The Blue city
The clock tower & Market
Jodhpur is famous for three main things mainly; it is called The Blue City, Sun City and for the eponymous, tight horse riding trousers.
The sun city, ok, it was sunny all the time we were here, and very hot. The blue city, well you can’t really see it when you are in the city, but if you climb to Mehrangah Fort, this becomes evident with a great view over the city and all the Brahmin blue houses. As for the Jodhpur trousers, we didn’t see anyone wearing these.
The clock tower is a good starting point, climb up with the guide, who has a wealth of information about Jodhpur, and you will get a good view over the market area and the imposing fort.
Everybody seems to be smiling here, which is fabulous when you buy fruit at the market – nothing worse than a miserable market trader …
We have been to many forts throughout India, but this must be up there as one of the best and biggest that we have seen and, as a bonus you get a great view over the city.
There are some pretty gruesome tales connected to the fort, such as the elephant spikes on one of the doors to stop attacks from armies using elephants, the Sati handprints of the former maharaja’s wives who threw themselves on his funeral pyre at his cremation. There is also a small plaque which commemorates the burying alive of a man when the fort was built – legends say that 5 men were buried alive here – nice!
The imposing fort looks like it rises out of the cliff face and was probably impregnable, given the thickness and the height of the defensive walls.
Inside the fort are some amazing rooms and exhibits, including a collection of royal baby cribs, elephant seats (howdahs) and palanquins (sedan chairs) along with historic art and sculptures.
Some not-to-be-missed palaces inside the fort are the Sheesh Mahal, The Moti Mahal, The Phool Mahal, Takhat Vilas Palace, the Kabkha Mahal and the queen’s palace – The Jankhi Mahal. The past opulence ecoing the richness and wealth of the past.
What to see
Jodhpur is a large city, the second biggest in Rajasthan, but it is strange, in as much as it feels like a small town. There are not as many things to do here as in other cities in Rajasthan, but it feels laid-back and relaxed.
We went in May and it was very hot and it is when you walk in the Rao Jhoda desert stone park, just a few hundred meters from Mehrangah fort, that you realise that you are bang in the middle of one of the dryest deserts on Earth.
There are a few step wells that are worth a visit as well as Jaswant Thada, which is also known as the Little Taj (probably only by locals) but is a beautifully carved white mable building.
Apart from the fabulous Mahrangah fort, there is the Udai mandir temple, just next to it surrounded by the arid, red desert of the Rao Jodha park – great for some dramatic photos.
Jodhpur is one of the traditional stops on The Golden Triangle of Rajasthan and rightly so, it is a great place to visit, but you may not want, nor need to stay for too long here.
We came here in May and it was not only very hot, but there was hardly a tourist in sight. Arriving from Bundi, it took about 5 hours by car to cover about 350 kilometers. Buses and trains take around 9 and 12 hours respectively.
Food and drink
According to our driver, the things to eat and drink in Jodhpur are the deliciously spicy Makhaniya Lassi (which he brought to us in a cool box after our visit to Mahrangah fort – Than you Raju!) and Mirchi Badhu (deep-fried whillies stuffed with potato curry).
We also had some fabulously flaky vegetable samosas, which are the best I have ever eaten.
We had a delicious Rajasthani Thali, an assortment of vegetables in sauces and curries with sharp salads and an assortment of breads.
There are also the usual Rajasthani suspects, such as Laal Maas and butter chicken.
The sweets here are incredibly sickly, but irresistable.
Visit Maharani Spices, just near the market, which has a mind-blowing selection of teas and spices on several floors – they also do export too, so you can order online, the things that you can’t carry in your luggage.
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