Jodhpur is an interesting city of a million people. It's called the Blue City because of its indigo painted houses. This is done because there is something in the paint that repels insects - another example of ecologically sound traditional practices in India. Our hotel, the Raas, featured lots of red stone cut in interesting shapes, and had the upper stories painted blue.
We had a beautiful view of the Mehrangahr Fort from our hotel balcony. This picture of the fort catching the sun at dawn also catches the hotel pool - a touch of the old and new together which rather appealed to me.
We visited the fifteenth-centry Mehrangahr Fort, perched on the hill above the town. Legend has it that to build the fort the local ruler had to displace a hermit, who promptly uttered a curse that the place would always suffer from water scarcity. Although he built a house and temple for the hermit at the fort, the ruler felt compelled to bury a man alive in the foundations of the fort to propitiate the gods and remove the curse. The family of this man still lives in Jodhpur, supported by the local ruler, and the extended family is invited to special events as honoured guests.
Another grisly aspect of the fort was the plaque with the handprints of the 30 wives who self-immolated upon the death of their husband in 1843. Sati is now banned in India but it is amazing that it was still being practised as late as the 19th century.
The fort had many lovely rooms and a good museum. A sign that had me laughing out loud was the no smoking sign. This sign was posted outdoors, something we saw a few times in India. One of the remarkable things about India was the dearth of smokers we saw around the country. Almost all the smokers we saw were Europeans.