What to do in Jodhpur, the Blue city?
Surrounded by a massive fortress wall with bastions, the striking blue city in Jodhpur contrasts nicely with the brown-red fort stones. Exploring the palaces, forts and temples will keep you busy and marvel at the historic buildings of the city. Bazaars offer an array of beautiful textiles, embroidered leather goods, antiques, carpets, and dolls. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination and a convenient base for travel in the region. Our favorite places to visit were:
Mehrangarh Fort and Museum:
Mehrangarh Fort stands 120 meters above the Jodhpur skyline. Polished red sandstone, imposing and with a strange beauty that draws your eye here. Much has been written about the Citadel of the Sun as it is truly one of the most impressive in all of Rajasthan. Its dimensions are so colossal that Rudyard Kipling called it "the work of giants". Today it is recognized as one of the best preserved forts in India.
This immense Fort can be visited daily from 09:00 am to 17:00 pm. If you are in the area, you cannot and should not skip this Fort. You look your eyes out. We bought tickets at the entrance, both for the Fort and the associated museum. Costs 600 INR for foreigners and 200 INR for Indians. On May 12, Jodhpur Foundation Day, admission is free for all.
Umaid Bhawan Palace:
Built between 1928 and 1943, Umaid Bhawan Palace is a magnificent piece of Rajasthan’s heritage, and a symbol of new Jodhpur. Home of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family and currently the world’s sixth-largest private residence, the palace has one thing in common with the iconic Taj Mahal at Agra—the palm court marble used in its construction. Perched on Chittar Hill, the highest point in Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan Palace inspires with exotic views of the historical Blue City, vast sand dunes, and intimidating Mehrangarh Fort.
Part of this Palace is still inhabited by the royal family, and the middle part is used as a very beautiful and luxurious hotel. Fortunately, the left part can be admired in its entirety as a palace and museum. Very impressive and you can clearly see that no expense has been spared to create something amazing. The surrounding garden is also beautifully maintained, and there is a unique private collection of historic cars to admire in the royal garage. Open from 10am to 4.30pm. Entrance is 100 INR for foreigners and 30 INR for Indians.
Beautiful memorial in marble often described as the “Taj Mahal of Marwar” was built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singhjill of Jodhpur by his son Maharaja Sardar Singhji completed in 1906 A.D. The main hall has been built like a temple where the ritual puja is performed. Open every day from 09:30 am to 17:00 pm. Entrance is 50 INR for foreigners and 30 INR for Indians. It is definitely worth a visit, both this memorial and the view over the city and the Fort are breathtaking.
Visit the Blue city:
Jodhpur gets its name as the "Blue City" because Rajasthan has become famous for its vibrant colored cities. For example, Jaipur is known as the Pink City, Udaipur, the White City, and Jaisalmer, the Golden City. Probably the best way to get a sense of the scale of Jodhpur's Blue City is to admire it from Mehrangarh Fort. This offers one of the best views of the blue city in Jodhpur due to its elevated position.
The majority of blue streets of Jodhpur are within the Old City, on the south-west edge of the fort. Once you arrive, the increasingly blue buildings immediately catch your eye. Surprisingly, these streets are very quiet and you will almost certainly have everything to yourself, apart of course from some cheerful Indians who would love to take a picture with you, selfie selfie! There is no particular street bluer than any other, so just wander around, explore and try to find hidden gems for yourself.
Rao Jodha desert rock park:
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park was established in 2006 to try to restore the natural ecology of a large rocky ground adjacent to the Fort. The park extends over 70 hectares of rocky land surrounding the fortress. You can enter the park from the visitor center located half a mile from the main fort gate. Here you will receive a clear explanation, and from here you can walk several of the most beautiful routes through the park, all with their own atmosphere and vegetation.
We really enjoyed visiting this park. First of all, it is wonderful to see how this piece of land has been transformed from a dried-out piece of land into a beautiful piece of nature with lots of flora and fauna. In addition, it is a wealth of tranquility, and you have a great view over the adjacent Fort. We thought this was one of the most beautiful pieces of nature in this part of India. Entrance is 100 INR, but you see that your money is well spent here on the beautiful nature, totally worth it.
Visit the Ghanta Ghar clocktower and bazaar:
The clock tower is a popular landmark in the old town. The lively Sardar Market is close to the tower and narrow alleys lead from here to a bazaar selling vegetables, spices, Indian sweets, textiles, silver and handicrafts. It is a great place to wander around in this typical Indian part between the hustle and bustle and liveliness. It is not very clean here, but that is also part of the real Indian street life. Note: here too, friendly Indians try to send you to cheap textile shops on 8 floors, but after some research it turns out that there are many lies in this story. So probably a scam. Again just follow your mind and feeling, then you will be fine :)