The Blue City
The contrasting tone of orange from the near desert and the soothing blues of the magnificent blue city around the towering Mehrangarh fort of Jodhpur is an architectural delight. Jodhpur is easy to discover, it has the main attraction is the old city with markets, temples and a gigantic fort that dominated the whole area. So you can photograph Jodhpur mainly by visiting it on foot, a real pleasure. Indeed is one of my favorite location in India.
The blue city
The second largest city of the region is famous for its blue buildings, which were originally painted to signify that they were occupied by Brahmins, the highest caste in India. However some local guides say the houses were never painted blue in the first place, but was a beautiful accident. In fact allegedly painted white to begin with, the buildings turned blue after the copper sulphate was added to white lime in an attempt to deter nesting termites.
Best time to visit
From October to March is the best period to photograph Jodhpur. This is when the weather is at its coolest. Usually winters are refreshing and pleasant, albeit chilly at night. The temperature gets uncomfortably hot from April onward, easily reaching 35 degrees. In summer becoming so hot until the coming of the monsoon. So I suggest you to avoid this period.
You need to preparing in advance your photographic trip to Jodhpur. Indeed the city can be dirty, chaotic,intoxicating, crazy, exasperating, wonderful, squalid, beautiful, overwhelming, and fantastic. Is important to see previous works of the others photographers, know the culture and hindu religion. So get all the information you can get because there can be helpful. I give some advice here to prepare your photography trip.
Imposing Mehrangarh Fort, which rises above the “Blue City”, is impressive well-preserved heritage structure. There’s so much more to shooting here. Start with the views and perspectives from outside until the impressive cityscape from the top of the wall . I suggest to walk from the old city, maybe at the sunrise to has a perfect light. Then when the sun it more hard you will enter in the Fort. Insight there are plenty of details and treasures. In fact, the fort has been privately restored and its museum has an outstanding display of royal memorabilia, including about 15,000 items from Maharaja Gaj Singh II’s personal collection. Another highlight is the cultural performances that happen daily at various places inside the fort, as part of the special focus on folk art and music.
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Clock Tower and Old City Markets
The Old City’s famous landmark, the clock tower, stands at the heart of it—and it’s still working! Next to it, Sadar Market retains a traditional village bazaar feel. It’s chaotic and colorful and sells almost everything, including handicrafts, spices, saris and fabric. You has many things to photograph here but not easy to focus. So try to walk around once or twice before shooting, stay away from the main crowded area. After that you will have a better orientation and you will shoot more easily. Better hour of the day is early in the morning. Also be careful in the sunset hour, here coming before because the building cover part of the square with shadows.
Toorji ka Jhalra
A exciting project is undertaken to transform the Old City back to its former glory, but with a vibrant and hip spin. As a result, Jodhpur has a newly restored yet ancient step well, located just north of the clock tower. Built in the 1740s and called Toorji ka Jhalra, it sat stagnant for years, until they purified the pool and sandblasted the steps. The area around it has been turned into a contemporary square with cool cafes and shops.
Streets of the Blue City
When you think to photograph Jodhpur, one of the first image come to your mind is the Boy in the Mid flight in the street of blue houses from Steve Mccurry. The hues of the walls give to a picture something unique and suit perfect with the Saree of the local women. Unlike the crowded clock tower area, the blue part of Jodhpur behind the fort, known as Navchokiya, is refreshingly quiet and devoid of tourists. Don’t miss spending some time photographing the area, and leisurely strolling along its streets.
Mandore and Mandore Gardens
If you have more time can you come to Mandore. This city was the capital of the Marwar region before Jodhpur was founded, but now it’s in a neglected state. There’s an old fort, an eclectic collection of temples and cenotaphs, and a small museum in the Mandore Gardens. The gardens are beautiful, albeit unkempt in places and used as a local picnic spot. They’re worth visiting for the fantastic architecture and history of a bygone era. The best time to go is during the week when it’s quietest.
Jodhpur has daily flights connections to Mumbai and Delhi. Taxis from the airport will cost around RS200. Also there are plenty of rail connections to cities like Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. You will have nine trains from Delhi. Buses run to Jodhpur from all regional cities, as well as New Delhi and Mumbai. Anyway bus tend to be very slow and uncomfortable. So avoid unless you’re on a super strict budget.
Get Around Jodhpur
Most locals get around via three-wheeled autorickshaws, which charge less than taxis and weave in among the crowds and traffic. Usually as foreign you have to bargain before take a ride. Also you can choose taxi to move around. The rates in Jodhpur vary between vehicle types but should be around RS30 for the first mile or so, then RS25 for every mile after that.
Once you have photograph Jodhpur can you move to the west toward Jaisalmer and more insight the Thar Desert or to the east to Bikaner. Here I give some advice about photographing the region of Rajasthan.
Remember when you going to photograph Jodhpur that you need to respect the people you will met, their culture and customs. So when taking pictures, do be discrete. Is important to have responsible travel behavior.