Jodhpur: the Blue City of India


Photo: Johntrathome [Flickr]

You're looking at the Blue City of Jodhpur, India. Why are there so many blue houses? Kuriositas explains:

It is thought that Brahmins – members of the priestly class – first took to coloring their houses blue (yet perhaps it should really be called indigo) to signify their domicile and to set them apart from the rest of the population. Soon, however, the rest of the population followed suit. History does not tell us which brave non-Brahmin was the first to do it, yet it happened and since that day the people of Jodhpur have steadfastly maintained this tradition.

Ask a local why all the houses are painted thus and the usual reply is that the color keeps the interiors cool and fends of mosquitoes. Yet if this truly worked then it would be quite likely that the whole subcontinent would be awash in various hues of indigo.

More likely is symbolism. Although an unscientific response, what answer would most give when asked the color of water? It is likely that the ubiquitous blueness of Jodhpur is an exuberant display of human resilience against the stark Thar desert which surrounds the town. Against the bleak backdrop of parched brown earth the blue city exerts itself magnificently.

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"Yet if this truly worked then it would be quite likely that the whole subcontinent would be awash in various hues of indigo."

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