This stuff is from an incredible article @ lifeinthefastlane
Popularly known by their names of color as much as their historical designations â€” the ancient Blue City known as Jodhpur, neighboring Jaipur known as the Pink City, its former capital the Amber City, and Moroccoâ€™s Red City of Marrakech â€” are as much astonishingly beautiful as they are remarkably unusual.
Jodhpur â€” known as the Blue City for the color of its buildings â€” is the second largest city in Rajasthan, the largest state of the Republic of India, standing at the edge of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert (Thar Desert), which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with Pakistan.
Most of the buildings in the old quarter are painted blue to signify the Bhraman (Priest) class, but non-Brahmins soon followed suit, as the color was said to deflect the heat and deter mosquitoes, and suddenly everything turned blue, creating a broad vision of indigo from the hilltops.
Dominated by the monstrous and imposing Mehrangarh Fort that appears to grow from out of a sheer rocky ridge 410 feet (125 meters) high of which the Fort is built of right in the middle of town, the ancient city is surrounded by a 16 mile (10 kilometer) long wall, which has 6 massive gates â€” the Eastern gate Suraj (Sun) Pol, Western gate of Chand (Moon) Pol, Nagauri gate, Merati gate, Jalori gate, and the Siwanchi gate.
There are only 3 gates facing in these directions, including the Northern gate which faces toward the ancestral capital of Amber, while many gates face South, and all used to be closed at sunset and opened at sunrise.
The walls of the fort are up to 120 feet (36 meters) high and 70 feet (21 meters) wide, enclosing some exquisite structures and collections of palanquins, howdahs, royal cradles, miniatures, musical instruments, costumes and furniture. The ramparts of Mehrangarh Fort provide not only remarkably preserved cannons, but a breath-taking view of the city.
This was the way that the Rajputs built their formidable forts and to good effect, as Mehrangarh Fort was never successfully stormed, but the 6 gates still bear visible scars of battle.
The fort was built about a century after Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by the Rajpur chief Rao Jodha, for whom the city is named after.
The old quarter is contained within the confines of the fort, with mostly winding, narrow passages and alleys impossibly cramped with street vendors, shops, bazaars, rickshaws, bicycles, bustling people and animals of all shapes and sizes. The present city has expanded from outside of its walls.
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