My second-favorite movie in the entire world is a beautiful film called The Fall. It stars Lee Pace, if you happen to be a fan of Pushing Daisies (he’s one of my favorite actors!) (But he’s decided to do some pretty sub-par movies lately, like Marmaduke and Breaking Dawn, which has kind of thrown me for a loop)(But I digress), and is directed by the visionary Tarsem Singh, who is also behind The Cell and the yet-to-be-released The Immortals and Untitled Snow White.
This doesn’t have much to do with anything except for the fact that A, Tarsem Singh is an incredible director, B, Lee Pace is an incredible actor, C, The Fall is an incredible movie, and D, The Fall happens to be where I spotted my destination of the week. 🙂
There’s a scene where our hero sits perched on a ledge, overlooking a vast city, where every house is painted a shade of blue. At first I dismissed the image, accrediting it to Singh’s zany artistic vision, but it was soon brought to my attention that every scene filmed in The Fall was shot on location. Which meant that this blue city must actually exist.
I therefore present to you Jodhpur, India, also known as ‘The Blue City’:
Jodhpur is part of the Indian state of Rajasthan and home to about 1.4 million people. The greatest concentration of blue houses hover around the impressive Mehrangarh Fort, which, its days of defending against marauding enemies sadly ended, has been converted into a museum. The Fort, which looms 400 feet above the city with beautifully carved walls, imposing gates and luxurious courtyards, offers a spectacular view of the city below (in fact, it is the site of Lee Pace’s perch in the movie).
The city doesn’t possess the natural wonder of the Grand Canyon or Mount Everest, and neither does its beauty stem from intricate craftsmanship. Instead, the source of Jodhpur’s charm springs mainly from its peculiarity; the “Wait, what am I seeing?” moment it inspires in tourists from all walks of life.
So what exactly prompted this united exterior-decorating movement? The story is that it began with India’s now-abolished caste system. For those who don’t know, the caste system was comprised of five categories; Brahmin at the ton, then Kshatriya, followed by Vaishya, Sudra, and then the Untouchables. It is said that the Brahmin of the area painted their houses blue to signify their status.
But either out of jealousy, or rumors that the color blue deflected both the searing heat and pesky mosquitoes, civilians outside of the Brahmin caste decided to follow suit. In doing so, they left a swath of navy, cornflower and indigo in their wake.
There’s something very captivating about this sea of blue houses rolling with the curves of the hills. The mere unexpected unity of this decorating decision lends Jodhpur a mysticism, like the entire town has been entrusted with a secret not to be pried away by the casual tourist. Even for those more generally attracted to specimens of nature’s beauty, or the more elegant architectural accomplishments of the human race, you can’t deny the allure and singularity of The Blue City.