One of the ultimate perks of working with suppliers around the world, is the opportunity this creates to travel. Although we no longer have the freedom to travel with no agenda or time restrictions, it is still wonderful to get out and explore, when we are able to squeeze in the time to do so.
Over the years, we have been fortunate enough to visit a number of cities, towns and villages in India, and one of our personal favourites is the desert city of Jodhpur. There is something truly magical about the old town with its warm red sandstone fortress walls, intricate narrow streets and the looming, awesome presence of the Meharangah fort. There is a sense that things have not changed for hundreds of years.
As we ambled down a Jodhpur street, one that we had walked down many times before, it came as a surprise to us to see beautiful steps made from enormous pieces of stone that we had never noticed before. Our curiosity got the better of us, and as we wandered up the steps, we were bowled over by what we saw. A magnificent and incredible well, delving down into the depths. I can only describe it as a labyrinth of steps leading down, deeper and deeper.
We discovered that this beautiful well has been there literally for centuries, but until recently had been filled with all the rubbish from the City. As tourists, we had no idea that lying beneath all this rubbish lay something so mind blowing and wonderful.
We went on to learn that there are seven wells within the City, which date back to the 15th Century. Originally the only source of fresh water in Jodhpur, these wells were all built on natural springs, that somehow appeared from the arid landscape. The well that we discovered on our walk, has been painstakingly cleaned and sand blasted to reveal sculptured lion heads and other beautiful stone carvings. As the water level rises, the intricate planning in the design becomes apparent, and water pours from the mouths of the lions. It was clear that every detail had been thought of, and the impact of this beautiful place was very humbling.
The discovery was a reminder that even when you think you know a place there is always something amazing out there to explore, and perhaps, that there is nowhere quite like India.