The Gateway to the golden sands of Thar, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with medieval tales in the emptiness of the desert. Over years, Jodhpur has earned many monikers, ‘Blue City’ owing to the iconic blue rooftops of the old buildings and houses and ‘golden city’ owing to its proximity to Thar. Its opulence combined with remnants of royal heritage make it among the most popular cities in India.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the heritage city of Jodhpur is from October to March. The period marks the winter months which is ideal for visitors to soak into the spirit of the city; go sightseeing and desert safaris. In January, the sky blanketing Jodhpur becomes a mix of colorful kites as the city celebrates the Desert Kite Festival with great enthusiasm and splendor.
Average annual temperature: 26°C
Summers in Jodhpur are harsh and extreme. May is the hottest month with temperatures touching a high of 40°C. Winters are mild and also mark the peak tourist season. The days are warm and sunny but the temperatures drop in the evening. January is the coldest month in Jodhpur with temperatures dropping as low as 7°C.
Places to Visit
From architectural marvels to scenic wonders, there is no dearth of place to visit in Jodhpur.
Forts and Monuments
(i) Towering over the city, Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur is a magnificent spectacle and an architectural masterpiece. Sprawled over a hilltop, this centuries-old fortress is among the largest in the country and the face of Jodhpur. It has seven main entrances called Pol that lead you to the many inside the fort- opulent palaces like Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Takhat Vilas and Phul Mahal. The palaces are adorned with well-crafted mirror work, intricate woodwork and ornamentation and glass panels, each reflecting the architectural prowess and splendor of the royals.
A section of the fort has been turned into a heritage museum housing several ancient artifacts. You may purchase some souvenirs from this museum as a memory from your trip.
Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
(ii) Built-in 1899 by Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, the Jaswant Thada is a white marble memorial perched on a hilltop above a lake. The cenotaph has some beautifully carved marble lattice screens and portraits of Rathore rulers dating back to the 13th century.
Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
(iii) Built in the 17th century, the Raja Ka Bag Palace in Jodhpur is another noted ancient monument. The palace was frequented by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj, who gave sermons to a crowd of locals as well as the king.
Parks and Gardens
(i) The sprawling Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park in Jodhpur is a model of ecotourism. The park is intertwined with walking trails, flanked by many native and rare floral species. The trails lead up to the Devkund Lake which is a hotspot for native birds and butterflies and reptiles.
(ii) Located 20 minutes from the main city is Mandore, the ancient capital of Rajasthan/Marwar. Today, the Mandore Garden is a popular site of attraction and a heritage spot. The lush garden complete with rock terraces have a variety of dark-red cenotaphs of Jodhpur’s rulers, exuding a nostalgic charm.
(iii) Home to diverse wildlife like blue bull, wild cat and deer, the Machiya Safari Park in Jodhpur is ideal for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. For bird lovers, there is an exclusive point inside the park to spot a variety of exotic birds flying overhead.
Balsamand Lake and Garden and Chokelao Bagh are other popular parks and gardens in Jodhpur for those seeking a quiet time in the lap of nature.
Lakes and Waterfalls
(i) Named after Maharaja Takhat Singh, the Takhat Sagar Lake in Jodhpur is a renowned natural attraction and must be on your itinerary.
(ii) Anciently serving as the hunting grounds of the Maharajas and royal members, the sprawling Kailana Lake is now heaven for nature enthusiasts and bird lovers, and is frequented by tourists and locals alike. You can enjoy boating here and soak in the sun while having a nice picnic.
What to Eat
The rich culture and heritage of Jodhpur is clearly reflected in its rich cuisine. Vegetarian delicacies enriched with many exotic spices and flavors are the primary dishes of Jodhpur. Dal Baati Churma is the most popular dish of the city. Raab, Lapsi, Baajre ka Sogra and Kabuli are other authentic and traditional Jodhpuri dishes. From street foods to high end fine dining restaurants, it finds a place in every menu.
- Indique Restaurant near Gulab Sagar
- Innings Restaurant near Kalpatru Shopping Centre
- Amaaya Restaurant in Sardarpura
- The Rockyard in Hukumraj Tower
- Hari Vedas in Sardarpura
Where to Shop
(i) Clock Tower Market: This vibrant market place near the landmark Clock Tower is famous for its variety of spices, hand-embroidered fabrics, handicrafts, antiques and flavored teas.
Do try the famous lassi served in the market.
(ii) Sojati Gate Market: A visit to Jodhpur is incomplete without a visit to this street market. It is lined with shops selling traditional Rajasthani handicrafts, jewellery and tie and dye fabrics.
(iii) Nai Sarak Bazaar: Visit this market shop for traditional bandhej and dye fabrics- suit pieces, Jodhpuri coats and turbans with intricate patterns and bright colors.
(iv) Mochi Bazaar: This market is famous for Jodhpuri juttis and junk jewellery.
Experience the Rich Culture of Rajasthan in the Blue City
Despite its dominant royal history, over the years Jodhpur has managed to strike the perfect balance between traditions and progress. Its rich heritage and cultural wealth are evidenced in the vibrant festivals and fairs held in the city. Folk dance and music, puppet shows and the indigenous cuisine form an integral part of these festivities, thus, carrying forward and maintaining the city’s cultural legacy.
OYO makes it easier to tick some places off your travel bucket list
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