With ancient architecture framing its magnificent landscape, Jodhpur has always managed to capture the imagination of travellers around the world. In the past, the Brahmins of the city used to live in blue coloured buildings, which is how Jodhpur earns its title as the Blue City of India.
One of the most visited cities in Rajasthan, its beauty appeals to the travellers so much that he/she would pine to come back here again and again. The people here are friendly, the food awesome, and the attractions lively and exciting, making Jodhpur a wholesome destination. The best time to visit this place would be nearing winter, where the temperature is cool enough to visit the historic attractions.
Things to do in Jodhpur
Explore the Meherangarh Fort
If you have seen The Dark Knight Rises, you probably remember the majestic Meherangarh Fort. The Jodhpur tour should always start with Meherangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India. From the top of the fort, you will be greeted with a spectacular view of plenty of blue houses that gave this city its nickname.
If you want to appreciate the attraction better, you can opt for an audio guide that will help you understand the history of the Rathore rulers as you walk around the fort. Looking to do something different? Just get to the top of the fort at 3:30 pm and watch the feeding of the kites and eagles. The entry fee for domestic and international tourists are INR 100 & INR 600 (including audio) respectively.
Marvel at the architectural beauty of Jaswant Thada
On your way back from Meherangarh Fort, you can visit the Jaswant Thada, which is a beautiful looking white marble structure built by Maharaja Jaswant Singh II in memory of his father. The intricate marble work is hard to miss, and the peaceful gardens that surround this cenotaph is a perfect place to relax your tired limbs.
There is a small lake in front of the cenotaph that adds to the surreal atmosphere of this attraction. The attraction opens at 9 am every day and entry fees are INR 30 for foreign nationals and INR 15 for Indians.
Empty your wallet at the Old City Markets
cc by 3.0 / Kiersten Chou
If you are looking for unhindered retail therapy, quickly head to the Old City, which is just a few km from Meherangarh Fort. It is interesting to note that many tourists prefer to live in this part Jodhpur as there are tons of budget hotels available for backpackers and budget travellers.
The Clock Tower is an iconic landmark here, and Sadar Market is located right next to this spot. The market is full of chaos, but you get everything here — saris, spices and handicrafts. The silk scarves and silk carpets are very popular with the tourists but don’t forget to bargain to get the best price!
Learn cooking at Spice Paradise
The Spice Paradise is a cooking school and spice emporium that is mainly run by a woman and supported by her husband. She regularly conducts Indian cooking classes, which are hugely popular with the foreign tourists. This is a great opportunity to gain a deep insight into the Indian culture. Reservations are necessary as classes fill up very quickly. Each class normally runs for around 3 – 4 hours.
Shop at Sambhali Boutique
Located in the heart of Jodhpur, the Sambhali Boutique offers clothes, accessories and handicraft items that are produced by underprivileged women of the Sambhali Trust. The most popular items are shoulder bags, block-printed curtains, and cotton elephants.
Feel the luxury of the Umaid Bhawan Palace
Near Sambhali Boutique and RAAS Jodhpur, there is a family-friendly hotel that deserves a special mention. Strategically located close to the Clock Tower and the market area, staying in this hotel will save you time to travel to the corners of Jodhpur. A part of the majestic Umaid Bhawan Palace is used as the Royal Residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur while the other part is a 5-star deluxe hotel (Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel) managed by the Taj Group.
The palace was built in the 1940s and has 300+ rooms. The tourists are only allowed to stay in the hotel and to visit the museum in the palace. The museum has an excellent collection of Royal artefacts, the Maharaja and interesting murals. If you do visit the museum, do not miss the vintage cars section as you can look at an impressive collection of rare cars of the world.
Do take note that you can’t enter the Palace to take a look if you are not staying in this property. Nevertheless, you can still enter the museum or dine in at one of its restaurants. The museum is open from 9:00 in the morning, and the entry fee is INR 50 for tourists and free for the hotel guests.
Feature image: CC by 3.0 / fabulousfabs