Jodhpur, India

Friday, April 19, 1929

Did very little of anything all day. About six, Narpat Singh sent one of his cars for us with a chauffeur and footman. We were taken for a twenty-five- or thirty-mile ride completely encircling the city at some distance. There was something very fascinating about this rocky, barren country. Very hilly and the only living things were scrubby thorn bushes, dwarf trees, and cactus. Wild boars roamed about waiting to meet their maker when the Maharaja had a pig-sticking party, the favorite sport at Jodhpur. We saw dozens of deer, large and small. Our route lay past pretty little lakes, past countless ruins of temples, finally entering a city gate and winding up to the large marble cenotaph of the grandfather of the present Maharaja, where he was cremated. The building overlooks Jodhpur. It is very richly carved and very graceful. This man was loved by the people as is the present ruler. I’ll have to hand it to His Highness. Because the people are poor, the taxes are small. He has built all of the fine roads about Jodhpur at his own expense.

Planting is done in the winter after the monsoon in August and September. The whole character of the country changes immediately with the first rains. People are all busy then instead of taking life easy as they do through the summer months. One can hardly blame them. Today was a typical early summer day. It was probably 112° in the shade and nearly 140° in the sun. Jaipur was 119° in the shade. Our friend the Englishman tells us it gets up to 205° in the sun about noon. I doubt this, but it is easy to believe it gets as hot as 150° or 160°. It is a dry heat  though and you don’t notice it so much. [As of 2010, the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 136° in Libya. The record for Pakistan is 128.7° at Mohenjo-daro, Sindh on May 26, 2010. Of course, it felt hotter. . .]

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