Jodhpur- solo traveler’s blue paradise
Jaipur to Jodhpur
To begin with disasters, I waited at the wrong station until 5 minutes to departure. Upon suspicion, I ran to the display board only to see that the platform displayed on the website was wrong. Then I hurriedly crossed platforms through the staircase and finally on the second horn, I climbed onto my train with 2 backpacks.
The journey in itself wasn’t dull due to my compartment filled with people of different experiences and different age groups. One of them was a student going to Pali, another just kept mentioning his love story and how remarkable it sounded to me. Then I clicked their photos at train crossings. I was really comforting to see them share their moments and experiences and they also shared their food – Mawa Kachori and Puri Sabzi.
Exploring Jodhpur as a solo traveler:-
I also got Kadhi Pakoda and Pyaaz Kachori from Merta Junction which was really delicious.
After I reached around 7 pm in an unknown city with no idea how to go by in the darkness, I searched for cabs on Uber and Ola for almost half an hour comparing their prices. I was told by the rickshaw wallas that no car can go at that location as it is very narrow. So I accepted their offer after bargaining down to 100Rs. I booked my hotel in advance from Agoda.com and the hotel was a converted haveli – Pal Haveli Hotel. The railway station was at a distance of 1.7 km from the hotel.
However , I felt really thugged when I gave 100Rs note to the rickshaw-walla. He gave me his brother’s number who was a cab driver and asked me to call him if I wanted to go anywhere in the city. In other words the hotel was very beautiful and aesthetic from inside. The rooms were huge like that of Havelis and carried the same ambiance.
Cafes in Jodhpur (traveler’s blue paradise)
I freshened up and kept lying on the amazing shahi bed till around 10. Then my grumbling stomach forced me to move out. However, the restaurant was closed so I had to step out of the Haveli. Then I googled and it suggested a place at 5-minute walking distance – Cafe B by OTA. I was their last customer for the day and there was absolutely no one else but me there. The staff was very courteous and polite in spite of me engaging them that late at night.
I asked for a lachha paratha and some paneer sabzi and trust me it was really amazing. It was a relieving experience for me at the end of the day. First, on the train with a lot of warm people exchanging experiences and food and then at that restaurant where the chef and the staff stood close to me for any help or to exchange words whenever possible. Thank you for the welcome, jodhpur – traveler’s blue paradise.
jodhpur – traveler’s blue paradise
Day 1 – Mehrangarh Fort and Ghanta Ghar
The next day I woke up all excited knowing my first destination in Jodhpur- traveler’s blue paradise is going to be the great Mehrangarh Fort. I booked an Uber and headed to the foot of the fort, unaware that the distance just became ten folds as I opted for a cab. On foot, I could reach the fort through the lanes of blue houses in around 15 minutes.
But it took almost half an hour as we went around the city through the hill to reach the fort. Being a solo traveler, no one gets to blame you for anything and that’s the best part of it – unending freedom.
I took the entry tickets for me and my camera and made way into the grandness I had never witnessed before. Mehrangarh fort shoved grandiose in each of its gates and every new mahal inside its campus. Observing the endless skyline of the blue city from the edge of the fort was once in a lifetime experience for me.
There is a zipline facility too at the fort. I booked it online. But during the summers, they close it for maintenance and unsuitable weather conditions. I could only imagine flying over the blue city like a bird glancing through the window frames of each of those houses all at once.
History of Meherengarh fort:-
To those who don’t know the story about the saint and his curse which laid to the foundation of Mehrangarh fort should ask some locality. Me sharing that story here would only kill the vibe that the fort possesses. The halls of the museum contain the beautiful paintings, murals of kings and queens, and their families.
There are also remains of their clothes, weapons, and the places where they had their royal meetings. To know the stories of their kingdom was an enlightening experience on a different level altogether.
At the extreme point of the fort from where I witnessed the bird’s view of Maa Chamunda Temple. Lots of worshipped walk barefoot to this temple from the entrance of the fort. It was so inspiring to see children and old women walking barefoot on sizzling hot white marble. The temple gave a divine charm to the fort as every minute the temple bell rung and added a mystifying charm to the legend of Mehrangarh.
Concluding exploring Mehrangarh Fort:-
At around 1 pm, my body had given up under the blazing hot sun. I drank glucose water and slept under the shade of a tree with my backpack under my head. It is this that I keep highlighting about solo traveling. There is no one you get to be cautious of, it is all you and you who you got to take care of.
I made my way to the restaurant inside the premises of the fort. Though costly, the food gave my body the much-needed energy for the later part of the day. I had pyaaz kachori (for what Jodhpur is famous for) and a piece of chocolate cake to keep the sugar in check for the remainder of the day. Then I checked Uber for few times, many drivers rejected the booking after looking at the pickup place as through car you need to cover all the way around the city only to land a kilometer away from the fort.
Yes, my haveli was only 0.9km from the fort and you get a magnificent view of the fort at night. After being tired of many rejections, I chose to walk down the path from the fort towards Ghanta Ghar.
Sardar Bazaar and Ghanta Ghar:-
I spent the noon under AC in my room sleeping and watching TV. At night, I stepped out to explore the famous Sardar Bazaar and Ghanta Ghar. The place is a cultural charm and gave me feelings similar to when I visited Char Minar (Hyderabad). I spent considerable time clicking light trails around the clock tower. Suddenly, a drunk man obstructed my lens asking me to click his picture.
He was super amicable and kept telling me his stories though I didn’t ask for but I loved hearing it. People in that part of our country aren’t about money or vanity but they have enriched themselves with stories spanning generations and that is their real wealth.
