You could be in one of the most luxurious properties in India and experience old-world Rajasthani hospitality. Or, you could stay in a guest house in one of the hap-hazardous lanes of the old town. Jodhpur sightseeing has enough to offer to both sets of travelers, the luxury-seeking-elites and the backpackers. It is amongst the 4 most-visited cities in Rajasthan besides Jaipur, Udaipur and Jaislamer.
Jodhpur, known as the Blue City of Rajasthan, offers visitors an enchanting array of places to explore. The bustling markets, ancient palaces, and majestic forts are just a few of the attractions that make Jodhpur a must-visit destination. One cannot miss the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the famous Jodhpur city view, where the blue houses that dot the landscape create a mesmerizing sight. Whether it’s wandering through the narrow lanes of the old town or marveling at the intricate architecture of Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur never fails to captivate its visitors.
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The Blue City of Rajasthan
One of my favourite cities in Rajasthan, Jodhpur is a must-do on any itinerary to Rajasthan. You will be awed with the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, enjoy the spicy local food, and experience friendly vibes. Jodhpur tourist places would certainly make your trip enjoyable.
The city, especially the old town is bustling and colourful. If you walk around on Nai Sadak – eye-popping yellows and oranges and reds can be seen in shops and on people. But if you head to Mehrangarh Fort and look down at the blue houses of the old town, you realize that the city deserves its sobriquet of ‘The Blue City’.
Jodhpur, the Blue City of Rajasthan, is definitely worth visiting. With its captivating architecture, vibrant culture, and rich history, there are plenty of interesting places to explore. From the majestic Mehrangarh Fort that offers breathtaking views of the city, to the colorful and bustling markets of the old city, there is something for everyone.
Visitors can also experience the royal heritage of Jodhpur by visiting the Umaid Bhawan Palace, one of the largest private residences in the world. Additionally, the city’s vibrant streets, adorned with blue-painted houses, create a unique and picturesque backdrop for photographers and adventurers alike. Whether it’s exploring the narrow lanes of the old city or indulging in the local cuisine, Jodhpur offers a captivating experience that should not be missed.
If you are an international visitor and this is your first trip to India, check out this post for great tips and suggestions on what to wear in India.
Places to visit in Jodhpur
Here are some of my recommended places to visit in Jodhpur in 2 days –
Mehrangarh Fort and Museum
One of the top attractions in Jodhpur, Rajasthan is the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, which offers breathtaking views of the Jaipur to Jodhpur distance and the city’s captivating blue hues.
There is arguably no Fort as majestic as this one. This massive structure, standing at 410 feet looms large, can be seen from practically anywhere in the old city.
Mehrangarh Fort was built around 1460 by Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur city. Still run by the Jodhpur royal family, it is packed with history and legend.
Do visit the well-stocked museum inside the Fort. Entry into the Fort is free, a ticket is needed only for the museum and is available at the main entrance itself. The museum has an extensive collection of royal palanquin collection. Another section displays textiles, paintings, and armoury. The museum also encompasses the Fort’s former palace – you can see the royal reception hall, the king’s bedchamber and the extensive zenana or women section.
Also worth exploring are the panoramic ramparts lined with artillery – the blue city spread below is a sight to behold from here. Just before the museum entrance is a restaurant, with decent food and drink options. Do wear sensible shoes while visiting the Fort – it is a steep walk from the main entrance to the interiors.
Besides Mehrangarh Fort, there are other places to visit in Jodhpur. Other must-visit Jodhpur tourist places include the serene Jaswant Thada, the Umaid Bhawan Palace with its opulent interiors and lush gardens, and the tranquil Mandore Gardens, home to ancient temples and cenotaphs.
An interesting place to see in Jodhpur is Jaswant Thada. This marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II is located about a kilometer away from the Mehrangarh Fort. It is a peaceful spot, especially in the early mornings.
I have attended a fascinating music performance at this venue – the dawn concert by the Grammy-winning flautist Wouter Kellerman with Carnatic vocalist Mahesh Vinayakram.
Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum
Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum in Jodhpur is a grand palace turned into a museum. And it offers visitors a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle and royal grandeur. A part of the palace has been set up as a museum opened to the public.
Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum is within the palace complex. It displays the antiques belonging to the maharajas and the royal family. The palace has a beautiful, green garden, and it’s open to visitors. You can enjoy the greenery, and photograph the fountains.
