A pleasant breakfast preceded our 10am departure for the Meherangarh Fort which commands a formidable position atop a hill to one side of Jodhpur. This was the traditional home of the Maharajas until the Umaid Bhawan Palace was built in the 20th century.
Entering the palace, our entry fee included an audio tour held on MP3 players which could be carried around the next. These gave a very clear and atmospheric description of the various parts of the fort and the exhibits held within. The full tour takes well over an hour and takes in some spectacular views over the blue-painted city of Jodhpur.
Our next stop was the aforementioned Umaid Bhawan Palace, much f which is now used as a luxury hotel, though it is also still home to the Maharaja.
We entered the hotel and were directed to the “coffee shop”, actually a terrace at the back of the hotel looking over the grounds with views towards the fort on the otger side of town. There is a Rs330 per person cover charge which is offsetagainst anypurchases made. The Palace was certainly very grand (prices to stay there range from $200-$750 per night) and by some careful eavesdropping of conversations at other tables, it became apparent that a film crew were currently staying there. Chatting with a waiter later on revealed that the film starred Omar Sharrif and was titled something along the lines of “One Night with a King” or maybe “King For One Night”.
We had a small lunch and a couple of drinks (the Palace Colada was particularly good) and Vic wandered the grounds a little taking photos.
We then returned to the hotel for an afternoon and evening of relaxation.