Jodhpur, the Blue City, has a history of tradition, culture, and legacy. Everything from the Mehrangarh Fort to the Umaid Palace have a glorious past and a tale of its own to tell. The historic city is also home to one of the most renowned establishments, which is older perhaps than the country itself. In early 1927, when it first opened, it was a simple sweet shop. Shri Mishrilal Hotel, which was established by Shri Mishri Lal Ji Arora with the authorization of the British Government, quickly rose to become one of the most renowned shops not only in Jodhpur or Rajasthan but soon across the globe.
Shri Mishrilal Hotel, located in Jodhpur’s Sardar Market Girdikot presently known as Ghantaghar, is a popular tourist destination. The shop’s offering of Rabdi, Ghee, Kachori, Kofta, and soda sharbat in various flavours, became the market leader in all types of local culinary traditions. What stood out particularly in the shop was a single item, one which fit in a glass: the Makhania lassi. Shri Radheyshyam, son of Shri Mishrilal invented the traditional Makhania Lassi recipe in 1960, which is a combination of highly compressed sweetened curd with cardamon, kewda, and milk a delicacy must try. The lassi gained such fame that it not only drew urban locals but also lured in numerous bloggers and food enthusiasts.
But that was before the pandemic: 2020 threw a curveball as businesses across the world shut down from the economic impact. Shri Mishrilal Hotel, however, supported their staff in such dire circumstances to keep the smooth flow of the shop up. Speaking to News18 the owner, Mr.Arora shares that “Not only did we get them all properly vaccinated, but we also paid them their whole salary even throughout the lockdown. Our staff had no problems with food or health because we took care of the majority of it.”
The pattern of the shop has also changed during the past year. “During the first lockdown, we kept the shop closed, but during the second lockdown, we were working online and delivering all of the items at home,” he says. The pandemic which also has halted tourism has affected business, especially in the city of Rajasthan. According to Mr. Arora “How can we expect any tourists at the hotel if there are no tourists in Jodhpur itself?”
While the business side survived, the nature of the shop too changed, especially when it came to the food served. “In order to keep all of our clients safe, we replaced all of our reusable utensils with disposable products.” Mr Arora tells News18. “We also did not let consumers in our common hall during the early stage of unlocking in order to maintain the distance that the government stated in order to keep our customers safe."
Before the lockdown, this landmark shop was always totally packed with city dwellers, foreigners, and tourists, and it was always a lively environment. Since pandemic, the pace of not only the businesses, but the country as a whole, has changed. From visiting the shop, regulars now stand outside, wait for their order. The bestseller in the hotel, however, remains unchanged.