The Ultimate Sunset Restaurant in Jodhpur, India

by Nicole Farrell

Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan and is known as the blue city. The spectacular Mehrangarh Fort, built in 1459, towers over the city and is the number one tourist attraction in Jodhpur. I highly recommend visiting the fort during the day. An audio guide is provided with the entry ticket and this is a fabulous bonus. It allows you to block out the noise of other tourists and learn about fascinating history of the fort. 

Did you know there is a restaurant within the fort that opens only for dinner. Dinner is served from 7 pm. However, you can arrive early to enjoy the spectacular sunset with a drink.

  

 

   

This is the stunning courtyard within in the restaurant. These stunning floral decorations are created daily to greet guests. The restaurant is upstairs.

  

   

Jodhpur is known as the blue city. There are a number of theories as to why. Legend has it that the colour blue is associated with Lord Shiva. Another belief is that it is associated with the caste system. According to locals, the Brahin community painted their houses blue to stand apart from lower caste communities. Some people also believe that blue deters termites so houses were painted with chemicals including copper sulphate. The final reason is that blue is considered a cooling colour and would help keep houses cool in the scorching summer heat. 

We were in Jodhpur in February so it was necessary to take a scarf. We'd bought several along the trip so that was not a problem!

  

The food was delicious. I particularly enjoyed the mushroom golauti and aloo gobhi adraki. The restaurant serves wine and beer too. 

This dining experience is one of the evening highlights on our Royal Rajasthan Tour. If you are in Jodhpur, I highly recommend booking a table. 

 

 

Modhera Sun Temple

by Nicole Farrell

Our Gujarat textile tour is more than textiles! We went on an open jeep safari and saw lots of wildlife, met locals in villages and visited palaces and stepwells. On our final day in Gujarat we went to the Modhera Sun Temple.

   

 

The Modhera sun temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the solar deity Surya. It's located in the Modhera village, Gujarat, India. It was built in 1026 and has 3 components: assembly hall, shrine hall and surya kund. They are intricately carved and depicts  scenes from daily life.

 

 

 

  

 There are 52 pillars which depict the 52 weeks of the year.

    

    

    

 The temple is constructed so that during the equinox, the sun rays fall on a diamond placed on the sun God's head. This then illuminates the entire temple.

The sun temple is on our Gujarat Tour itinerary. Read more about the tour here (and download an itinerary)  

Exploring the Textiles of Morocco

by Nicole Farrell

Morocco has a long history of textiles with century old techniques passed down through the generations. 

  

 

  

The souks of both Fez and Marrakesh each have a dying area. Men can be seen dying clothing and textiles. These are then hung to dry.

  

 We stumbled upon many stalls similar to this one. I could not resist a few of the metallic and silk threads for the equivalent of $1 Aussie!

  

I always associate tassels with Morocco as it was a bit of a theme for my first visit to the country. Nothing has changed and I can't walk past a pom pom or tassel! The selection is amazing. 

  

 I found a fabulous little area in the souk of Marrakesh that sold fabulous ribbons and seed beads. 

  

 These clutches have been made using recycled rugs. There were also slippers made from old rugs and I purchased a pair to wear with jeans. They are too nice for slippers!

   

We were lucky enough to visit a women's cooperative which employs disabled ladies for embroidery. The embroidery was of the highest standard and I particularly loved the edging stitch in the left  photo. The stitch is known as 'Darss'. On our October tour, we are excited to offer an optional class at the cooperative. The stitch can be mastered in approximately 2 hours and is a fabulous edge for scarves, napkins etc. There is also the opportunity to visit and observe rather than stitch. 

  

                                   Arts and Crafts of Morocco                                                                              Women Artisans of Morocco

These two books are on my wish list. I have not seen them in person so can't personally recommend but they certainly look good.

 Our March 2020 Morocco Highlights Tour is filling fast. Click here to discover more.