In our sincere attempts to grow up, which is largely a conscious decision after being pointed out quite a few times by our elders we forget to cater to the child within us. We tell as many people as possible about how mature we are, and slowly we start believing our own lies.
We are not happy and there’s no way we are meant to live and die in the same place where we were born. The truth is that we are meant to travel, just as much we are bound to have a career and marry someone and have babies. But this truth is conveniently taken away from us.
In 2015, on my 24th birthday, I made a resolution to myself that I will travel once every month, low budget and on weekends. I pretty much did. And you can too. If not now, sometime soon. This travelogue might help you dream.
July 2015: Jodhpur
- Why Jodhpur: Small city perks: beautiful fort and a unique Blue City, people have painted their houses blue to maintain some coolness in an otherwise hot atmosphere.
- Distance from Ahmedabad:
- Preferable AC Sleeper Bus (Night journey)
- Stay: Cosy Guest House
- Trip Duration: 2 days (Weekend)
- Budget: Rs. 4500-5000 (per person)
- Ideal Season: Monsoon (It doesn’t rain there but it will be cooler), Winter (Avoid Summers)
What People say you must do
- Visit Mehrangarh Fort
- Jaysar Mahal (Opposite Fort)
- Clock Tower
- Raja’s Palace
- Mandore Gardens
- Shopping from Rajasthan Handloom
Things you should actually do
- Mehrangarh Fort: It is huge, to start with- so do not give up midway. Most of it is an uphill climb, basically because the purpose was to be at the upper side when enemies attacked. It is better to take a guide within the Main Fort area because that adds words to the entire experience. Listen to everything and choose what all to believe. Apparently, interesting fact: ‘Mare hivda me naache mor’ from ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ was shot there. And yes the raja has 36 Ranis (queens). My favourite best corner in the entire fort was at the top of the fort with the cantons. It is calm, windy and you can see the entire blue city from there.
- The back of Mehrangarh Fort: There is a way that goes from the back side of the fort which goes towards the old city. You can sit there perhaps towards the end of the evening while there is still light and with the dawn of darkness, slowly see the city getting lighted. It is quite, beautiful and solitary.
- Laal Maas at Kalinga Restaurant (Rs 350 per person): If you eat non-veg, this is a good place. This laal maas thing is really juicy and spicy mutton gravy served with roti or parathas. It is a costly place so I recommend that eat just that and leave.
- Chaat on the Roadside (Rs. 50 per person): (Name)
- Flying Fox Jodhpur (Rs. 1400): Plan this on the next day, early morning as you’ll be fresh and not tired because of the bus journey. This is within Mehrangarh Fort. There are around 6 series of lease lines for you to fly in the air. It is really safe, the instructors are very friendly and caring. Another exhilarating experience.
- Rao Jodha National Park (Rs. 100): Two out of five people will not know about this. This is an ecological walk-tour. These people take you closer to the wildlife, some migratory birds and some remains of old volcanic eruptions and so much to learn.
- Sky gazing and Sunrise from Cosy Guest House: The rooftop room is the best, however, if you are obese, it will be difficult to make your way to the bathroom. It is a really small, basic room but very clean and peaceful. Spend your late evening on the terrace of cosy, looking at the sky and wake up early morning to see the sunrise and you’ll automatically fall into some of the most beautiful life philosophies.
- Lemonade outside Mandore Gardens (Rs. 10): Apart from the ridiculous fact that it was a place given in dowry to the Raja, I found Mandore Gardens pointless. It was dirty, stinky and not well maintained. Instead, the lemonade guy outside the Mandore is much more interesting. It is the lemon, pudina soda and his style of making it is also interesting, like one of those savvy bartenders.
Most Important Tip
Walk as much as possible. On the first day, we walked pretty much the entire day. When you walk, you can really watch the city in slow-mo. You can see the regular behaviour of people around, what do they do, how do they go about things, what games do they play, try to have meaningless conversations with some school kids on the road, click more pictures and gather moments. It is very tiring but exhilarating.
- Travel: Auto rickshaw is best for longer journeys. Their auto rickshaw is grander than ours. It is steeper from the front and elongated towards the end. And it will be interesting. Always ask the hotel person, how much does it typically cost to reach there by rickshaw. In order not to overpay. Don’t look very clueless or you’ll be taken for a ride. (Spend Rs 500 for 2 days in total)
- Tour Guide: It is a safe city. There are too many tourists already. You don’t need an overall tour guide. Keep your eyes and mind open. Taking a guide is recommended only at Mehrangarh Fort. Avoid guides everywhere else.
|AC Bus (Round Trip, with Paytm Discounts)||2000|
|Cosy Guest House (per night)||250|
|Flying Fox (per person)||1400|
|Rickshaw (per person share)||400|
|Food (Per person)||400
|Guide at Mehrangarh Fort||250|
Jodhpur through my eyes. If it turns out to be different for you, I would love to know! Travel doesn’t come with any foolproof plans or guarantee. You’ve got to always make the most of what you have!