Toorji ka Jhalra
Meandering along the narrow alleys of the old town, I stumbled upon a large, seemingly upside-down structure with steps all around it and a pond with deep blue water in the middle.
Sets of seven steps go down – one set to the right and one to the left, descending to the next platform, and the next set of stairs starts to go down on each side. What I had stumbled upon was Toor Ji ki Baoli, or what locals in Jodhpur refer to as Jhalra – my first sight of a significant ancient stepwell.
What stunning architecture was my first thought? No locks or gate or visitor fees for a monument like this was my second thought. I went closer and found several local boys jumping in the pond with a loud yell and glee on their faces. That must be cooling!
Walking ahead from the step-well for about half a kilometer got me to the Clock Tower. This is an old city landmark surrounded by the vibrant sounds, sights, and smells of Sardar Market. Except for Sundays, the crowds can be quite chaotic, make sure you hold on to your kids in crowded spaces.
What to do in Jodhpur
Jodhpur is a treasure trove of fascinating places to visit and an abundance of things to do. Whether you are an adventurer seeking thrilling experiences or a history enthusiast looking to delve into the rich cultural heritage, Jodhpur has it all.
With its rich history, architectural wonders, and vibrant culture, Jodhpur truly offers an unforgettable experience for every traveler. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the myriad of things to do in Jodhpur.
Have a sundowner with a view of the majestic Mehrangarh Fort
There are several restaurants with claims to the best viewpoint of the Fort that defines this city. One of the best, in my opinion, is the rooftop at RAAS. Good cocktails, a wide variety of snacks to go with the drinks and a personal, close view of the Fort.
Another restaurant with a great view of the Fort is rooftop of Pal Bhavan. My husband and I went there for dinner. The breeze was quite chilly that evening, I was glad to be carrying a warm stole.
Try spicy local food
Stick to drinking bottled water to not fall sick, but live a little on the wild side and try local food in Jodhpur. I am from Rajasthan, and yet found some dishes fiery!
Ask any local and the one name that pops up for street food is Janta Sweet Home. I went there for a breakfast of pyaz kachori, jalebi and mirchi vada. My friend also tried the thick sweet lassi to wash it all down.
Another local restaurant that I found particularly good for local Rajasthani food is Jhankar Choti Haveli, near the Clock Tower. They served the best ker sangari I have eaten.
Shop for local stuff
Once you are done with Jodhpur sightseeing, you could shop for some local stuff. There is a row of shops on the main road near Ajit Bhawan that are worth looking at. Though some of the shops like Fab India, Anokhi and Amrapali have several stores across India, I found their collection at Jodhpur stores to be distinct with many local crafts on offer.
The shops inside Mehrangarh Fort have a large variety of non-precious jewelry, bags, stoles and shoes. It is nice to stroll through the Mehrangarh Museum Shop and see their quirky souvenirs.
You will find kitschy souvenirs and glass bangles all over the old town – around Clock Tower and in shops on Nai Sadak.
Where to stay in Jodhpur
The most luxurious stay in the city is undoubtedly Umaid Bhawan Palace. If you can afford the price tag, this is the place to stay in Jodhpur. Spread over 26 acres, this grand palace is one of the largest private residences in the world. Disclaimer: I haven’t stayed here as yet!
Taj Hari Mahal is a good option for good hospitality, beautiful gardens, good food and the Taj hospitality. If you are looking for a luxury option in the old town, look no further than RAAS Jodhpur – a lovely boutique property built in red sandstone, overlooked by Mehrangarh.
How to get to Jodhpur
Jodhpur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai and other cities in Rajasthan. You can take a flight from Delhi or Mumbai to reach Jodhpur. Or take a train. Delhi is located about 650 km from Jodhpur, and that distance can be covered via a long day road drive as well.
The distance from Jaipur to Jodhpur is about 330 km, that can be covered via a road trip or a train journey. Udaipur is only 250 km from Jodhpur and that is best covered via a road trip.
Within Jodhpur, you will find it easy to take a rickshaw. But they don’t generally use meters so try and negotiate the price beforehand. If you are a foreign tourist, be ready to pay a bit extra. Alternatively, you can hire a local cab to take you around in the city.
Check out these tour options in Jodhpur:
[This post was originally published in 2017, and later updated in 2023.]
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