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:
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.
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.