Vaunt Design in India, Part 2
Jodhpur (The Blue City)
With very little sleep under our belts and a good 10 hours since our last meal, our driver pulls over at a motorway service station. “Great" we yelp, "food!”. Well, not really. The shop was a little sparse of nutritious snacks but I can assure you, that tube of sour cream and chive Pringles we managed to forage was the best damn tasting food we’ve ever eaten!
The driver pulls out a scrappy piece of paper that vaguely resembles a map and, with an obvious language barrier between the 3 of us, we eventually managed to fathom the question he was querying. It was a choice between the much longer but smooth motorway route and the quicker but bumpy road option.
“How bad can it be we said, let’s go the quick route!”
All we can say is, if you find yourself in India, faced with the long smooth route or the quick route conundrum, and if you prefer your coccyx to remain as a single bone structure, please, never go for the latter!
Here’s our mini Jodhpur adventure!
We awoke the following day, acknowledged the fact that the day prior wasn’t particularly one for the memory banks, and opened the curtains. ‘Blam!’ Any negativity stirring in the room at that moment immediately dispersed as we were presented with one of the most incredible views we’ve ever seen. At 410 feet, the Mehrangarh Fort looms over the city with such a disparity in height, it can almost be perceived as intimidating. Built atop a large hill, its earthy red walls juxtapose against the predominant blue that adorns the rest of Jodhpur's buildings, only magnifying its presence even further.
The Mehrangarh Fort has many large courtyards within its walls, each decorated with marble, mosaic designs and intricate stone carvings.
It houses several palaces, each decorated beautifully. Contained within the palaces you’ll find brilliant architecture, huge hand-knotted rugs, traditional furniture and gold ceilings and walls.
The route will naturally take you to the very top of the fort, and from up high you’ll be able to cast an eye over the entire city. From the rooftop, it’s easy to see why they call Jodhpur the blue city.
Housed inside the fort lies an extensive museum, rich with artefacts, paintings, arms and this, the Mahadol, which was seized by Abhai Singh of Marwar in war and brought back to Jodhpur.
Often cars can’t squeeze through Jodhpur's tiny narrow streets, so tuk-tuks remain the best way to get around. We recommend if you wish to see the Palace, the Mehrangarh Fort and the Jaswant Thada cenotaph, hire a tuk-tuk for the day. It’ll only cost you around £10 and if you’re lucky like we were, your driver will even pass on a few facts along the way!
Dining out – Our picks
This small, family-run restaurant serves up quality local and traditional fare with most curries cooked and served on the bone, just as it should be. They encourage you to eat outside on their rooftop to take in the incredible views of the Mehrangarh Fort as you eat.
It's without exaggeration when we say the garlic chilli chicken dish was one of the tastiest things we’ve ever eaten.
On the Rocks
For something a little pricier, albeit similar to a UK takeaway price, ‘On the Rocks’ is a characterful alfresco dining experience. Food and setting again is incredible here with a wealth of traditional dishes to choose from. We advise eating outside in their beautiful gardens.
Our road to sourcing some of the most beautiful hand-crafted furniture was what led us to the utterly vibrant city of Jodhpur!
We met some incredibly talented and passionate people during our first visit and finally getting to see how they operate was an absolute joy for us.
We fell in love with their incredible attention to detail and product quality. Their workforce comprises some of the finest designers through to the most skilled artisan craftsmen delivering some of the most striking, handcrafted furniture we’ve ever seen.
Amongst quality and unique design lies the third priority of ours, ethics. We love to visit our partners and see some of the fantastic work they do, not just in their work, but for the community.
Our partners in Jodhpur have also used their success to give back to the surrounding community by building schools for children with learning disabilities. We found their approach to their craft incredibly humbling and we hope to work alongside them for many years to come.