After we survived our tuk-tuk ride to our hotel, we settled into a lovely heritage guesthouse. I don't usually post anything about where we stay because as a backpacker, there is usually not much to get excited about. We spent a little more this time and I fell in love with the decor. Shahi Guesthouse is a 350 old mughal-style Haveli, situated in the oldest part of the blue city. The building is rich in history and was originally the “JANANA DODI”, or women's area, of Rajput Officers' quarters. Traditionally, women met here in purdah and the haveli maintains many of its original features such as stone lattice work, balconies and an open central courtyard.
We got to stay in two of the six rooms and enjoyed our meals on the rooftop which boasts quite a view of the blue city as well as the fort atop the hill. From the rooftop there were ample photo opportunities... From the roof you are encircled with all sorts of noise... prayer calls, stray dogs fighting, the city noise below (constant honking), and a night wouldn't be complete without young kids setting off fireworks. This is not only extremely unsafe, but because the buildings are so close together, it becomes highly annoying when you are trying to go to sleep and fireworks are going off feet from your window. The following day we climb to the top of the hill to check out the Mehrangarh Fort. It is quite opulent inside and it houses a museum along with grounds to roam, a restaurant, and other nooks and crannies. It is easy to spend a few hours here. Like I said, while this is somewhat calmer than the other cities we've visited, it is by no means calm. This coming from two New Yorkers. The streets still emit the same chaos. Stay tuned for the next post where we day trip it to the Thar Desert to ride camels for the third time.