Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan, India. It has several nicknames – the Gateway to Thar, as it is at the edge of the Thar Desert, Sun City because the sun shines brightly almost every day and the Blue City, as most of the buildings in the old city are painted blue.
It is also called Brahmpuri for the many Brahmins who live there. It was built in 1459 as the new capital of the state of Marwar, to replace the ancient capital of Mandore. The ruins of Mandore can be seen near Mandore Gardens.
Here are the 10 places not to be missed when in Jodhpur.
1. Visit Mehrangarh Fort
The 600-year-old Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India. It is now a museum and it offers stunning views of the city. The fort also offers sunset fine dining and a zip line.
2. Visit Jaswant Thada
Jaswant Thada is close to Mehrangarh Fort, built as a memorial in 1899 to Maharajah Jaswant Singh by his son.
It is located in a perfect place with a view of the lake on one side and the Mehrangarh fort and the city on the other.
3. Visit Umaid Bhawan Palace
Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the largest private residences in the world, and is still home to the royal family of Jodhpur.
Part of the palace is being run as a luxury hotel and another has been turned into a museum, showcasing how the palace was built and the Maharajah’s extensive collection of vintage cars. It is located about 10km outside the city.
4. Visit the blue houses
The blue houses of Jodhpur are Instagram famous. Jodhpur is also known as Blue City of India.
One of the theories behind the colour is that the Brahmin community painted their houses blue to differentiate themselves from the lower-caste residents.
Since that time blue has been linked to the Brahmins, and these buildings are sometimes referred to as Brahmin houses.
5. Spend time in Mandore Garden
Mandore garden is said to be the birthplace of Ravana’s wife Mandodari, and both are worshipped here. Its history goes back to the sixth century and it offers gardens, temples, many memorials to kings past and beautiful cave paintings.
6. Stop to see the Ghanta Ghar
Gantha Ghar dominates the market at the centre of Jodhpur so it is hard to miss. This architectural delight was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh between 1880 and 1911.
7. Enjoy a plate of Laal Maas
The best place to eat in Jodhpur is Indique, and its Laal Maas is a must to taste. It is a slow-cooked meat curry specific to the region of Jodhpur. When in Rajasthan, eating Laal Maas is a must.
8. Take the Bishnoi Village Tour
Bishnoi village is best known for the eco-friendly lifestyle of its inhabitants. The villagers love for nature is exemplary. The women in the village look after animals and plants with the same love and care they shower on their own children.
9. Take a day tour to the sand dunes
Combine a trip to the medieval trading post of Jaisalmer in the sand dunes of the Thar Desert with the Bishnoi village tour from Jodhpur. There are many dune-stays and desert camps there so travellers can spend a romantic night in the desert.
10. Indulge in some shopping
Jodhpur is a shoppers’ paradise. For souvenirs, the bazaar near Ghanta Ghar is the best place to be, offering display items, miniature dolls, leather journals, handmade intricate paintings and so on.
Amit and Anindita are Indian Travel bloggers who blog at Travel Like We Do. They talk about affordable travel in India and abroad. They are still travelling and capturing their moments.