The Walled City of Jodhpur
Dating back to the early fifteenth century, founded by Rao Jodha Rathore of the warrior Rajputs, the old walled city of Jodhpur lies on the eastern edge of the Great Indian Thar Desert. Enveloped with city walls built in red sandstone, the old city is a maze of winding streets and bazaars, circling the colossal Mehrangarh Fort that watches over it.
The ‘Shahar’ holds the Rajputana charm of a quaint yet bustling cluster, in Marwar’s ancient capital. Centuries old havelis built in ‘Chattar ka patthar’ with intricately carved Jharokha window balconies and beautiful doors line the streets, each telling a different story about the Thakurs that own them. The Chowk square holds a three hundred year old sacred Peepul Tree, an ancient Stepwell ‘Toorji ka Jhalra’, and stories engraved in the walls at every corner.
The iconic ‘Ghanta Ghar’ of the Sardar Clock Tower Market, the specialised markets of‘ ‘Kapron ka Bazaar’ (Cloth) and Sarafa Bazaar’ (Silver and Jewellery), ‘Dhaan Mandi’ (Grain Market), the ‘Mirchi Bazaar’ (Spices) and an entire Betel Nut Lane. Temples and mosques interspersed with remnants of the reds and stone walls that flanked the old city, and six monumental gates that still stand.
Pockets of the old city have houses with blue walls, giving Jodhpur its name of the Blue City. Brahmapuri, the Colony of the Brahmins, for centuries has whitewashed its homes with a dash of indigo. Blu, symbolic of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna, in reverence to ‘Neelkanth’ and ‘Ghan-Shyam’. The indigo tint in the walls repels insects and keeps the homes cool against the harsh desert sun.
Amidst these meandering lanes, in the heart of the old city, stands the eighteenth century RAAS Haveli, breathing old world Rajputana charm in its antiquated walls. At the base of the Meherangarh, seamlessly blending with its surroundings yet standing out resplendently, RAAS finds a beautiful amalgamation of classic and contemporary; a haven of heritage, carrying forth the legacy of the Thakurs of RAAS.
Written by Anushka Gupta @anushkagupta5