The rutted way from Pushkar to Jodhpur leads past lime and chemical factories wafting yellow dust.  Jodhpur is Rajasthan’s second largest
city and one of the most prosperous.  The largest fort in Asia, the beautiful Mehrangarh “Majestic Fort” was begun in 1459 atop a sheer
sandstone abutment 400 feet high.  Massive 120 feet tall walls protect ornate palaces with panels carves in wood and stone, half-moon eyebrow
windows, stained glass and scroll work.  Panoramic views of the Brahmins’ pale blue houses, the downtown clock tower and Umaid Bhawan palace are spectacular from the heights.

We visited Jaswant Thada, the cenotaph (no body buried, only memorial structure) of the maharajah, built in 1899.  It’s a mix of Hindu, Buddhist, English and Mughal styles in shimmering white marble, overlooking the city.

We came down to street level to the chaotic market, with loud blaring of horns, a crush of people hawking spices, fruits, vegetables, cutlery, sundries and cloth, all surrounding the clock tower.  Unusual were the water chestnuts, whole, with dark covering, as well as betel leaves for chewing and spitting.  Public drinking fountains quench locals’ thirst in the 130 degree F summer heat.
For our Thanksgiving feast, we enjoyed a blend of north and south India.  Cauliflower and potato stir fried with chili, coriander,
coconut, mustard and curry leaves (south) and gosht baghar (north), well marinated lamb cooked slowly with yogurt, mustard seeds,
fenugreek and red chilies.  Scrumptious cheese paratha accompanied our meal.

We gave heartfelt thanks to have been born in the USA.

Claudia and Gail

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