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JODHPUR IN A DAY

Written on: Monday March 17th, 2008

A journal entry from: ASIA PART II

Jodhpur, South Rajasthan

Jodhpur Train Station


The overnight bus journey to Jodhpur can simply be described as awful. It entails a series of perilous accelerations on nauseating road infrastructure, in a near-to-broken down bus that was completely overfilled in capacity. Upon boarding the bus I met Tom, a new around-the-world adventurer, India was his first stop. We had a delightful exchange before we both attempted to drift off into a forced sleep, which in the end neither of us were able to achieve. It was still dark when we arrived in Jodhpur, my clock read just after four a.m. Tom continued his journey westward and our plan is to reconnect once I arrive in Jaisalmer tomorrow morning.

Disoriented and weary from the ride, we were perfect targets for the money-hungry rickshaw drivers to prey on - Rs 100 for the ignorant foreigner to the train station please! (Not knowing that most autorickshaw journeys around town should cost no more than Rs 25). Remaining assertive and steadfast, I refused to pay such an absurd tariff, I eventually managed to negotiate a reasonable fare and within the hour found my way to the train station.

At the station, I found a spot amidst the sleeping Indians on the floor. After several cups of chai, I rang my dad on my mobile and we chatted until daylight lit up the streets. I had stored my pack, mailed my parcel, taken breakfast and toured the indigo city and its majestic fort by early afternoon. Lunch was then shared with locals at the popular Priya Restaurant, but I could barely keep my eyes open to find my way back to the train station. And so with no accommodations to retreat to, I spent the early part of this evening, with my head on a table, napping in the fanned first-class waiting room.

My train was not boarding for another several hours, so I decided to head to the vibrant Sardar Market to take in some beating action from the heart of the old city. At the moment, I have found refuge from the wild and bustling bazaar inside these internet cafe's walls. Today, I have sampled the most delicious makhania lassi (a saffron-flavored beverage) and have smelled the most fragrant of spices. My day in Jodhpur was enough to overload one's senses, but I anticipate the desert to be just as rousing. The Jodhpur-Jaisalmer Express (No 4810) leaves nightly at 2315h arriving early morning in Jaisalmer. One takeaway thali will be enough to sustain my late night appetite for the overnight journey. Here are some visuals from my day in Jodhpur.