It had been a languorous weekend in Jodhpur. Most of it I spent at the World Sacred Spirit Festival listening to folk musicians performing at Mehrangarh Fort. The music was wonderful, but it was the vast, sandstone fortress that gave me goosebumps. Walking up its cobblestone paths, I paused often to survey the blue city skirting at its heels. But the best vantage point I had—and among the best things to do in Jodhpur—was from the zip-lining tour of Mehrangarh Fort.
Truthfully, zip-lining ranks pretty low on the adventure scale. Riders glide above the ground, albeit at gulp-inducing heights, attached to a cable by a carabiner and pulley. Sounds simple, and yet, I was pretty nervous when I stood at the take-off plank. The fort’s walls are 117 feet tall, and I would be 10 feet above the perimeter.
That said, it didn’t take long for me to loosen up and enjoy the views. Assured that my harness was secure and I wouldn’t plummet to the ground, I began to appreciate the breeze in my hair and just how badass I felt whizzing above a 16th-century fort like Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. I went through six lines, each of which gave me a different view.
Soaring over Ranisar Lake, I noticed the striking geometry of the staircases leading to its emerald waters. Another line gave me an eye-level view of the fort’s jali windows. Over Chokelao Bagh, one of the fort’s gardens, I whooshed past greenery and magenta flowers, a colour-combination I’d seen on Jodhpur’s famous leheriya saris. My favourite though, was the Chokelao Challenge, which snaked above a boundary wall. To my right stood Mehrangarh, blazing in the February sun, and to my left, Jodhpur extended like a pale, blue carpet.
Appeared in the June 2015 issue as “Bird’s-Eye View of Jodhpur”.
Zip-lining tours at Mehrangarh are organised by Flying Fox. The company also has facilities in Rishikesh, at the Kikkar Forest Lodge in Punjab, and at Neemrana Fort Palace near Alwar, Rajasthan (₹1,799 for six lines; open year-round except from mid-May to end-June; www.flyingfox.asia).
loves exploring food markets or better still, foraging for new kitchen ingredients. She hopes to have a farm near the mountains someday. She tweets and instagrams as @nehasumitran.
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