It was dark by the time we left Mehrangarh Fort. We turned our gaze from the fort to the cityscape below us. We saw countless festive lights flickering in different parts of the old city, as if a citywide party awaited for our return. At the centre of Old Jodhpur, the Ghanta Ghar Clock Tower was bathed in colourful lighting like a rainbow popsicle. We followed a winding footpath going downhill, hoping to get back to the old town in time for dinner at the rooftop restaurant at Pal Haveli. Before supper, we still had one more destination to go which was the vibrant Sadar Market at the Ghanta Ghar Clock Tower.
It was getting dark when we began to walk down from Mehrangarh Fort. From afar, the clock tower in colourful lights was highly visible and served as a destination landmark to guide us for the walk.
Mehrangarh Fort looked majestic under the evening flood lights.
The path soon led us into small streets at the foothills below the fort.
It was dinner time and most shops were about to close.
We walked by many homes with their doors kept opened. From time to time, we could hear laughter of families from inside their homes.
In Jodhpur, there was a common way in which the street vendors decorate their store with bags of chips and snacks in different colourful packaging hanging vertically around the front edge of the roof. It was very eye-catching.
We kept on walking downhill and hoped that we would soon reach the Sadar Market and Ghanta Ghar Clock Tower. Behind us, the massive Mehrangarh Fort provided a mysterious background.
Soon we reached the bottom of the hill in the streets of Gulab Sagar,
It was dinner time for many families, and even bedtime for this puppy on a motorbike.
Near Sadar Market or Clock Tower Market, we passed by a small Hindu shrine along the main commercial street.
A beautiful gateway welcomed us into the vibrant Sadar Market. The market was named after Maharaja Sardar Singh, who built the market and the clock tower during his reign from 1880 to 1911.
Built by Maharaja Sardar Singh in the late 19th century, the Ghanta Ghar Clock Tower is one the most iconic monuments of old Jodhpur.
Sadar Market is one of the busiest place in Jodhpur where locals and tourists come to shop for handicrafts, souvenirs, spices, fresh produce, textiles, jewellery and clothing.
At Sadar Market, our target was to check out MV Spices Shop.
Established by Mohan Lal Verhomal years ago, MV Spices is a renowned spices shop recommended by many guidebooks and foreign media. Today, the spices shop is managed by the friendly daughters of Mohan Lal Verhomal. After a cup of chai tea and a good chat with one of the daughters, we bought a pack of Maharaja curry, and also spices to make chai tea and chicken tikka masala.
After a quick visit of Sadar Market, we returned to our hotel Pal Haveli.
We climbed up to the hotel’s rooftop restaurant Indique for dinner.
Indique is a popular rooftop restaurant in Old Jodhpur, serving decent Indian food with magnificent views of the old city.
We enjoyed the distant view of Mehrangarh Fort at one side of the rooftop. During dinner, it was a surprise to see a small firework in front of the fort. It came in a split second. We couldn’t react quick enough to capture the moment with our camera. The scene could only live in our memory.
At the other side of the rooftop restaurant, we could look down to the vibrant Sadar Market and the colourful Ghanta Ghar Clock Tower.
Known as the “Land of Marahaja” where Princes and Raiputs once led extravagant lives in palaces and castles of One Thousand and One Nights, the desert state of Rajasthan in Northwestern India is the most popular tourist destination in India. In this incredible land of rich heritage, aromatic cuisines, ornate havelis, and lavish palaces, we were never far away from the stories of Rajputs and Princes, tales of desert caravans, exotic landscapes of the Thar Desert, elegant monuments of Hinduism, Jainism and Islam, and bits and pieces of the bygone glory of the British Raj. India is well known for its vivid colours. With “blue city” Jodphur, “pink city” Jaipur, or “golden city” Jaisalmer, nowhere in the country is more elaborate in bright colours than Rajasthan.
In 2016 we made a trip to Ladakh, the mountainous region in Northern India dotted with Tibetan lamaseries along the Indus Valley. It was a pleasant journey in early summer when most of the Indian Subcontinent was baked in scorching heat. This time in late 2018, we opted to experience the Classic India in the mild and sunny winter. In 11 fascinating days, we ventured out west from Delhi, the Indian capital into Rajasthan for an extended version of the Golden Triangle route. Undoubtedly the most popular tourist circuit in India, the Golden Triangle connects Delhi with the Rajasthani capital Jaipur and Agra, the former Mughal capital where the iconic Taj Mahal has proudly stood for almost 400 years. Our second Indian journey began with a 6-hour evening flight from Hong Kong to Delhi.
We began our Rajasthani journey from Jodhpur, then headed to Jaisalmer via Osian, the westernmost point of our journey. From Jaisalmer, we hopped back eastwards first to Pushkar by night train, and then Jaipur the pink city. A hired taxi brought us further eastwards to Agra via Bhangarh Fort, Chand Baori step well in Abhaneri, and the abandoned Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sakri. After keeping our fingers crossed and seeing the magnificent Taj Mahal without any scaffolding, we returned to the Indian capital to take on what we had left two years ago, to explore the city’s Mughal attractions.
Our evening flight brought us westwards from Hong Kong, passing by big and small cities along the way. At one point, we came close to the Myanmarese city Mandalay.
From the mouth of Meghna River in the Bay of Bengal, our plane turned northwest to follow what could be the famous Ganges River, and passed by a myriad of rural villages along the way.
After about six hours on the plane, the first thing welcomed us in Delhi was its infamous smog.
After staying the night at a hotel in the Aerocity, we returned to the airport for our domestic flight going to Jodhpur. The elephant statues in the departure hall was a popular selfie spot in the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
At the departure concourse of Delhi Airport, we had a sandwich and coffee at Costa Coffee.
A large sculpture with statues making yoga poses was another popular selfie spot at the gate concourse.
From above, the Suburban Delhi looked greener than we thought.
At this time of the year (early winter), it would hardly be a day without sunny weather in Northern India.
As we headed west into the desert state of Rajasthan, arid landscape gradually came into sight.
An hour’s flight took us to Jodhpur, the famous blue city of Rajasthan.
The Jodhpur Airport has a simple passenger terminal.
At the exit gateway of the airport terminal, we met our driver prearranged with our hotel Pal Haveli.
Outside the car window, we had our first glimpse of the urban scenery in Rajasthan.
Tuk tuks were everywhere in the busy streets of Jodphur. We reached Pal Haveli Hotel in about 15 minutes.