A blue colored stair leading to a house in Jodhpur

Street photography in Jodhpur, the blue city of India

I have always been interested in doing street photography in Jodhpur blue city as I was fascinated by the blue color of the houses there. Last year in November, while visiting Pushkar mela, I decided to go to Jodhpur and fulfill my wish. The old city in Jodhpur has all the blue coloured houses and still retains the charm of the by gone era. It is very good for doing street, portrait and architecture photography. 

Jodhpur blue city

Jodhpur is called the blue city because of the abundance of blue coloured houses. Several reasons are given as to why the houses are colored blue, some of them are –

  1. The houses are coloured blue because the blue color helps in keeping the house cool during summer. Jodhpur exceeds temperatures of 40 degrees celsius from April to June as it is very located close to the Thar Desert.
  2. It has been found that blue color has a calming effect on the mind and body, which is essential during hot summers.
  3. Also, brahmins, an upper caste belonging to Hindu community considered the blue color auspicious and used it to paint their house.
  4. Another reason that is given is that blue color was easily available due to the presence of Indigo plantation in the area.
    Front side of a blue house in Jodhpur
    Front side of a blue house in Jodhpur
    Scooters parked in a narrow blue colored lane in Jodhpur
    Scooters parked in a narrow blue colored lane in Jodhpur


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    A typical blue house in Jodhpur.
    A typical blue house in Jodhpur.

    My guide walking through the blue streets in Jodhpur
    My guide walking through the blue streets in Jodhpur

Street photography in Jodhpur

My journey started around 7 am in the morning. I hired a guide, as it was my first time in Jodhpur and I had no clue where the blue houses were located. As I walked through the narrow lanes and by lanes, I was amazed at how people live there. The streets are so narrow that cars cannot enter there, local people rely on cycles, scooters and motorbikes for transportation. Most of these houses and streets are very old, even though they have changed with time, they still retain their old charm.

Motorbikes parked in narrow lanes in Jodhpur blue city
Motorbikes parked in narrow lanes in Jodhpur blue city
A scooter travelling through narrow lanes in Jodhpur blue city
A scooter travelling through narrow lanes in Jodhpur blue city

A women walking through a narrow lane in Jodhpur blue city
A women walking through a narrow lane in Jodhpur blue city

As I walked through the narrow lanes and by lanes, I discovered that apart from blue, there are other colors as well. To find these colors, you have to do a bit of searching as they are easily seen. As you can see, the lanes are very narrow and all these connecting streets appear like a maze to first time travelers as they all look and feel very similar to one another. Also, I found GPS does not work properly there, therefore I felt a guide is necessary for navigating these streets.

Colorful orange streets in Jodhpur
Colorful orange streets in Jodhpur
Narrow orange colored streets in Jodhpur
Narrow orange colored streets in Jodhpur
Old rustic orange colored walls in Jodhpur
Old rustic orange colored walls in Jodhpur

Street food photography and tasting

It was 9 am, both me and my guide and walked for 2 hours and became tired, so we stopped in front of a few eateries on the way and tasted the local food. Our first stop was a sweet store, where Jalebis were being prepared. The unique feature is that each Jalebi weighs 100 gms. Then, we came upon a shop frying kachoris in a big pan. They were very tasty and spicy. The paan shop came as a blessing, because they a mint flavour in them, which helps in cooling the body.

A man preparing Jalebi, an indian sweet snack in a roadside eatery
A man preparing Jalebi, an indian sweet snack in a roadside eatery
A man making kachori, an indian snack in a shop
A man making kachori, an indian snack in a shop
A street vendor selling paan or betel leaves in his shop
A street vendor selling paan or betel leaves in his shop
A man cooking food outside a local eatery
A man cooking food outside a local eatery
A man selling vada, an indian snack in a roadside eatery.
A man selling vada, an indian snack in a roadside eatery.

Finally, it was time to end the trip and he dropped me near the Sardar market, where I visited the clock tower and surrounding areas by myself.

A man selling raisins in the busy sardar market.
A man selling raisins in the busy sardar market.
People walking in the busy sardar market in Jodhpur
People walking in the busy sardar market in Jodhpur
A man selling colorful pottery items.
A man selling colorful pottery items in Sardar market.

Second day walking tour in Jodhpur

I had two more days left in Jodhpur, so I asked my guide to conduct another walking tour, but in another part of the old city and to include more blue houses as the previous tour had only few of them. He asked me come near the Navchowkiya dispensary at 3 pm and we embarked on another tour. During this tour, I saw and photographed more blue houses than the earlier tour. Street dogs are vicious there and they attack strangers without any provocation, so be careful if you are not hiring a guide. Finally, it was 5 pm and time to end the tour, he took me to his house and served me tea and biscuits. Overall, I paid the guide 2000 rupees for the two day tour.

A scooter parked in front of a blue house in Jodhpur
A scooter parked in front of a blue house in Jodhpur
A woman along with her children sitting in a blue colored house in Jodhpur
A woman along with her children sitting in a blue colored house in Jodhpur
A woman sitting in a blue colored house in Jodhpur
A woman sitting in a blue colored house in Jodhpur
A scooter parked in front of a blue coloured house in Jodhpur
A scooter parked in front of a blue coloured house in Jodhpur

Conclusion

Overall, it was a good tour and I learnt a lot about the culture and history of the place, but I was expecting to see more blue houses. What I concurred was that the new generation are not very keen in keeping their houses blue and are putting different color in it. Most of the blue houses are in shambles and have not been painted in many years. I felt that it is just a matter of time that blue houses will be a thing of the past.

Other street photos of Jodhpur

A man sitting outside a closed shop
A man sitting outside a closed shop
A man buying groceries from a roadside shop.
A man buying groceries from a roadside shop.
A bunch of old women praying in a roadside temple.
A bunch of old women praying in a roadside temple.
A man reading a newspaper outside his home.
A man reading a newspaper outside his home.
A man reading newspaper by the roadside.
A man reading newspaper and selling betel leaves by the roadside.
A scooter traveling through the narrow lanes in jodhpur.
A scooter traveling through the narrow lanes in jodhpur.
A man feeding a cow in the middle of a street.
A man feeding a cow in the middle of a street.
Auto rickshaws parked at the side of the road in a busy market
Auto rickshaws parked at the side of the road in a busy market
Aerial view of sardar market in Jodhpur
Aerial view of sardar market in Jodhpur
A narrow blue lane in Jodhpur
A narrow blue lane in Jodhpur

If you’re interested in using my photography or article please contact me as I am available for freelance work.

If you want to know about other sightseeing spots in Jodhpur, you can visit my blog on Jodhpur sightseeing. Furthermore, I have also written about other places in Rajasthan like Kuldhara, Mandore garden, Jaisalmer street photography, Jaisalmer photo tourBada BaghPatwon Ki HaveliPushkar mela photography, Udaipur photographyUdaipur, Jaipur architecture street photography and Jaipur photo tour.

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