The second-largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Jodhpur has long been a favourite of visitors from abroad. Surprisingly few tourists are aware of the city’s nickname, “the blue city,” though. The old town is an excellent example of vibrant colours creating a picturesque backdrop to daily life.
Upon arrival in Jodhpur, it isn’t immediately clear why this vibrant city is so intimately linked to a single hue. After all, there are numerous different colours to be found in the bazaars and on the crowded streets. You can observe this while touring the stores and perusing the goods on sale in the Sardar Market. The bulk of Rajasthani ladies dress in long, vibrant skirts. Orange and yellow are popular colours for their materials since they are eye-catching and vibrant. Additionally, the Rajasthani custom of women covering their heads with scarves made of lightweight materials in matching colours contributes to the picture of a multicoloured life.
Wander away from the markets and the new town and go into the older parts of Jodhpur to see why it is called “the blue city.” Many of the homes are blue in this area, which has been protected for centuries by Mehrangarh Fort. Many of the homes in the city were painted blue at Rao Jodha’s command. Apart from this, there are various other reasons such as,
Lord Shiva- Yes, it is believed that Lord Shiva is associated with the colour blue because during the Samudra Manthan, when Lord Shiva drank the horrifying poison “Halahala” in an effort to save the earth, the poison turned his body blue. As a result, his followers view blue as a divine color and have their homes painted blue out of respect for Lord Shiva.
A sign of social class- Blue is typically associated with authority and sovereignty in India. In Jodhpur, the Brahmin society (India’s priestly caste) painted their homes blue to distinguish themselves from the lower-caste communities; at that time, blue was associated with the Brahmins alone, according to local myths and tourist guides, and this is also one of the main reasons why blue is painted on houses there.
Calming and Soothing Colour- Another theory that makes more sense is that considering it becomes hot in the summer here and blue has a relaxing psychological impact and is a strong light reflector, people keep their homes cool by painting them blue.
Termite repellent- Jodhpur residences have a tendency for insects, who destroy/demolish the walls and structures of many old buildings/houses in the city as a result of the city’s year-round hot and semi-arid climate. People therefore painted their homes blue to protect the property from these bugs. The termite-repelling properties of this paint (blue colour) are negated by the fact that copper sulphate can turn blue under specific environmental circumstances, giving homes their well-known royal colour.
Nothing compares to climbing to the top of Mehrangarh Fort for a panoramic view of Jodhpur and the blue homes of the ancient town. The 125-meter-high hill on which the historic fortification is situated is reached through a winding road. In certain parts, the walls are 36 meters tall, adding to the elevation. You can observe the surrounding area from there and take in how many blue houses there are in Jodhpur. Not many cities are deserving of their nicknames, but anyone standing in Meherangarh in Jodhpur and looking out over the city’s flat roofs can see that the moniker “the blue city” is accurate, whatever the real cause of the color’s predominance.