Our copy of the Lonely Planet describes Jodhpur as “crowded and dirty”. What utter tosh. Being in India ‘crowded’ is a given but The Blue City is by far the cleanest place we have visited so far (and certainly cleaner than London right now). Its smart clock tower in the centre gives it a friendly market-town ambiance and the streets between our niwas (home-stay) and the centre were wide, airy and populated by some rather grand houses. The wonderful tight back-streets are in stark contrast, but all daubed in a bright blue paint and bustling with locals at work and play. We have three (yes, three!) slide shows to illustrate the grandeur of The Blue City to take your mind off the horror of the London riots.
Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, is a huge contradiction. Boasting possibly the most beautiful building in the world the town itself is a filthy disgrace. Still, we enjoyed it from both cultural and photographic perspectives, and so in this little post we take you to Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal, grabbing some stunning shots of a legendary landmark.
We’d only been in Jaipur a day and a night and already we’d witnessed some police brutality, so we thought we’d balance it with a bit of civilised culture. Cue one UNESCO World Heritage site and a huge palace-cum-fort. After visiting these incredible places, however, we thought we’d get back to reality with some interaction with beggars, street-dwellers and kids rummaging through piles of rubbish. Just to remind ourselves of this diverse city we’re in before leaving for the Taj.
My Pic of the Day is a shot everyone is familiar with. Next week our blog takes you to the Taj Mahal so in anticipation I thought I’d post up this classic image given some HDR treatment (a photography technique where three different exposures of the same shot are overlaid to pull out the detail in the shadow and hightlights).
As a precursor to our Jaipur blog posts I thought I’d post this portrait up of a young man washing outside his home, illustrating the lack of running water in the backstreets of Jaipur. This sight is not uncommon in India, despite its fast-growing economy.
With Liz being short-listed for another writing competition this week we thought we’d start off our Rajasthan series with one of her latest entries, which we’ve also made available for the iPad and Kindle. Beautifully written, this pulls together a number of themes set in Jaipur, Jodpur and Agra (Taj Mahal), the classic traveller trail called The Golden Triangle. The central story, however, concentrates on a remarkable man we met whilst in Jaipur whose quest to empower women from the lowest castes affected us deeply. Setting the scene for the next few blog posts this is moving, brutal yet ultimately uplifting. It is, in my opinion, Liz’s best non-fiction writing to date.