After another 5 hour drive we arrived at Jodhpur, second largest city in Rajasthan. Our driver is quite skilled at maneuvering all obstacles whether they be motorbikes, huge trucks, farm tractors, broken down vehicles in lane, cows, sheep, goats, dogs, to name a few. The roads, in general, are two lanes wide with constant passing of slower vehicles. He has one hand on the steering wheel and one hand on the horn. A constant ballet of zig, zags, ins and outs. What started out in Delhi to be hair razing is now nothing. I always ride shotgun. Have the total spacing and passing thing down. A herd of 10 cows, no problem, wiz through them at 80 kph.
We spent the afternoon touring the impressive Mehrangarh Fort. Almost always on the highest hill, this is a stupendous fort/museum. Home to one of the 59 kingdoms in Rajasthan. Over 400 years it grew to multiple stories in height. The current king came to power 3 months after Queen Elizabeth in 1952. He is the second longest reigning monarch on earth after Queen Elizabeth. He is 67 years old and ascended to his throne at the age of 4 after his 29 year old king father crashed his private plane. On exhibit were many carriages which were hand carried on men’s shoulders or some on elephants backs. The king has spent a lot of his wealth restoring his properties.
One point of interest was the large center courtyard. One of the attached photos shows the windows all covered with cut out screens looking like lace. These screens were hand carved out of solid sandstone or marble depending on the palace within the various forts. Inside these rooms looking out were the king’s wives. They could see what was going on in public areas but could not be seen behind the screens. Remember, the king’s were Muslims.