As I began to starve a little, I made my way out of Sardar Bazaar onto Nayi Sadak. The Shahi Samosa at the joint of Nayi Sadak outside Sardar Bazaar is a must when there is less crowd there.
Janta Sweet home:-
I walked all the way down the street observing keenly and curiously at everything – people, their language, the food. Then I took stop at Janta Sweet Home.
Perhaps I must tell it is very famous from the smell that swept the entire street and the line at the coupon counter. I had pyaaz kachori again – it was fresh and super delicious with the famous chutney.
Then I also had samosa and malai ghewar which was beyond the world. It kept me wondering how something could be this soft and sweet and extremely satiating to my tastebuds. But for today, my over-filled tummy slowly made its way back to the haveli to say good night to the amazing day.
Day 2 – Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jaswant Thada, Mandore Gardens
Jodhpur is all about royalty and you can’t cover it in a day. Umaid Bhawan Palace is one such epitome of royalty. Considered amongst one of the largest private residences not only in India but also in the world. Recently, Taj Group converted half of the palace into luxurious hotels and the other half into a museum stating the facts about their dynasty and covering almost everything in their life from their hobbies, their polo matches, the trophies won, and things of their facility.
The museum demonstrates the works done by the rulers for the welfare of the people and the high level of education obtained by the princes. The location of Umaid Bhawan Palace is outside the city ,amidst nothingness all around it. Huge gardens are all well maintained and vintage cars are a display of the vanity and interest of the rulers of the palace. It didn’t take me much time to visit the museum as it was very hot.
I booked a cab and made my way towards the next destination of the day – Jaswant Thada. A man who played an instrument outside the premises felt like he had cast a spell on the people visiting the cenotaph. Jaswant Thada overlooks the Mehrangarh fort like a younger sibling. Also known as the Taj Mahal of Marwar, in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant, his son built the cenotraphs. Maharaja Sardar Singh. The premises are now maintained by the same authority which looks after the Mehrangarh fort.
Inside the main temple of the building are the portraits of the rulers of Marwar dynasty along with informative didactics which show the never-ending history of Marwar. Overall, the place provides a serene atmosphere as it is least crowded among the tourist places in Jodhpur – traveler’s blue paradise The place also has grounds for the cremation of the royal family overlooking the lake which had dried up during the summer season. But I assure the facility covered with lush green trees and garden would be a sight to withhold after the monsoons and would be an ideal meditation place or place to provide solitude to the self.
By noon, I had reached back to my room with only one place in my visit note left – Mandore Gardens. But I was so tired that I almost scrapped the plan to visit it. I slept at noon and watched television but before the sun could set, and I changed my mind, got ready, and booked an Uber to the garden. The distance between Mandore garden and my hotel was around 8-10 km. I reached there well in time.
There I saw another man there playing the same instrument as the one at noon. The garden is accessible to all without any entry ticket like a picnic spot or evening/morning walk place. To my surprise, the place was unexpectedly unclean and garbage lied anywhere and almost everywhere. There were tonnes of monkeys in the garden. I had to almost watch every step of mine to avoid my camera being snatched away by those mischievous beasts.
Story of Solo travel in Jodhpur:-
The garden is in fact a part of the fort which has turned into ruins now. Even the monuments inside the garden which include several cenotaphs and temples are no more taken care of. Anyway, I shouldn’t decide based on just one visit and I shall leave the criticism there. What happened next just shook me to the core. While returning, I looked up for Uber and Ola without a result, and also there were no rickshaws or any form of public transport available. The sun had set and darkness had prevailed.
Meanwhile, I decided to cover some distance on foot along the highway till I could ask for any help. On the way, I saw a BSF camp and decided to make a stop there to take a breath and revise my strategy. The strategy was simple, if any vehicle went towards city from the camp, I wanted to ask for lift. Waiting there for some time, the security personnel noticed me and asked me the reason I was standing there. I showed him the pictures I clicked and explained what had happened.
He asked me to wait there till he called some officer for help. I was and nervous at once, and while the personnel went inside I managed to book myself a cab. The driver was kind enough to keep talking to me as he reached the camp. The officer inquired if there was anything he could assist me with. I was really heartfelt at that moment and told him my cab was already about to reach.
Concluding Jodhpur solo Travel:-
That was to sum up the day. And this was yet another instance of how the people of this place had hearts of gold. Then I stopped the cab at Janta Sweets Home and had my dinner there and packed the food items I said I wanted for my mom. I walked my way back to my haveli, packed my bags for I had to leave the next day for Ahmedabad.
The sight from the roof of the haveli was also mesmerizing. On one side was the giant monument of Mehrangarh fort, on the other, was the Sardar Bazaar and Ghanta Ghar. It was all flocked up by merchants and buyers like ants in an anthill. On the third side was Gulab Sagar Kund where some people used to bathe in the mornings. I was highly satisfied with that week in Rajasthan in the middle of Summer – the summer of India.
Finally I told a warm goodbye to the staff there and walked up to Sardar Bazaar as the car couldn’t enter inside it. I had booked my bus tickets only yesterday as I wasn’t sure whether I would go by train or bus. I went from Ahmedabad to Jaipur in flight. Then from there to Jodhpur by train and finally going back to Ahmedabad by bus.
That summed up my journey of varied, enriching experiences of different flavors. I reached Ahmedabad at around midnight and took a cab to my home with tons of stories to tell my family.
READ MORE – https://toursandjourney.com/my-four-day-solo-trip-to-jaipur/