Jodhpur is the second largest city of Rajasthan in India. The foundation stone for the marvelous city, an epitome of rich cultural heritage was laid by Rao Jodha in the 15th century. Jodhpur is known as ‘Sun City’ for the warm bright weather it basks in throughout the year.
An aerial view of the old city of Jodhpur depicts a sprawling blue city which is the reason for Jodhpur to get the descriptor of ‘Blue City’.
The reason being the blue color keeps the house cool in scorching hot summers. It is also believed that the founder of the city Rao Jodha asked the Brahmin houses to be painted in blue which could be easily distinguished with other castes. Later on, as the descriptor became a symbol of the city everyone started to paint their houses blue.
Jodhpur has several remarkable architectural masterpieces which articulate the amazing history and past glory of the former capital of Marwar Kingdom. Come join us as we walk you through the must do things while in Jodhpur:
The magnificent fort of Mehrangarh perched on a hill outcrop commands a splendid view over the city of Jodhpur. The fort built in red stone houses several palaces which have some of the exceptionally intricate carvings of sandstone. The fort also houses a museum with a wide collection of palanquins, armors, paintings and other royal artifacts of historical importance.
At dusk, the fort is flooded with golden light which emanates its regal glow above the city of Jodhpur.
A visit to Mehrangarh fort is incomplete without experiencing the thrill of zip-lining. The swift glide rewards with a majestic view of the Mehrangarh fort and its ramparts and the stunning views of the old city of Jodhpur. The 6 separate ziplines have circuits that last up to 1.5 hours and operates throughout the year.
Close to Mehrangarh Fort is the wonderful 19th-century marble memorial of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II which emanates a tranquil aura. Jaswant Thada also known as ‘Taj Mahal of Marwar’ is a place for royal crematorium surrounded by a peaceful lake and also houses several cenotaphs of the royal family. The marble used in the construction is of high quality with elegant carvings and glows with an orange glow when the sun rays fall on the monument.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Umaid Bhawan Palace is the residence of the current King Gaj Singh and his family. The palace houses a museum which is open to the public and a major section is turned into a hotel managed by the Taj group. There is also a museum with an amazing exhibit of classic vintage cars which is definitely not to be missed. The museum displays several artifacts of historical importance like ornate clocks, elegant perfume bottles, impressive crockery and cutlery and photographs of the royal family.
Situated 9km north of the centre of Jodhpur, Mandore was the capital of Marwar prior to Jodhpur. The Mandore garden houses some of the remarkable royal cenotaphs in Rajasthan. The cenotaphs showcase a wonderful blend of Buddhist and Jain architectural features.
The garden home to frolicking langurs and hawkers also has ruins of the Mandore fort, a Hall of Heroes dedicated to Rajput folk heroes and a temple to 33 crore Hindu gods.
Old city Jodhpur
The old city of Jodhpur is a labyrinth of narrow alleys winding around the iconic age-old houses or mansion washed with blue. Women wearing striking bright colored skirts embellished with embroidery work and veiled face and men wearing sober or white colored dhoti kurta and a multicolored turban portrays the real Jodhpuri culture. The guest house we stayed during our trip the Blue House was a 490-year-old family house located in the bustling old city of Jodhpur.
Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower)
Ghanta Ghar was constructed by the Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur and dominates the market area named after his name. The working clock and the imposing tower is beautifully illuminated with colors after dusk. Clock Tower is a landmark popular for the local restaurants to try some lip-smacking local delicacies and to shop to the heart content for some of the exquisite handicrafts and fabrics.
Indulge in Local cuisines
One of the best ways to experience the Marwari culture is to indulge in savoring the delicious traditional delicacies of Jodhpur. From Chaats to desserts and appetizing snacks Jodhpur offers with a wide range of delectable savories.
The bustling traditional market is an ideal place to satiate the fascinations of shopaholics. The vivid colors of the traditional garments, sarees, and shoes, the sweet wafting fragrance of the local spices and an assortment of bric-a-brac will spoil one for the choices offered. The prominent ones are the Tripolia Bazaar if you are looking for handicrafts and textiles and Sardar Market for spices and souvenirs.
Bishnoi Village Safari
Hop onto a Bishnoi Village Safari if you are looking for an authentic experience of cultural aspects of rural Rajasthan. The unique tour will take through different communities like potters, weavers and provide an insight into their lifestyle and heritage. One can also some of the exotic wild animals in the Guda Bishnoi Village.
Best time to visit Jodhpur is from October to February in the winter season when the heat of the sun is at its lowest point. Do plan to visit Jodhpur during the Marwar festival held between September and October every year and the Kite flying festival held in January and experience the delightful colors of Marwari festivals. Check out this photoessay of Jodhpur.
Have you been to Jodhpur to experience its cultural heritage? Do share your favorite things to do in comments.