Rajasthani Impressions: Jodhpur

While I was in Udiapur the first time, I was here for an artist residency. I made posts about that experience and shows how the work progressed while I was there. Now that I am back I am working on several projects. I thought I would be nice to share those projects as they progress and get your feedback on the work.

So, I finally got away to another part of Rajasthan! About a month ago Meropi and I traveled to Jodhpur for the weekend. Jodhpur is located just west of the center of the state, where as Udaipur is in the south. I was surprised by the terrain. I knew the mountains would not be there but I thought it would be more of a sparse dessert, but it was much like Udaipur. The city definitely had a different feel than Udaipur but it has some real gems (you can read about the best places to make photographs and explore where we stayed and ate in another post here). We took a four hour bus to get to Jodhpur, leaving Udaipur early in the morning.

Once we arrived in Jodhpur we took a tuk-tuk to the old part of the city and found a guesthouse Meropi knew about. The photograph above was taken just around the corner from the Hare Krishna Guesthouse. After checking in, we walked to the Clock Tower and found Cafe Royale. Two girls had been in Meropi’s coffee shop a few days earlier and told us about Cafe Royale, so we went for some food. Then we headed to our first tourist destination, the Palace Museum. This palace was built in the 1930’s and I did not find it so fascinating. The photographs below show the exterior of the palace, my reflection in glass (behind the glass is an old Cadillac), an arrial view of a wealthy neighborhood and the back of the drivers seat of the rickshaw that took us back to town.

We got dropped off at the Clock Tower. The photographs below are from this area. There is a large plaza around the Clock Tower that is surrounded by shops. For me it is an unnatural scene, it is definitely another world from the States. Some of the photographs are from the first day and some are from the second day. I did think the area was a fascinating place to make photographs, there are so many people and things happening. It is a funny thing, historically I do not like to photograph people, however, I have begun to photograph them, but I do not want them to know I am doing it. I am shy.

On the second day, we headed to the Mehrangarh Fort. I was super excited to be going to the fort, however, once there it was not as exciting as I thought it would be. I guess I prefer other types of architecture. However, I did take some photographs and my favorites are below. The fort does provide great views of the city below. From the fort you can see why Jodhpur is called the Blue City. Furthermore, there is a small palace space at the fort which has recently be restored. There were a few nice rooms, one is below. The photograph on right is a Ganesha shrine. I find these little shrines very interesting.

From the fort we went down to the other side of the city from where we were staying. This is where most of the blue buildings are. The streets are quiet and narrow. There were far fewer tourists there. We wound our way through the streets leisurely taking photographs. A few of my favorites are below. I thought the poster with the mad magician was interesting but my favorite is the photograph of all the men’s underwear boxes. It is a common method of advertising here in Rajasthan and probably India at large. They seem to think they need to let potential customers know that not only do they have a product they have many to choose from. I love it. I took the vertical photograph below for several reasons. I really like to photograph old bikes. Furthermore, there is a painting of a Shiva Lingam on the wall, which indicates the way to a Shiva temple. Lastly, I liked the woman’s orange sari. Oh, India. This photograph is India for sure.

The last place I photographed was a step well not far from our guest house. The step well had been in disrepair for years and was recently restored. Small boutiques and a coffee shop surround the well. Young people were sitting on the steps just hanging out. It was a very relaxing spot. I also loved the symmetry of the structure. My favorite photograph is below. I would go back to Jodhpur to hangout and shop at the step well.

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By |2018-10-12T16:38:06+00:00February 17th, 2017|Rajasthani Impressions|0 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.

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