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Jodhpur

  • (worth a trip)
  • 3-5 km
  • Easy
  • Average
  • 2-3 days
  • 3 3

The second largest city in Rajasthan and is also known as the Blue City

Jodhpur Rajasthan
Rajasthani local food is the show stopper no matter where you go in Rajasthan. Some of the must try dishes while in the city include 'daal baati churma', 'pyaj kachori', 'bajre ki roti', and 'garlic chutney'. If you prefer non-vegetarian delicacies, then you cannot miss relishing 'lal maans' (meat cooked in red chillies’ curry), 'khad khargosh' (wild hare cooked and roasted underground), and 'safed maans' (meat cooked in curd). If you have a sweet tooth, then enjoy a piece of 'dil kushal', 'ghewar', and 'Churma Ladoo'. Darbar located at Nai Sadak is quite famous for 'dal baati churma' and the 'shahi masala paneer curry'. Other popular restaurants include Kalinga, Mid Town, and Indique. Note: most hotels and guest houses have a rooftop restaurant with a great view of the fort.
For shopaholics and for those who want to take a memory of Jodhpur along with them, Jodhpur's Jodhpur pants are a must. These pants are considered as fashion status amongst the riches of the world. It is believed that the first pair of such pants was designed by Sir Pratap Singh, Jodhpur's legendary statesman, soldier and horseman, for his polo team, named the Jodhpur Lancers. During his tour of England in 1897 where he led his team, the pants caught the attention of the audiences and have been made famous since then.
Jodhpur suits budget as well as affluent travelers in a way that it houses sleeping options ranging from INR200 for budget to INR21000 for old mansion turned boutique hotel property. Likewise, the city has many dining options too. A regular meal at a not-so-fancy restaurant can cost anywhere between INR100-INR250. A cup of coffee at Café Sheesh Mahal or Café Coffee Day costs around INR80-1000, a glass of lassi costs about INR30 at Shri Mishrilal Hotel, and a beer at 18 Century Bar costs around INR 200. Jodhpur is also famous for Rajasthani handicrafts, apparels, antiques, and spices. MV Spices, the most famous spice shop in Jodhpur, charges around INR80-100 for a 100g bag of spice plus they also offer to email you recipes where you can use the spice(s) you buy.

With an approximate population of 1.29 million as on January 2015, Jodhpur is the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan, India. The city is often also known as the Blue City due to the blue walls of the majority of houses here. Rumor has it that long ago, when the caste system was highly prevalent in the country, Brahmins (India’ priestly caste) painted their house blue in order to appear different from the rest of the masses. Later, other non-Brahmins started doing the same and this is what led to the majority of houses being blue in color. The city is also known as the Sun City for it enjoys bright and shiny sunny days throughout the year. Lonely Planet listed Jodhpur as one of the most extraordinary cities in the world in 2014. The foundation of Jodhpur is accredited to Rao Jodha, a Rajput commander of the Rathore clan, who conquered the neighboring territories and named the city Marwar which later came to be known as Jodhpur. The location of Jodhpur with direct borders with Pakistan makes the city of utmost importance to the defense system of India. The city comprises bases of Indian Air Force, Indian Army, and Border Security Force. The air base of Jodhpur is the largest in Asia and is deployed with Advanced Light Helicopters such as Dhruv and advanced fighter jets Sukhoi Su-30 MKI.

 

Let’s now take a look at some of the most popular sights in the city of Jodhpur:

