Things to do in Jodhpur

Things to do in Jodhpur

Surrounded by a 16th-century city wall that stretches for 10km, Jodhpur is a jumble of blue houses scattered along winding, medieval streets. In the center of it all is the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, towering over the entire city like an architectural marvel that has been transported straight from an episode of Game of Thrones. 

In this post, you will find our favorite things to do and plenty of tips for your trip to Jodhpur. We stayed 2 days in this magical city. 

How to get there

We got there by car from Jaisalmer which took around 4 hours. You can also get there by bus or train from Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Udaipur or Ajmer. There is also a domestic airport that has daily flights from Delhi.

Where to stay

We stayed at Krishna Prakash Heritage Haveli in the old city.  We recommend this Haveli; It’s an oasis of calm amongst the chaos outside and they have a panoramic rooftop bar that overlooks the fort. 

Blue City

Jodphur’s old city is a labyrinth of narrow, winding streets with blue houses. 
 
Legend says that the color blue is associated with Lord Shiva, who during the time of Samudra Manthan gulped down vicious poison called Halahala, in order to save the planet. This venom turned his body blue, and since then, his followers consider it to be a sacred color. Many of his followers who were settled in the region colored their houses in blue. 

Another belief is that the blue color is a determinant of social status. This story goes back centuries when the Hindu case system was considered to be the basis for determining social status. The Brahmin community painted their houses blue in order to differentiate themselves from the lower communities. 

Others believe that the blue color helps to keep termites away. Termites damaged many historic structures and buildings in the city. So, in order to keep their property safe from these unwelcoming pests, the residents painted their houses with blue paint. This paint is a mixture of copper sulfate and limestone that not only keeps bugs away but also imparts a soothing and calming effect. 

Some locals believe that the color blue is a good reflector of sun rays, so painting a house like this will keep their house cool in warmer months. 

We loved wandering around Jodhpur’s old city! 

Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh Fort dominates the skyline of the Blue City from its central position on a rugged cliff, where it seems to have sprouted up out of the rock. The fort is one of the most impressive and best-preserved forts in India. 

Rathore Rajput king Rao Jodha started building Mehrangarh Fort in 1459 when he established Jodphur as his new capital. Legend has it that the fort had a rather gruesome beginning, with the voluntary live burial of a man named Raja Ram Meghwal in it. This was carried out to lift a curse, which had been placed on the land by a hermit who Rao Jodha forced to leave. 

To ensure the prosperity of the fort, Rao Jodha called the powerful female warrior Karni Mata to lay the foundation stone and bless it. This is believed to have been successful because, unlike other Rajput forts that ended up abandoned, Mehrangarh Fort still remains in the hand of the royal family. 

Within the fort, are a museum and a series of palaces. The museum is stocked with an array of royal memorabilia, including around 15 000 items from Maharaja Gaj Singh ll’s personal collection. There are all kinds of weapons, arms, paintings, costumes, fine textiles, turbans, thrones, palanquins, howdahs, and baby cradles.

You can walk up to the fort from the old city (300m) or you can take a tuk-tuk. Mehrangarh Fort is open from 9 am – 5 pm daily and the entrance fee is 100 rupees for Indians and 600 for tourists. 

Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park

Just below the Mehrangarh Fort is a 72-hectare park that used to be drylands. The park isn’t very old and was established in 2006 and opened to the public in 2011. Here you can see natural sandstone, a plant hospital where endemic plants are maintained, and you can walk around four routes with an audio guide. From here you have some amazing views of Mehrangarh Fort. 

You can walk up to the park from Mehrangarh Fort or you can take a tuk-tuk. The park is open from 7 am – 6.30 pm from April to September and from 8 am-5.30 pm from October to March. The entrance fee is 200 rupees. 

Jaswant Thada

This milky white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Sing ll is an array of whimsical domes. It’s a welcome, peaceful spot after the busy city, and the views over the city are amazing. 

Built-in 1899, the cenotaph has some beautifully carved marble lattice screens and is hung with portraits of Rathore rulers going back to the 13th century.

You can get to Jaswant Thada on foot or you can take a tuk-tuk. Jaswant Thada is open from 9 am – 5 pm daily and the entrance fee is 10 rupees for Indians and 20 for tourists. 

Umaid Bhawan Palace 

This palace is 20% residence of Jodhpur royalty, 10% a museum, and 70% a 5* luxury hotel. You can visit the museum and learn about the palace and the royal family. The palace is designed by an English architect from London in 1928 and definitely worth a visit. 

You can get to Umaid Bhawan Palace by tuk-tuk. Umaid Bhawan Palace is open from 10 am – 4.30 pm daily and the entrance fee is 30 rupees for Indians and 100 for tourists.  

Clock Tower

The clock tower is a popular landmark in the old city. Around the clock tower is the Sardar Market. Here you can buy vegetables, spices, Indian sweets, textiles, silver, and handicrafts. We loved wandering around here.

We recommend you to eat an omelet at the Omelet Shop. We had the Masala Omelet which was one of the best tasting omelets we ever had.

Toorji Ka Jhalara 

This beautiful step-well in the old city has been rejuvenated after decades as a rubbish dump. Its clean lines and clear, fish-filled water will leave you mesmerized. It’s a nice place to just sit and watch. 

Around the stepwell, you can find some nice bars, restaurants, and shops. 

Have you ever been to Jodphur?

Let us know in the comment section below. 

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