Above is the mighty - but cursed, more about that below - Mehrangarh Fort, perched on its rocky cliff, 400 feet above the plain. It seems to grow out of the rock itself, and in some parts, the rock face was hewn to create its ramparts. It's quite a walk, all the way up, and there is an elevator for those who don't want to make the effort. We didn't mind, but it's a good thing that it was cool outside. I can't imagine the climb in the blistering heat of summer.
This young boy who couldn't be more than 4 years old was inside the Mehrangarh Fort, between the first and the second gate, with his father who played the ravanhatta. He welcomed us in about half a dozen languages - Hello, Bonjour, Hola, Ciao, Gutten Tag, etc - before he proceeded to ask - repeatedly, this young chap was on a mission - for a "baksheesh" and apparently, that word needed no translation. He sang, he danced, he charmed everyone who came near him, and seemed to take a liking to our smallest daughter, who was her height, and when his father got up a few minutes, he promptly replaced him with the instrument. He didn't really play, but he was just as good at pretending.
Below are the roofs of Jodhpur, aptly-named "the blue city." The blue houses were originally for Jodhpuri Brahmins, as they'd discovered that the light indigo color deflects the heat and wards off mosquitoes. Soon, non-Brahmins joined in. All these blue roofs and walls are quite a sight, from the fort.
This is one facade of the palace apartments inside the fort, with its delicately latticed balconies. We took the audio tour, and really enjoyed it, in spite - or because - of some of the gruesome stories connected to the fort. For instance, a hermit meditated on this plot of land and had to move out so the foundation could be laid. Not too happy to be forced out of his chosen spot and deprived of such a lovely view, no doubt, said hermit cursed the land. To date, Jodhpur suffers from shortage of water - due to this curse, says the legend. In order to keep the fort safe, a human sacrifice was required, and a man called Raja Ram Medhwal volunteered to be buried alive in the foundation. A tiny plaque mentions the valour of Raja Ram. Makes you shudder.