Walking round Jodhpur can get pretty exhausting what with the heat, the traffic and the crowded streets. Fortunately we found a great little place with a quiet courtyard that served a good lunch. We went back there one evening and had the best veggie curry ever, but this time on the roof terrace after climbing up several floors on stairs with no handrail!
Anyway after our lunch we decided to head out of town to escape the crowds with a first stop at Panchkunda Cenotaphs. Nikhil at our Haveli had told us that tourists don’t know about this place and he was right, we had it virtually to ourselves apart from a couple of local lads. As you can see, these monuments are really something and according to the notice Jodhpur queens were cremated here. It’s often used now for a film set and we could see why.
Our next stop was Mandore Gardens. Not a place to go if you don’t like monkeys, they are pretty much everywhere. One or two tourists thought it would be a good idea to feed them but soon realised these guys aren’t the friendliest on the planet. The black and white picture on the right has got to be the funniest I’ve taken all year …just the way he was sitting was hilarious.
As we walked towards the temple in the centre of the gardens a family latched onto us and gave us offerings to make to the Gods in the temple. We weren’t sure how to play this but their little lad showed us. Afterwards we walked outside and saw a woman virtually wringing her hands into a fire which was just outside the temple. Fire is a principal element and apparently she was doing this to wish good luck to the wedding couple who had suddenly appeared. They proceeded to walk round the fire, attached to them was a pink cotton band, again all symbolic. At a Hindu marriage the couple must walk round the fire seven times, clockwise, which of course they did. A great moment to witness.
Walking out of the gardens towards the gates we noticed a very serious game of cards going on plus a group of women sat on the pavement selling jewellery and one very bored child.
It was good to get out of the city for a while and even better to sit in the eerie at our Haveli drinking beer and chilling out. All peaceful until … wouldn’t you know it …within five minutes there were blinking monkeys jumping across the roof tops including ours, bold as brass. They are so skittish, destructive and cheeky and a law unto themselves. Bangers, as in fireworks are about the only thing that will send them scurrying away. Glad we haven’t got these in the Cotswolds!