Saturday 22 April 2006

India: the Golden Triangle - Jodhpur

This morning we visited the superb Meherangarh fort in Jodphur. I take back everything I said about buying brooms for Delhi fort, this is superbly well maintained by the current maharaja of Jodhpur. The battlements tower above as the fort is approached and has a number of different gates to ward off the baddies and charging elephants. Lonely Planet recommended the audio tour which was very good and the price included the use of a lounge where refreshments, including beer, were purchased at very reasonable prices. The tour included a collection of royal paraphernalia and an art gallery with stunning Indian 17th - 19th century art. As the temperature during the visit would have been one of the settings on an oven, we headed back to the cool waters of the hotel pool.

The pool chilled sweaty Europeans and a flock of pigeons that bathed in the shallow edges. Mrs M
then went for an hour-long massage and was suitably relaxed afterwards before losing it as the staff had taken her hair towel. I need not say more. We planned dinner with a storm brewing overhead (literally and metaphorically).

Dinner was a recommendation in the Fodor's guide which has not let us down in other countries. The 'Midtown Vegetarian Restaurant', near Jodhpur railway station is given a rare five-star rating which was thoroughly deserved. Although a bit shabby, the food was very, very good and the staff particularly attentive, especially when we showed so much interest in the food. They recommended a Punjabi Thali and a Rajasthani Mahoraja Thani which were round silver trays with a selection of small dishes from each of the two regions, with plenty of bread and accessories. With beer, orange juice and water, the bill came to 313 Rupees (about £3.80!).

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