We went for a walk in the labyrinthine Sardar market around Jodhpur’s Ghantaghar (Clock Tower) on a sunny winter’s day. The area is known for its characteristic blue houses, which make an appearance in many a bucket list. We were early – shops were just beginning to open. All around us shopkeepers could be seen offering prayers to local deities before opening their shops for business. The air was heavy with rhythmic chanting and the fragrance of incense sticks. We walked around, marvelling at the number of shops packed into a small area. We spotted everything from bangles and saris to spices and tea leaves.
Less than an hour later, the morning lull was replaced by sounds characteristic of India’s marketplaces – steaming pots of tea, sizzling oil for frying local snacks, the calls of street-food vendors, the cacophony of customers, and the mellifluous tinkling of anklets worn by Rajasthani women.
But one little turn took us from this hectic network of streets to the old quarters, home to Jodhpur’s elusive blue houses. The origin of these houses is a matter of debate – some scholars say they were coloured blue to denote upper-class residents while others argue the colour wards off intense desert heat. While I’m not sure which of the two theories is correct, I do know the houses form the perfect backdrop for photographs.
Rajasthani women love colour – eye-catching yellows, oranges, and pinks are the norm here. So I decided to play along and picked the brightest kurta (tunic) I own. I combined it with bright green cotton pants called churidar trousers. They’re easily available in India but skinny jeans would work just as well. As if that wasn’t bright enough, I added a small sling bag bedecked with bright neon pom poms. The gorgeous earrings were waiting for me when I reached New Delhi with the sweetest note ever! They’re from a reader who owns an online jewellery shop (I’ve linked it down below) 🙂
This outfit is a fair answer to a question we get asked all the time. YES you need to cover up if you’re travelling to the interiors of India. Flashing skin doesn’t bode well with locals. But that doesn’t mean you have to take recourse to a boring pair of denims. Pack bright tunics, maxi dresses, tribal jewellery, and bohemian bags for your trip to India. Play with colour – it’s SO much fun 🙂
Pom-pom bag – Primark
Sunglasses – Rayban (wore them while beach-bumming here)
Earrings – The Rainbow Trunk
Multi-coloured tunic – Westside
Skinny pants – FabIndia (These skinny jeans on ASOS would work just as well)
Shoes – local market in Rajasthan
Packing for India? Read our comprehensive post on packing for conservative countries for inspiration 🙂
Looking for a place to stay in Jodhpur? We found an oasis in the Thar Desert
Love colour? You must check out our post on packing for music festivals