Jodhpur is a city where Brahmin-blue houses stand cheek-by-jowl with 21st century architecture.
The Blue City is literally Blue! It’s filled with glittering, winding, medieval streets, which do not lead you where you expect to go. The scent of roses and incense hangs in the air, with bazaars selling everything from bangles to saris to temple decorations to trumpets.
Most tourists visit Jodhpur to take in its imposing forts and picturesque lakes. But whether you’re here to shop, stare, or soak in the atmosphere, you won’t leave Jodhpur without the city having made an impression on you.
The mighty and wondrous Mehrangarh Fort tops our list. Use Trabug’s audio tour and spend the rest of your day exploring one of the largest forts in India. The sprawling complex includes many royal apartments, charming rooms, and delightful balconies, but one of these is special. Take a peep inside Phool Mahal – the Palace of Flowers. It is believed that this was a room dedicated solely to the pleasure of the Maharajas – where they watched dancing girls perform, enjoyed the rich art of their paintings, and had a royally good time.
For adventurous tourists, the Flying Fox activity is a must. A zipline tour that sends you flying around Mehrangarh Fort’s moats and ramparts, the Flying Fox attracts customers from all walks of life, including, it seems, Boris Johnson, London’s erstwhile mayor and current British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
A visit to the royal city of Jodhpur is incomplete without experiencing its opulence! If you have money to burn, stay at the Umaid Bhawan Palace – one wing of which is now an über-luxurious hotel run by the Taj Group.
In the other part of the palace, there is a museum. Don’t miss the crockery and other personal items used by the royal family, all of which are on display. The automobile gallery that showcases the royals’ enviable collection of vintage cars is another must-see.
Situated close to the Mehrangarh Fort is the wonderfully-carved memorial of Maharaja Jaswant Singh. The memorial dates back to the 19th century and is from thin sheets of marble that reflect sunlight and throw a golden light upon the statue. A daytime must-see!
The Balsamand Lake, situated 5 km from Jodhpur, is a popular picnic spot. It was built in 1159 AD as a water reservoir to serve the nearby town of Mandore. The Takhat Sagar Lake, located near the Siddhnath Shiv Temple, is another site worth visiting. The temple is one of the oldest in the city.
Mandore, the erstwhile capital of the Marwar Region, is home to cenotaphs, ancient temples, and many other monuments. Take a stroll around the garden and take in the distinctive architecture of a bygone era. You’ll need to climb a small hill to get to the old palace, but it’s well worth the effort.
The sumptous mawa kachori, an Indian sweet, is believed to have originated from Jaipur. Janta Sweet Home is the best place in town to sample it.
If your tastes run to the savoury, try the kachori with some onion stuffing instead.
If your budget is a bit more limited, dine at the nearby Hanwant Mahal. You can opt to dine out on the terrace of the hotel facing the Umaid Bhavan under the moonlight. For honeymooners, there’s no better place to enjoy a romantic dinner. You can also dine in at one of the many different rooms of the Mahal, all of which have stunning interiors.
Stroll through the bazaar to pick up some colourful Rajasthani dresses and bangles. Traditional Rajasthani attire is in stark contrast with the arid landscape, and tends to be riotously, joyously colourful.
One of the oldest markets in the city, Ghanta Ghar is known for its beautiful architecture. Shop for crystal bangles, miniature camels and elephants, clay articles, marble inlay work and classic gold and silver jewellery.
A photographer’s delight, the Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park showcases the rocky and sere Thar Desert. The various plants that have adapted to the harsh desert life of Rajasthan are particularly noteworthy.
Stay overnight at this camp in tents that are well-equipped with all modern amenities and take in the majesty of the sand dunes.
This temple is a massive complex that is supported by 102 pillars and adorned with pictures of Nath Yogis, that are constructed in gold. A stunning showcase of architecture from a bygone era.
Jodhpur’s domestic airport is only 5 kilometres away from the city centre. It’s well-connected to the various metros. Jodhpur also has rail connections to many major cities in India.
To really experience the beauty of Rajasthan, you should hire a cab and travel by road. With an excellent highway network, Rajasthan is a driving enthusiast’s dream come true. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of water, and a well-serviced car.
The period from October to February is the best time to visit Jodhpur, as it coincides with India’s festive season, and is also when North India’s climate is at its mildest. Come experience the magic of Rajasthan, and make some memories that will last a lifetime.