Jodhpur aka the famed Blue City of India at the edge of the Thar desert is interweaved with steeped history, magnificent forts, characteristic sapphire houses, fascinating stories, sinfully delicious cuisine and a labyrinth of alleyways peppered with a myriad of colors.
After drooling over the glorious pictures of the famed BLUE City countless times on television and on glossy magazines, we planned a quick escape to the city. We landed in Jaipur on a fine September morning and drove down to Jodhpur for a weekend escapade.
From Jaipur it took us around 6 hours to reach Jodhpur, we drove past the roadside dhabas, tiny villages, and Bedouin camps. The one thing that was common throughout our journey was the vivacity of colors scattered all around. Since we were there only for two days, we pulled ourselves from our cozy room and quickly succumbed to the cliched touristy itinerary that Jodhpur has to offer. From the handsome Mehrangarh fort to the utterly gorgeous Umaid Bhawan Palace and from kachori to lassi, we savored everything that Jodhpur had to offer.
We’ve shared our list of things to do in Jodhpur
– Drool over Architecture Marvels –
Rudyard Kipling called it “ the work of giants” and we completely agree with him on that. No guide on Jodhpur is complete without a mention of the spectacular Mehrangarh Fort. Standing tall on an outcrop overlooking the entire city — it is one of the largest forts in India which was never conquered. The Fort was built by Rao Jodha and offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the famed Blue city of Jodhpur. The fort is one of a kind and is magnificent.
Make sure you have at least 2-3 hours on hand to visit each and every section. The escalator near the entrance at the price of 40 INR takes you straight to the 12th floor that offers sweeping vistas to soak in. Start from there and go down visiting each and every corner. Audio Guide is also a great way to keep yourself apprised of all the fascinating stories and history of each and every corner.
However, the walls of the fort are barricaded now and most of the places near the fort walls are closed for visitors in lieu of a recent accident that happened while taking selfies. But do not fret, you can still get your perfect shot of the characteristic blue city from a small window located behind the temple in the fort.
Sunday–Saturday: 9:00 hrs.–17:00 Hrs
( PS: Best time to visit is during sunset 😉 )
Close to Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada is the cremation ground of Marwar rulers. Built by Maharaja Sardar Singh of the Jodhpur State in 1899 in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The beautiful cenotaph is also known as the Taj Mahal of Marwar. The lake in the foreground and amidst manicured gardens, the white marble cenotaph is a work of art. Carved marble lattice screens chiseled to perfection, gazebos, exquisite latticework, portraits of erstwhile rulers adorned the walls.
Note: It can be visited on the way to Mehrangarh fort or while coming back from the Mehrangarh Fort.
Sunday – Saturday: 9:00 hrs–17:00 Hrs
INR 15 per person, INR 25 for Still Camera
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Another beautiful architectural marvel is the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. The palace has been named after King Umaid Singh who built the palace to provide employment to farmers during a three-year famine. A part of the palace is the current residence of the former royal family of Jodhpur and another part of it is managed by the Taj group and serves as their famous Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel. Umaid Bhawan Palace is built with sandstone and marble and is set amidst beautifully manicured gardens and happens to be the sixth-largest private residences in the world. We bet you didn’t know about this.
The Palace also has a museum which is open to the public. The museum is dedicated to the history of the palace and has some great pictures of the palace. There is also a display of antique clocks in the museum. You can easily spend two to three hours in the museum if you are a history buff.
Sunday–Saturday: 10:00 hrs.–16:30 Hrs
INR 30/- per person
– Hunt Down the Blue Houses –
The city looks blue from the Mehrangarh fort but it is quite a tedious task to hunt down the blue houses. We’d suggest you to ask the locals to guide you, most of the houses are usually near the Clocktower. Better hire a tuk-tuk and start your search for the blue houses if you are keen to photograph for your Instagram feed. Mostly the tuk-tuk would charge you between 50 to 100 bucks and is easier that way. The alleyways are quite narrow.
– Shop Till You Drop –
Delve deep into the markets crammed around the Clock Tower and you will see shops brimming with colorful clothes, dupatta, saree, silver jewelry, bags, filigree & Gota work, jutti, and bangles. Haggle and shop till you drop, this is the perfect place to get some authentic Rajasthani artifacts.
– Get lost in the old city –
Ditch everything and get lost marveling at the old city and explore the narrow alleys of the old town. You will be fascinated to see houses older than 100 years with archway entrances, fascinating doors, and windows.
– Binge on Food –
Rajasthan is an epicurean fantasy. The food is sinfully delicious and laden with pure desi ghee. When in Rajasthan give a break to your diet regime and savor the rich Rajasthani cuisines and succulent dessert.
Samosa, Daal Bhaati Choorma, Mirchi Vada, Ghewar, Lal Mass are some of the must-try dishes.
Must-Visit Restaurants :
Must Try: Mirchi Vada ( big green chilies stuffed with potatoes and spices coated with gram flour ), Mawa Kachori ( must try dessert ), Samosa
Where: Janta Sweet Home
Must Try : Malai Lassi
Where: Misrilal Hotel near the clock tower
– Desert Safari –
Osian and Khimsar are great places to get lost in a sea of sand. Osian used to be a major trading center on the silk route from 8th to 12th century AD. Explore the many Jain and Hindu temples in Osian. Spend a night in the company of your loved ones amidst the Thar desert in a Resort Camp.
A perfect place to break your journey if you are traveling to Jaisalmer.
– Village Safari –
An interesting way to learn about the local culture and mingle with the locals is by opting for village safaris. From a proper village safari like visiting the village of Khejarli or opting for a very specific wildlife safari where you can spot blackbucks, the choice is completely yours. The tours are a great way to get an insight of the Rajasthani culture.
– Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park –
A huge park adjoining the Mehrangarh fort spread across 72 hectares is a perfect place to capture the fort against a blue backdrop. The park has four trails that can be explored on foot. There is also a zip-line attraction but you have to pay for it and is not covered under the entry fee for the fort. The park is famous for the volcanic rocks and sandstone formation which were formed millions of years ago.
– Be Adventurous –
If you have more days on hand, then don’t miss visiting the places mentioned below:
Jaswant Sagar Dam
Guda Bishnoi Village
Sardar Samand Lake.
– WHERE TO STAY –
We stayed at Pratap Niwas Heritage resort. You can check for hotels near the city center or near Mehrangarh Fort. There is no dearth of hotels in Jodhpur.
– GETTING THERE –
- Jodhpur is well connected by flight, buses, and trains from all major cities in India.
If you have your own Jodhpur must do’s to add to this list… Share them below in the comment box!
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