There’s a buzz about ‘Slow Travel’ these days – it’s an interesting way to explore a destination, unlike the usual way when our sole aim is to cover every single hotspot and feel good about it. I feel traveling without caring about the ‘hotspots’ is the real way to absorb a place - its atmosphere, people, lifestyle and many subtle shades that just appear on their own whenever we go around spontaneously and do things without a ‘guide’.
I explored Jodhpur from the rooftop of Hotel Haveli, where I stayed for two days. Hotel Haveli has its rooftop restaurant by the name of Jharokha. The rooftop offers some significant views of the city – Mehrangharh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Clock Tower and the Blue City.
|View of Mehrangharh Fort from Hotel Haveli's rooftop|
At the break of day
I woke up when it was still dark and tiptoed my way up to the rooftop for a sunrise view. Since I had got up too early, I had to wait for the sunrise. It was a different experience to be awake while the city was still asleep. Although I had to be patient while waiting for dawn, I loved the quietude around me. I had never done such a thing ever before on any of my trips! I truly feel that it’s something different to breathe in the early morning air of an unfamiliar city. As the day broke, I could see the city of Jodhpur in the mellow light of the sun.
|Sunrise - a fresh view of the city|
In a little while, I could see people beginning with their morning chores. I liked the fact that even the hotel staff got up after me! I enjoyed the murmur of morning activities at the hotel – kitchen staff taking bed tea/breakfast orders and other stuff. It, kind of, made me feel like family while I was waiting for my morning cup of tea sitting in a comfortable corner of the roof.
|(Left) Rooftops of the city at dawn, (Right) Jaswant Thada seen afar|
Distant view of Jaswant Thada
Jaswant Thada was one of the hotspots that I skipped in Jodhpur. I caught its distant view from the rooftop. I casually asked one of the waiters about the monument and he told me that it could be seen quite clearly from the roof. I could have visited Jaswant Thada (it’s a beautifully built mausoleum), but I found it more enchanting from a distance along with the entire panorama. I am not really a ‘monument’ crazy person. I like to enjoy everything in totality.
|Clock Tower in the golden yellow light of morning|
Grandeur of Mehrangharh Fort
Mehrangharh Fort is the landmark of Jodhpur. It is the soul of the city and it looks marvelous ruling the landscape. I was fortunate to witness it in all the hues of the day – dawn, dusk, twilight and night. When it gets dark and the city lights come on, the fort looks magnificent. It is wonderful to enjoy its glory while the traditional Jodhpuri cuisine is being served on your plate.
|Mehrangharh Fort bathed in the beautiful hues of morning|
Clock Tower stands tall in its beauty
I have a special liking for clock towers! I think they add a lot of beauty to a city. Clock Tower of Jodhpur is distinctively beautiful – it adds an English touch to the whole traditional backdrop. I was particularly happy to have a view of the clock tower from the rooftop. It’s also one of the landmarks of Jodhpur and it looks splendid!
|Clock Tower at night|
Last hour of the day
Sunset is every photographer’s favorite time. Although I had captured sunset a day earlier, I was keen on taking some sunset photographs from the rooftop as well. But to my tough luck, I got a little late and had missed out on the view.
There were other tourists too, who sat there to enjoy the beautiful hour of dusk. I started a conversation with a couple from England who had been in India for around 3 months. A brief exchange of pleasantries melted beautifully into a reverberating evening.
|The Blue city glistens as the evening proceeds|
Jubilation towards the night
It is absolutely a true-blue ‘Jodhpuri’ experience to have dinner at Jharokha (rooftop restaurant at Hotel Haveli) and enjoy traditional Rajasthani folk dance and music. The view around are obviously nice and the atmosphere at night is lively and festive.
Seriously, I could not have asked for more! I got to experience so much from the rooftop of a hotel – so many things to observe, grasp and take back home!