  1. Mehrangarh Fort (www.mehrangarh.org) – The popularity of Mehrangarh Fort is undoubtedly one of the primary reasons behind the popularity of the entire city. It is one of the biggest forts in the country. Situated 400 feet above the city of Jodhpur, the thick walls of the fort holds many palaces and attractions that are of utmost importance to the history of the fort and its residing city. You can still see some imprints of the cannon balls near the second gate, Dodh Kangra Pol, that the fort wall withstood. There are seven gates in total, of which, Jai Pol constructed by Maharaja Man Singh in 1808, to signify his win over Jaipur and Bikaner armies, is the main entrance to the fort. There is no entrance fee to the fort but if you also wish to visit the museum (which is a great idea), you should purchase the museum ticket from the counter near the gate. Tickets cost INR250-300. There is an extra fee of INR100 for camera and INR200 for video. You can take a guide for INR200. (You may be asked to deposit a credit/debit card, your passport, or INR2000 if you opt for the audio tour included with the museum ticket.) Loha Pol was the fort’s original entrance. A few steps from the gate are the palm imprints signifying sati, an ancient Hindu ritual according to which widows were supposed to throw themselves on their husbands’ funeral pyres. It was last followed in 1843 by the widows of Maharaja Man Singh. This section still attracts much attention of the visitors. The Mehrangarh Museum inside the Mehrangarh Fort is one of the well-kept museums in the entire state. It showcases antiques from the Rathore time period with dedicated exhibits of arms and ammunitions, costumes and apparels, manuscripts, paintings, and also the curved sword of Mughal Emperor, Akbar the great. The museum also has the finest collection of royal palanquins which were used by the Royal women. Museum is open from 09:00 A.M to 05:00 P.M. The National Geological Monument and the Chamunda Mataji Temple is also worth a visit. Mehrangarh Fort has featured in the popular Hollywood movie The Dark Knight Rises which was released to the public in June 2012.
  2. Umaid Bhawan Palace – Partially managed by Taj Group of Hotels, Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the largest private residences in the world. The construction of the palace began in 1929 and was completed in 1943, was it was named after Maharaja Umaid Singh. The palace by designed by the British architect Henry Lanchester. It was also known as the Chittar Palace because of the use of stones (also known as chittar) during its construction. The palace has approximately 365 rooms and still serves as the residence for the current royal incumbent, Gaj Singh II (popularly nicknamed as Baapji).Umaid Bhawan Palace is divided into three parts – the royal residence, a luxury hotel managed and operated by the Taj Hotels (www.tajhotels.com), and a museum which highlights the 20th century Jodhpur Royal Family. Entry for casual visitors is limited to the museum only. You can’t miss the extravagant display of the Maharaja’s finest vintage and cotemporary fleet of cars. It is believed that the palace was created to aid employment facilities to the needy during a severe famine.
  3. Jaswant Thada – Jaswant Thada is a white-marble memorial which was built to commemorate Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The memorial was built by the Maharaja’s son, Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur, in 1899. This architectural landmark sits above a small lake and is within a walking distance of Mehrangarh Fort. There are two more tombs, the royal crematorium, and three more cenotaphs within the mausoleum complex. Jaswant Thada is considered a brilliant example of Rajasthani architecture in India and the intricate marble jalis (lattice screens carved out of marble) are one of the most intriguing features of this famous attraction.
  4. Kaylana Lake – Located 8 km from the city of Jodhpur, Kaylana Lake, also known as Pratap Sagar to honor its creator, is a man-made lake which was created by Pratap Singh in 1872. Prior to the lake, the area was filled with palaces and gardens built by Bhim Singh and Takhat Singh, two rulers of Jodhpur. However, all of those were demolished to construct the lake. Expanding over 84 square km of land, the lake is the main source of water for the city of Jodhpur and neighboring towns and villages. The lake is surrounded by a beautiful garden. There are boating facilities available to the tourists.
  5. The Motorcycle Temple – Yes, you read it correct. As astonishing and stupid it may sound, it is a one-of-its-kind temple situated beside a main road which is 8 km from the south of Rohet village. Rohet Garh is approximately 40 km and a 45 minutes scenic drive from the city of Jodhpur. The actual name of the temple is Om Bana Temple but it is called ‘The Motorcycle Temple’ because of its main deity – a Royal Enfiled Bullet motorcycle adorned with garlands and offerings made by locals and visitors. The motorcycle is known as Bullet Baba. As per legends, a local villager named Om Bana died at the very sport when his bike collided with a tree. The bike was taken into custody by the cops for further investigation, however, it found its way back to the scene mysteriously when no one was watching. Later, locals and travellers started reporting visions of Om Bana and since then the spot has been made into a temple with Bullet Baba being worshipped and offered garlands and prayers.

 

Apart from these must-visit attractions in the city, there is one thing that you absolutely must participate in – a 45 minutes circuit of zip lines operated by Flying Fox (www.flyingfox.asia) which takes you back and forth over the walls, bastions, and the lakes surrounding Mehrangarh Fort. Prices start at INR1400 (kindly confirm with the website) and the session starts at 09:30 A.M to 11:30 A.M. and 02:30 A.M to 04:30 A.M. The sport is very popular so think of booking in advance. The company is highly known for its safety standards and the experience is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime event.

 

If you happen to plan your visit to the city in the months of September or October, look out for the Marwar Festival, which is celebrated in the city every year to commemorate the fallen heroes of the state. Celebrated during the full moon, the festival goes on for two days. The festival highlights the folk lives of the city and includes many song and dance performances depicting the royal lifestyles of the state’s past rulers and heroes. The main spots for the festival are Mehrangarh Fort  and Umaid Bhawan palace which are decorated as the common stage for all cultural events including camel tattoo show, puppet shows, horse riding, magic shows, and of course dance and music. For 2015, the festival will be celebrated on 26th and 27th of October.

 



How to get there

Jodhpur has its own domestic airport which connects the city to other major cities in India such as Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur and Udaipur. The nearest international airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. The city also has a railhead which connects it to other cities in the country such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bangalore via train. Additionally, there are many buses - AC, Non-AC, Volvo, and sleeper, running daily to and from nearby cities such as Agra, Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer, and other parts of Rajasthan. Jodhpur is known as the "Blue City" because of the large chunk of houses near Mehrangarh Fort which have blue painted walls. An aerial view of the area or a view from the top of Mehrangarh fort displays the play of different hues of blue which are used at different houses.

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