The Secrets of The Blue City : Inside Jodhpur

Hey Guys! Some of you who follow me on Instagram, youtube or facebook, know that I had been to Jodhpur in Rajasthan, about 3 weeks ago! Yes, it was the peak of summer and Jodhpur was hot like crazy, but the little nuggets that I’m going to share with you, will tell you what made Jodhpur, so special for me!

 

Most people associate Jodhpur with the Fort and the palaces! And while the palaces and the fort were breathtaking, and the fashion blogger in me, couldn’t be any more excited at their sight, I personally found Jodhpur in the by lanes of the old City and in people’s homes.

 

Luckily for me, I was there on consumer research, a project that I was working on as a research consultant. It took me into local homes, discussing with them one if the most intimate things ever… Their food! Believe me, once they’ve spoken to you for 2 hrs about themselves, their family and their food… few things remain a secret.

 

One woman, I interviewed, took me into the backyard of her very modest and humble home, to show me a massive construction of a personal mandir (temple) and a private Baadi (Bath)! Yes… A bath (like the old tank baths) in her backyard! If you visited Jodhpur as a tourist, you’d never know that homes you and I perceive as old, run-down or even ‘poor’ sometimes, have their own private open-air baths and temples in the backyard!

 

A bath in the backyard of a Jodhpuri Home

 

Lovely little temple in a clearing at Navchokiya

 

 

And while every household has its secrets, people of Jodhpur have some rather queer ones. This one family we visited, had a rather interesting looking structure outside, in their backyard. When we asked what it was, our jaws dropped! It was a stone carved in memory of one of the family’s ancestors who had committed “Sati” for her son… And was held in very high regard over generations!

 

A memorial to the family’s ancestor who committed Sati for her son! This picture was captured by my colleague Sandeep Inamke (Instagram : Mogra_home)

 

 

Sculptures and structures in the backyard of a Jodhpuri home

 

Another fabulous Experience was walking through the by lanes of Navchokiya, in the heart of the city. The gorgeous winding road that’s lined with blue homes…! This is where the city gets its title ‘The Blue City’. While these lanes make for the most picturesque setting, have you ever wondered why these houses are blue?

 

The Secrets of The Blue City : Inside Jodhpur

No… It’s not some architect’s fancy!! It’s not even blue paint!

 

These walls get their blue color from real Indigo, which they used to mix with “Chuna” that is calcium hydroxide (popularly known as limestone) and coat their walls, in order to keep the temperature inside cool in the harsh, desert summer!

 

However, What I was more interested in, was why a lot of the newer looking homes weren’t blue anymore… It just seemed to spoil the landscape!

I initially thought it was because air-conditioning had adulterated the place!

But the answer I got, woke me up…!

My driver, who I was busy bombarding with questions simply turned around n said… “But madam aaj Kal chuna milta hi nahi hai. Milta hai toh bohot mehenga milta hai, kaise karenge”. I never could have imagined that to be a reason! Just shows the rate at which us human beings are busy depleting natural resources.

 

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Anyway, one of the other, most interesting things happened when we took the Bishnoi Village handicraft tour. Apart from the fact that I got a chance to sit in a potter’s home, post sunset with no electricity… with just torchlight (and mobile phone flashlight :P) and actually create pottery on his wheel… Or that I visited a block printer in his home, watched how he created natural dyes and actually stamped blocks using his equipment; I also got a chance to see herds of deer, hopping, jumping and crossing the road, led by black bucks! (Oh yes, the same black bucks in the same place where the entire Salman Khan episode happened!)

 

And it wasn’t just their sight that made it worthwhile… it was a story! Have you ever noticed, a lot of Jodhpuri handicraft has this image of village women with deer under a tree?! It’s a common depiction… you see them on bedsheets, clothes, paintings, everywhere! There’s a reason for it!

 

Traditional Block print from the Bishnoi Village

 

Apparently, the women of the Bishnoi village, treat deer, and deer babies as sacred! If a baby deer ever gets separated from its mother or the mother dies, the Bishnoi women actually breast feed the baby, and raise it like their own! And, the practice, continues even today!!

 

If in 4 days of being here, I managed to uncover so many wonderful secrets, (and the ones I’ve mentioned here aren’t even the tip of the iceberg), I wonder what all amazing mysteries lie behind these walls and crevices!

 

The Secrets of The Blue City : Inside Jodhpur

 

 

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Hope you enjoyed reading this and the pictures…! Do leave your comments and let me know what you thought. Also, I’m soon going to upload a list of the Must do things in #Jodhpur’, so stay tuned for that!

 

Also, do check out my Jodhpur Travel Vlogs on my YouTube Channel.

Inside Jodhur:Part 1 (Hotel and stay) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EglEvWYJkSU&t=154s

Inside Jodhpur: Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTWzHFdVSP4

 

 

Muuaahh

Sonal

 

This Post was a part of my #InsideIndia series. Hope you’ve seen my #InsideMumbai series on Kumbharwada, Chor Bazaar and APMC market.

 

 

 

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Sonal Agrawal

Sonal is a Post Graduate in Luxury Brand Management from Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, Florence (Italy) and has over 9 years of experience as a Brand Strategist working in the advertising industry. She has also been a Consumer Insights Miner specializing in fashion and luxury brands.

She’s a fashion enthusiast who believes in trying out and pursuing everything that catches her fancy… be it different styles or even different career choices! She went from being a brand strategist to research; to being a jewelry designer; to acting; to writing. Loves to explore new cultures, travel, dance, eat, read and to grow younger with every passing year!

Live in style. Be inspired. Stay Fabulous.

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About Me

Sonal is a Post Graduate in Luxury Brand Management from Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, Florence (Italy) and has over 9 years of experience as a Brand Strategist working in the advertising industry.



She has also been a Consumer Insights Miner specializing in fashion and luxury brands.