We arrived in Jodhpur around noon and were quickly whisked off to our hotel.
The hotel was actually the palace of the Maharaja with half of it donated to Taj Hotels. Umaid Bhawan only had 60 or so rooms and the current Maharaja and his family still lived in the section not open to tourists. It was also connected to a museum and the grounds were absolutely breath-taking. It's this little oasis of greenery and vivid plant-life right smack in the middle of the desert. The palace, sorry hotel, was pretty much left in its original state and had all the fancy couches and chairs and lounges open to guests. It also had some, well let's say questionable, choices in decor as my sister and I stood, mouths open, staring in horror at the several stuffed tigers and jaguars around the grounds. Of course, they're all very old as no one hunts anymore and Indian tgers are actually endangered and it was the heigh of fashion at the time to go hunting and return with trophies but still. On our last day, when I gathered the courag to furtively touch one of them just to confirm that it was (once) real, I pretty much yelped and ran out. Come on, they're all poised to attack with teeth flashing and eyes wide, they were scary!
Oh and we lost my dad on the way back to the lobby from the rooms. Yep, he got lost. We could hear him going, "HOW DO I GET THERE," over and voer as he could see us but couldn't figure out which door led to us.
After we were reassembled (and choked down the complimentary papaya juice I think it was) we went off to see the Mehrangarh Fort. It was pretty similar to some other forts we'd seen on previous India trips though not as lavishly decorated. But what separated it from all others were the gorgeous views of Jodhpur, the Blue City.
Catching sight of Umaid Bhawan.
One of the entrances to the palace/hotel.
View of the palace from the fort.
Various shots of the fort.
The view from the fort.
After stuffing ourself to the point where Romans, inventors of the vomitorium, would've told us, "Whoa there," we headed back to our delightful rooms where we quite literally went thump! on the beds and lay there until morning.