Day 6: Friday, March 9th, 2018. Jodhpur, the blue city.
Jodhpur is called the blue city for the blue buildings seen within the city. It is also referred to as the Sun City because the king considered himself as the son of the Sun and it is also considered the land of warriors protecting itself from nearby Pakistan. It is a desert city with camels, and some men wearing turbans/earings/ long curly mustaches. The turbans as associated to where the person belonged in the caste system with the different colors and is also used for things such as a pillow. The people used to pierce earrings onto babies as a sort of acupressure to relieve stomachaches which were common and now they are used as a fashion statement for men. The warriors used the curly mustache but now they are used more commonly. We also learned that in the past, women covered their face so the invaders would not attack when seeing beautiful women.
The princely state of Jodhpur was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Hodha, a Rajput chief of the Rathore clan. The Ranbakan Palace was bulit in 1927 for Maharajadhraj Sir Ajit Singh Ji, the youngest son of Maharaja Sir Sadar Singh ji and one of the most renowned princes of the region. The Palace was converted in to a heritage hotel and we had the honor of staying there. Ranbanka means the master of battles.
Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in all of India. Construction was started in 1459 and ended in the 17th century. It lies 5km outside of Jodhpur city. There are several palaces inside the fort.
The city is laid out like the castes social system with the blue houses belonging the the brahmans (priests).
The castes are also like parts of the body with the priests being the head, merchants the stomach, and untouchables at the feet. The untouchables previously were not allowed to live within the city and had to put their shoes on their head when they entered the city.
A holy man told the king that if he sacrificed some one by burning them then he would be able to keep the kingdom for a longtime. An untouchable volunteered to do this under 3 conditions: that the untouchables be able to live within the city walls, that they no longer had to places shoes on their heads when entering the city, and that they would receive a stipend. After the man was sacrificed, the king complied with the requests and his family still holds the kingdom today.
There were 43 moldings of Sati women hand’s which represented the Roman tradition that was brought to India where the if a man died in battle, the woman would throw herself on her husband’s burning body. This was a better alternative to the women being part of the king’s herum.
During our visit to the fort they were shooting a bollywood video with the most famous actor Amitabh bachan.
Our tour guide Praveen told us that 98% of marriages were arranged and that
there is a 99% success rate. The would be husband and wife are matches according to their caste and detailed horoscope. To read the horoscope you would need to know the name, country, city birthdate, and birth time. 13 out of the 36 qualities need to be matched in order for the match to be acceptable.The families also ask various neighbors, etc about the qualities of possible mate to make sure it’s a good marriage. The husband first sees his wife’s face the day of marriage in the reflection of water.
We saw impressive artwork such as
Thewa work with melted stones. And long lasting hand painted artwork that use color from various stones and natural materials and brushes made from squirrel tail hair. This art was almost extinct but the king wanted to keep it alive so he had people keep passing down the techniques to others. We purchased these hand paintings to keep tradition alive.
We visited the Jaswhat Thada, the Taj mahal of Jodhpur where the Hindu royals would cremate their dead and return them back to the earth in Hardiwar.
Visited the clock tower in an outdoor marketplace.
Also visited the Baba emporium and purchased a Tree of life blanket made of kashmir and bamboo $90 us and a blanket made of Yak hair $80.