Jodhpur

Jodhpur is a six hour drive through the desert. It is either dry and barren or irrigated with rice and mustard crops. The cities are neglected strip malls with trash off to the side. Cows and dogs are lounging everywhere. There are often carts of spices, fresh vegetables hardware and home goods. It is reminiscent of Kenya Africa.

We stopped at Ossian, the site of a Hindu temple, we purchased a tray of offerings to leave at the alter. Mary suggested that perhaps these offerings are recycled and sold again the next day. Given the number and the packaging I would agree,

Our evening was a home visit and cooking lesson. A couple shared many interesting facts about their family life and customs, including arranged marriage for them and their children.

The food was delicious, but very spicy compared to what we are used to. We ate Dum Handi Chicken with yogurt gravy and rice. There was sewaiyy kheer for desert

This morning ( 1/15) we went to a Hindu cremation sites at Mandore. The six widows and 58 concubines of Ajit Singh commissioned marble building that is suggestive of the Taj Mahal. In addition to the memorial they built a lake that supports native waterfowl. Water is a necessary part of a royal cremation, the body must be washed and the participants must wash after the ceremony ends. The entire park is beautiful and well maintained.

The next stop was another fort, Mehrangarh, again a well kept clean site. The fort towers above the city with sheer rock walls. It was enlarged to by two other Rajs. When the state decided to tax the fort and palace it was signed over to the city residents. It is maintained by the government and run for a profit. The museum is extensive, I enjoyed the display of miniature paintings with descriptions of styles and methods. I heard the difference between the Persian and Hindu miniatures, the Hindus only show profiles of people but the backgrounds are detailed with fields and ocean waves highlighted in gold and silver

Jodhpur is also known as the Blue City. The smiths (jewellers) and Nobel men lived inside the city walls but outside the fort. Their houses were painted bright blue.

The rest of the day was spent watching a world class shopping marathon starring Mary and Sally. I just observed and hung tight to my wallet. When I am trying to pare down my possessions at home it makes no sense to buy more to fill it again.

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