Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Jodhpur stepwell and a last look at Jodhpur.

The stepwell in Jodhpur is just a five minute walk from the hotel and took me quite by surprise, we walked along the street and there it was. I was expecting it to be at least fenced in but no.    When you first look at it it quite takes your breath away.  The architecture is amazing.  According to some reports it used to be filled with rubbish but the day we went the water was still very green but quite clear of rubbish. It has been cleaned and sandblasted sometime in the past few years.    Children do swim in it but not that day. We had the bubas with us to photograph.

It is very deep, over 100 feet we were told.  Also the steps are very steep. I took my images from very high up which I have to admit I didn't like. I wished I had the nerve to go closer and sit on the steps.  The Bubas were very accommodating and sat where we asked them and walked about too. I was a little worried that the old Buba with the stick would fall in!


Stepwells (or bawri / baori) are remarkable structures first built in 600 AD. In a dry arid climate like much of Rajasthan access to water is critical. They are literally deep wells that can be reached by a series of descending steps. Such stepwells supported centuries of water needs but fell into disuse during the colonial period as they were seen as unhygienic.
Today there are efforts to revive – both as tourist attractions and as functional ways to mitigate water shortages.  Jodhpur doesn't get a great deal of rainfall even in the monsoon season and water is switched on at the tap in the street every morning and they have their allotted amount for the day.  One day I had to go out with hair conditioner in because the water ran out in the middle of my shower!  I had showered before the water man came!  I hadn't even got any bottled water left.

Last chance to look around Jodhpur old city.

First the market around the clocktower. 
The century-old clock tower is an old city landmark surrounded by the vibrant sounds, sights and smells of Sardar Market, which is marked by triple gateways at its northern and southern ends. The narrow, winding lanes of the old city spread out in all directions from here. Westward, you plunge into the old city’s commercial heart, with crowded alleys and bazaars selling vegetables, spices, sweets, silver and handicrafts.                          

The fruit and vegetable market was fabulous, bright green veggies and everything was so fresh and colourful.

Clocktower behind the market.  The clocktower has a clock on each side of the tower and none of them tell the same time.  Nishal told us that the story is that if you were meeting someone and you were late you would show the person the clock that told the right time for you!

Behind the market!  It is amazing how soon you get used to meeting cows wandering in the street.  In fact it was surprising what I got used to!!

                                                        This was his selling area


I sat and watched this lady while I was having a coffee and she sat there for 30 minutes sorting through but never did buy anything.  The sarees were selling for 100 rupees (roughly £1)  I wish I had bought one now but I was a bit unsure where they were from. I think they were second hand.


                                         He spotted me pointing my camera at the traffic

Immediately starts to take helmet off.


Happy I took his photograph, smiling all over his face as we finally passed!

               And so onto the station again


The train arrived at last and there was a stampede down the platform and much pushing and shoving to get on the train.  They don't wait for the passengers to get off first.

I guess these were lucky and got a seat. Others would be sitting on the floor. I'm not sure which class these were sitting in.

As I walked down the platform I heard such a commotion going on in one of the carriages, with a woman crying out and men rushing to get on the train, I think to see what was happening.
Then this lady appeared at the window, obviously distressed.  She disappeared back into the gloom of the carriages and then it was just the normal noise of people settling themselves.


A little later I wandered down the platform and there she was with the little boy. I guess he was the one she had lost.

I have to wonder why he is looking so sad. I looked around and there was no one there who he was connecting to.  Maybe that is why he looks so sad.  I smiled at him but he didn't smile back.

Pretty lady wouldn't look at me to start with but then gradually smiled.

Happy to be on their way!

My stay in Jodhpur had come to an end and I was sorry about that. I had 11 days there and on the last day I still felt the excitement when I walked out of the hotel.  I still can't believe how I just accepted the filth in the streets and how everything that seemed to go awry didn't really it was just accepted as 'that's how it is in India'.  I loved the people there, so friendly and helpful and for the most part seemed happy with their lot.  I felt safe. I had some days on my own and wandered about quite happily.  I soon got used to being stared at and asked to take photographs . The problem was that some thought I could produce the pictures there and then.  I also got asked for selfies with me. Goodness knows why!  The only thing that made me a bit wary were the dogs.  I love dogs and I do seem to attract them which was a bit worrying.  There are so many and I think they have one litter after the other.  

I have seen and done so much in the 11 days . It was a real adventure.  But next...onto Delhi, on my own and this I wasn't quite so sure of.  But I was sure it was going to be another adventure.....

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