With a sense of Deja Vu, we entered into the Sun City Jodhpur in the Rajasthani state of India. It was here that I spent my first three years of life and my younger sister was born. Though the reminiscences of those days were now hazy there was something in the air which would always keep us deeply rooted into this Marwari soil.
The GPS steered us into the busy interiors of the old city winding through a chock-a-block of shops and houses. Our driver was getting antsy due to the challenge of navigating a seven-seater through these cramped alleys making way through the age-old houses.
Hospitable and Warm-hearted Locals
After losing the turns couple of times and encountering dead ends we decided to give up on the GPS. We enquired with a group of locals on the directions to the guest house where we booked a room. The Rajasthani people are the most hospitable and warm-hearted which is very evident when asked for a help.
The local concluded the discussion with his friends and decided to guide us all the way to our destination. Though the local had to stop a couple of times while our driver maneuvered the car through the narrow alleys he never showed a sign of hustle. Finally, we reached Moti Chowk the landmark for our hotel and the local bid us bye with a smile.
We called our host and informed that we are in Moti Chowk. Our host Manish Jain sent a guy from this guest house to help us with our luggage and guide us to the guest house which was just a couple of steps away from the Moti Chowk.
The Blue House
The Blue House painted in traditional blue color stands out in the jam-packed buildings of the alley with its charm. Jodhpur is also known as the ‘Blue City’ because of the blue colors that decorate the ancient houses in the old city area. And we were elated to stay in one of those iconic blue houses of Jodhpur.
Our genial host Manish Jain welcomed us with a cup of tea. There is a positive vibe in the aura of the Blue House which will make you feel at home. The ground floor is occupied by the host and his family and top floors have 15 rooms each designed with a unique aesthetic theme to accommodate the guests.
The guest house is a family house which is an astounding 490 years old and Manish Jain is the 6th generation that is living in this house.
We had initially booked one family room which could accommodate 4 people but when we checked-in we realized that it had only one double bed and couple of single beds. Since we were 2 couples we requested Manish for two different rooms. And to our delight, Manish managed to get two rooms ready in just 10 minutes on the top floor.
Guest House or an Art Museum?
On the way to the rooms, we were awestruck with the embellishments made on each floor. Some had beautiful window arches, and some sit outs at the front of their rooms with antique wooden carved table and chairs with the walls illuminated with lights. The building looked like a museum of antiquity.
The stairs leading to the top floors are a bit steep and there is no lift in the building so if that is a problem make sure to check with the host for the availability on lower floors.
The top floor had only three rooms and two them were occupied by us. Hence, the top floor was all to ourselves. It had a dining area with a couple of tables with a magnificent view of the Mehrangarh fort and a splendid view of the old city of Jodhpur.
The rooms were spacious bedecked with rustic antique furniture and beautiful paintings.
The attached bathroom was clean with basic toiletries and hot water supply round the clock. The hotel also offers free wifi service.
By the time we arrived at the guesthouse it was dinner time and we were exhausted from the journey hence we decided to order our dinner to be served in our rooms. The guest house has a rooftop restaurant as well where the food is served from ‘Jhankar Choti Haveli’ restaurant owned by Manish’s Family.
The restaurant ‘Jhankar Choti Haveli’ is at a walkable distance from the guest house. We had a traditional Rajasthani thali with a special homemade veggie ‘Ker Sangri’ sent by our host Manish for tasting. We enjoyed the authentic delicious thali and called it a night.
Fort and the old city at sunrise.
Next day was for Jodhpur sightseeing. The Blue House is very close to most of the prominent city attractions. The Mehrangarh fort is around a km and the bustling old market and the iconic clock tower just around 10 minutes walk.
Jhankar Choti Haveli Restuarant
We decided to have our breakfast at the ‘Jhankar Choti Haveli’. We were impressed by decoration imbued with antique art and heritage.
If you get to visit the old city area of Jodhpur you should definitely make a visit to this restaurant for the rich cultural ambiance it offers. Every piece of art used to decorate the restaurant reflects the passion of the host Manish for art and architecture. Everything from the wood carvings to paintings and the decorations is from the years of personal collection of host Manish.
The food at the restaurant offers pure vegetarian food with authentic Rajasthani flavors. The servings do take some time owing to the fact that each of the ingredients is freshly prepared so keep this in mind if you are in a hurry to catch up a preplanned schedule or if you have someone waiting for you.
An authentic Rajasthani Thali
Manish briefed us on the attractions of Jodhpur and offered to arrange an auto for sightseeing. But since we had our own car we decided to go on our own. On the second day, we planned a half day excursion of the village safari to experience the heritage of Rajasthan. A jeep for the safari to picked us up from our hotel and then dropped us back was arranged by Manish.
Jodhpur is an amazing city rich in culture and heritage. And staying in the old blue city in a guest house epitome of local culture and heritage is a remarkable experience. The Blue House is an ideal stay to experience the real Marwari heritage in Jodhpur.
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