Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Our Sand & Snow Sojourn...continued

We’d heard and read about this place, somewhere in the terraces of  Meharangarh Fort, that is known for it’s traditional Rajasthani food and the view. Of course, the man behind the counter at our hotel tried to discourage us from going there saying there are much more “happening” places in Jodhpur serving much more variety.

Having decided to utilize our evening doing shopping and work up an appetite for our big dinner, we raided the market and returned empty both in our stomach and our wallets!

As the tuk-tuk actually started proceeding towards the fort through the pitch-dark roads of Jodhpur, with the Fort now looking dark and forbidding, the streets started deserting and the city’s blue hue started shimmering in the amber of the setting sun. As we saw the city lights come on, we reached the gates of the Fort…by now we were the only tourists around. Dropping us at the gate, the tuk-tuk driver left with the promise to return in a couple of hours to pick us up.

We cautiously walked up the ramparts of the fort…aware of every step we took and jumping at the slightest sound. The Fort loomed ahead…almost menacingly! As we walked up, expecting to be attacked at each turn, a security guard with an equally scary moustache greeted us politely and informed us that the fort elevator, which would’ve taken us straight unto the terrace, is out of order and hence a jeep shall be arranged. The jeep arrived in a couple of minutes and drove us through the dark and winding path up the fort.  By the time we reached the Fort Museum, we realized that we were the only outsiders here and even if we shouted, no one would hear us…was this all planned??

A new guard in complete Rajasthani attire came up and escorted us down the numerous narrow passages to our destination…or was it heaven on earth?
A sprawling terrace high up on one side of the fort with 7 to 8 tables laid out, a bard playing a haunting Rajathani tune on his Ravanhatta in the corner and the twinkling lights of Jodhpur city far below! This was ethereal…

The contrast in the mindset and the buildup of suspense, followed by this amazing site was absolutely amazing! The walls of the fort had hidden lights mysteriously lighting us the numerous intricately carved windows were throwing shadows everywhere. No words can actually describe the experience in totality.

The food and the warmth in the hospitality was amazing. We are sure that no other experience of ours could equal this one. The music was haunting, the desert night air was getting chill as we returned to our hotel. As we retired, we were in a trance. It was living a dream…