Mounds of mitai

Candied saunf and other sweet namkins

Sort of. Sweet snacks. Meethi paan masala, saunf, dried fruits and the like.

From the market lanes in Jodhpur’s old city.

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Old men walking…

Pagri!

Got a turban? Take it for a stroll. In Mehrangarh Quila, in Jodhpur.

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Perfect imperfect art

Traditions

Women paint the ground outside Mehrangarh Quila in Jodhpur.

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Rising right out of the rock face

Towering Mehrangarh

Mehrangarh, the picturesque fort of Jodhpur, towers above the city. It’s a museum and heritage site today, fascinating for its alcoves and exhibits of royal life, weaponry, artifacts and art.

The fort itself rises out of the old Blue City and is an imposing feature of the skyline whenever the crowded markets and teeming bazaars provide a view.

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Accoutrements of luxury

Motion blur = falling stars

During a visit to Jodhpur, friends and I had a wonderful meal in the luxurious Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel, the home of the Jodhpur royals sprawled across 26 acres on a hill above the city and now a Taj hotel. We had not the finances to spend a night there, but the eats were good. (Many thanks to Katie and Simon for picking up this poor teacher’s share of the 11,000 rupee bill.)

The palace is sumptuously adorned as palaces are wont to be. The above photo comes from a dining patio lit by the stars and candles (and motion blur). Those below are from the lobby and public places around the hotel’s marble and stone interior. And yes, that was, at one point, a real tiger.

My only regret is not photographing the meal. Though the mood lighting wouldn’t have allowed it anyway.

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I’ll never be your beast of burden…

You still look like an ass to me.

Donkeys plod the crowded market lanes of old Jodhpur.

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City in blue

Jodhpur, the blue city

Welcome to Jodhpur, the Blue City of Rajasthan.

It’s really not that blue, to be honest. The old quarter, nearest the towering fort are bluish, but even then, not every building pays homage to the city’s moniker.

And the reason for the blue paint? Jodhpuris themselves are uncertain. Some claim it’s to keep away the mosquitoes. Others say it’s religious. Still others just say that’s tradition. Who knows?

See below for more perspective on Jodhpur’s blues.

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Details, details….

Fantastic texture and color from Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, India’s “Blue City” in Rajasthan. The fort is spectacularly preserved as a museum and towers over the sprawling, grungy city. Inside are alcoves and hallways and galleries of marble and wood and ornament.

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Protected: Spice up your holidays with some paan

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Remembering good times and a birthday, from India

In India, guy friends hold hands


We interrupt my recent string of ocean, diving and ecology related posts for an important announcement.

My shenanigan wallah, partner in crime and damn good friend, Joel, celebrates a birthday today, though he probably won’t mention it.

But I will.

He and his lady, Katie, came to visit India last year. They had some good times, some hot times and a few sick moments in between. Above are photos to remember the trip.

Happy birthday, brother.

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