JODHPUR, the second largest city of Rajasthan, also known as the BLUE CITY of India, was an important route due to its excellent location. Nowadays, this desert city welcomes tourists from all over the world, and it’s a must on everyone’s itinerary travelling to India.
After visiting Santorini Island in Greece, Sidi Bou Said town in Tunis, Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan, South Korea, where blue is the dominant colour, I wanted to add Jodhpur to my itinerary. I am so glad I did it so here you have 11 things to do in Jodhpur:
#1 GET LOST IN THE BLUE CITY
Why blue? Some locals are saying that blue keeps the mosquitos and termites away and decreases the temperature. Other locals are saying the houses were painted in blue by the Brahmins, the highest priest caste in India. Not the whole city is painted in blue, only the houses in Old Fort. Some of them have blue doors, blue roof or are painted blue.
Strolling the streets, looking for blue, feeling calm and peaceful away from the horns and taking photos is a must for everyone visiting Jodhpur.
#2 SPEND THE NIGHT UNDER THE SAME ROOF WITH THE ROYAL FAMILY
The ultimate in extravagance in Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan Royal Palace is the place where you can spend the night under the same roof with the royal family.
The Palace has two major wings: one wing for the hotel, owned by the Taj Hotel Group and one wing is home to the royal family. Maharaja Gaj Singh, the grandson of Maharaja Umaid Singh, lives here with his family. The hotel has 64 accommodations compromising of 25 rooms and 39 suites. TripAdvisor awarded Umaid Bhawan Royal Palace the World’s Best Hotel in the category of Traveller’s Choice. Although you are unlikely to bump into a royal member, the experience is unique and expensive at the same time: around 800USD per night!
In front of the Palace, there is a vintage car collection of the former King.
#3 EXPLORE THE MEHRANGARH FORT
Mehrangarh Fort, built in around 1459, is one of the most massive forts in India and is Jodhpur’s main landmark. Beautifully maintained, it is situated at 125 m above the city and offers gorgeous views over the old town. At sunset, this place is fantastic!
The entry fee includes an informative audio tour that provides a glimpse of the Marwar Royal lifestyle. You will need 2-3 hrs to cover the three levels of the Fort.
Before you leave, walk towards the back of the Mehrangarh Fort to get a beautiful view over the Blue City from the top.
#4 GO ZIPLINING!
Want to experience something else? If you fancy some adventure, try the Flying Fox Zipline. The circuit has six zip lines and takes around 90 minutes to complete. Zipping over the Fort fence and back is a great experience, not only for the young ones! For the best views across the Fort and the Old City, considering ziplining at sunset!
#5 JASWANT THADA
A visit to JASWANT THADA, an immense cenotaph about a kilometre from the Mehrangarh Fort, is a must when in Jodhpur. Maharaja Sardar Singh built this Palace in 1899 in memory of his father. What makes this place so spectacular: the entire Palace is made out of white marble and looks impressive in the sunlight.
#6 STAY IN A TRADITIONAL HOMESTAY AT THE FOOTHILLS OF MEHRANGARH FORT
There so many options when it comes to accommodation and you might feel lost. I encourage you to stay in the Old City, in a traditional homestay at the foothills of MEHRANGARH FORT.
We chose to stay at Raj Mandir Boutique Home Stay during our visit, a charming and cosy homestay, with gorgeous inside architecture, fantastic hosts, comfortable and quiet rooms. The location is excellent for day photos over the Blue City and night photos of Mehrangarh Fort from the rooftop restaurant.
#7 TRY THE THALI
Almost every hotel in Old City has a rooftop restaurant facing the Fort, so finding a place with a view should be easy. Try the famous Rajasthan Thali, and you won’t be disappointed! Thali is a meal served on a tray with rice, chapati or naan, prickles and six little dishes with different flavours: spicy, sweet, bitter, sour, astringent and salty.
#8 RIDE THE RICKSHAWS
In the Old City, you need to use rickshaws as the lanes are narrow and the cars can’t go in. Always negotiate with the drivers. They won’t know all the restaurants or homestays, but they will always ask a local for help. An old rickshaw driver picked us up from the Clock Tower, and he had no idea where to go. He asked and asked, but nobody seemed to help. So we took our phone, checked the google maps for the best route and told him where to turn left or right in his language until we reached the destination. It went perfect, and the old guy was ecstatic.
#9 SHOP AT CLOCK TOWER&SURROUNDING
The Clock Tower is the city’s landmark surrounded by the labyrinthine bazaars of Sardar Market: a dirty, chaotic but intrigued market. You can buy here everything from vegetables, fruits, spices, to Aladin pants, scarves, jewellery and wooden furniture or antique artefacts. Just make sure you negotiate tough.
#10 GO ON A CAMEL SAFARI
Camel Safari is another must when visiting Jodhpur. Hop on the camel,
and explore the golden sand dunes of the Thar desert. Finish the day by witnessing the sunset and enjoying a delicious dinner and a masala chai!
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#11 INTERACT WITH LOCALS
While wandering the streets of Jodhpur, interact with locals and observe the customs of their day to day life closely.
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