same.

Making natural indigo dye is one of the home crafts of Jodhpur. During the old times only the priests or the purohits of the society were allowed to live at the foothill of the fort. They were also allowed to paint their house blue by a royal decree. With time the exclusivity of their privilege became more accessible to the lower castes and those blue houses became the USP of Jodhpur.

Natural indigo has soothing properties. As a result those painted walls help keep the heat at bay. Jodhpur is also known as the sun city because the sun rises first there and it's sunny all throughout the year. We stayed in an old priest haveli turned homestay and we didn't need to turn on the AC even once. Not even in the afternoon.

If you want a taste of quintessential India, you must visit Jodhpur. Take a walk through the by-lanes of the old town. The old havelis, the stinky alleyways, the overcrowded markets will whisper the stories of a time into your ears. You will be amazed to see how a town can still retain its old values while making room for the modern age. I am irrevocably in love with Rajasthan.