What if most of your central downtown core buildings were painted the same color? Alternatively, what if one third of all your residential buildings were tones of the same color? Not possible? Quirks of history, religion and building material have done exactly that in four of Rajasthan’s cities sitting out in the semi arid desert.
Jaipur is the “pink city”, well now it’s more like a terracotta brown pastel color. In the 1880’s the local ruler ordered the city painted Pink to honor increasing British Royalty. It was such a hit the practice stuck—so all the main buildings within the old city walls are exactly the same terracotta color.
The next major city is Jodhpur is even older. Blue was the favorite color of the high Brahmin caste. Therefore, the Brahmins painted their houses a pastel blue. Then the town’s people noticed that the mosquitoes were less attracted to blue than other colors. Everyone painted their house walls blue. Now you have a medieval city with narrow walking streets with a preponderance of blue—particular in the older residential areas.
Next, we head down the train tracks well out into the desert heartland to Jaisalmer. There the city due to its sandstone building materials is known as the “golden city”. We also plan to see Udaipur, the white city, due to the building material used there. It is unique—you certainly can’t say all the cities in Rajasthan look the same