Kristian Bertel | Photography
Archive story
In this archive story we are visiting the famous 'Blue City' of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Jodhpur, the second major city of Rajasthan is one of the gorgeous cities in India and there are many reasons why it is called the 'Blue City'. Most of the houses in Jodhpur's old city are blue-colored and some people say that the color is associated with the 'Brahmins' and that blue houses of the city belong to that caste person and it is not the only reasons.
Jodhpur, the second major city of Rajasthan is one of the gorgeous cities in India and there are many reasons why it is called the 'Blue City'. Most of the houses in Jodhpur's old city are blue-colored and some people say that the color is associated with the 'Brahmins' and that blue houses of the city belong to that caste person and it is not the only reasons.
Kristian Bertel, Photographer By Kristian Bertel, Photographer
– Updated on June 24, 2024

Jodhpur – The blue city of India

Jodhpur is a very well-liked tourist attraction destination as there are various forts, temples and palaces to explore. It is also called the 'Sun City' because the weather remains bright and sunny all around the year and to keep the houses cool, the blue color is used on the houses because the blue color helps in observance the houses that are blue-pianted to cool in the heat, which is very vital for the old part of this city in Rajasthan, India.

What is Jodhpur famous for?

Jodhpur is famous for the distinctive color of its buildings, a reminder of the 'Brahmins', who used to paint their houses blue to deter insects and keep the dwellings cool during the summer. Founded in 1459, the old city is encircled by an imposing wall and accessed through 8 magnificent gates.

Why are houses in Jodhpur painted in blue?
One of the most curious questions a traveler can have for a local in Jodhpur is, why is it called the 'Blue City' and why the houses in Jodhpur are colored in blue. When Rao Jodha built the Mehrangarh Fort which is the impregnable fortress of Jodhpur, the Brahmins who are the priestly caste of India that settled around the fortified old city, painted their houses in blue to identify themselves. Soon after, the other castes that settled there, followed suit and the main old city bathed in blue. Another popular and plausible theory suggests that the houses were painted in blue to reflect the scorching heat the city bears throughout the year. Some say the color is associated closely with the 'Brahmins', India's priestly caste and the blue houses of the old city belong to families of that caste.

Others say that due to the climate Jodhpur houses are prone to termites and the termites damaged and destroyed the traditional building techniques which involved the exterior being coated in lime wash. It was discovered that the termites were repelled by copper salt compounds and these were added in low concentrations to the lime washes and these copper solutions under certain conditions produce blue compounds and this was true of the materials applied to the exterior of Jodhpur's houses.

"There are many different reasons for the blue paint although no one knows the real reason. One reason is that Jodhpur gets really hot, so the blue color is soothing to the eyes as it appears cooler. Also it is appealing to thirsty merchants looking for a good trading destination. Another reason is that blue color was chosen to show that these are the homes of the 'Brahmins'. Yet another possible reason is that copper sulphate in the paint which gives it the blue color is a termite repellent"

'Brahmin' is a part of the caste system in Hinduism and in ancient India people who read the complete 'Upanishad Brahmanak' were called 'Brahmins' a 'Varna' in Hinduism specialising as priests, teachers and protectors of sacred learning across generations and they are called 'Dwij' because they guided others toward enlightenment and the traditional occupation of 'Brahmins' was that of priesthood at the Hindu temples or at socio-religious ceremonies and rite of passage rituals such as solemnising a wedding with hymns and prayers. Theoretically the 'Brahmins' were the highest ranking of the four social classes. But in practice the Indian writings suggest that 'Brahmins' were agriculturalists, warriors, traders and have held and this priest caste considers blue color auspicious and they were mostly concentrated near fort and mostly locals will tell you this reason that the blue color being a good reflector of sunrays that keeps houses cool and is also asthetic. Because Jodhpur is among the cities receiving highest sunny days.

A third reason as mentioned in the points above also came out later, which claims that it was to repel the termites. Termites used to destroy the walls and structures made up of lime mixturea and copper sulphate is effective in repelling the insects. And copper sulphate under certain conditons turns blue, giving the houses their famous color and later it became a practice to color them blue.

Primary reasons for blue:
• Brahmins
• Heat cooling
• Termites

Gorgeous sunny city in India
As a photographer and traveler it is hard to ignore that in this city one can enjoy the bright and sunny weather all around the year. Now it is most commonly known for its sunny weather that is around the city all over the year it is called the 'Sun City' for a reason and the reason is that it enjoys sunny and bright weather all around the year, where the weather in the city is reasonably hot and it is one of the big reason why there are blue-colored houses exist there. It is also been stated as the 'Metropolitan city of Rajasthan' as its population crossed over 1 million and this gorgeous city has many attractive places to visit that one at once cannot visit all at once.

See this video about Jodhpur in India made by Curly Tales.

"- The bustling city of Jodhpur, also known as the 'Blue City', was a feast for my camera with its blue-washed buildings and bustling bazaars. One of my most unique experiences in India was photographing the many people in India something that bring photographers from all over the world to India. It was a chaotic and colorful and the vibrant atmosphere and endless photo opportunities made it all worth it. Jodhpur is unarguably one of the finest tourist destination places in India and you will be visiting a city so mesmerising that one just wants to visit again and again", the Photographer says.

Read also:  Sceneries in India

Sceneries in India

Read also:  Sceneries in India

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of blue houses in Jodhpur. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.