Jodhpur, also known as the “Blue City” is an eye candy in the middle of the Thar Desert. The city’s blue old town is quite popular among photographers and visitors.
When the city was founded by Roa Jodha, who was the ruler of the Rathore Dynasty, in 1459, it was called Marwar, meaning the city of death. Today it is hard to see where that inspiration came from as Jodhpur is bustling with life and color.
In this blog, we will guide you through the top things to do in Jodhpur and share some useful tips on how to plan your visit to Jodphur.
GOOD TO KNOW
How much time should I spare for visiting Jodphur?
If you don’t have a lot of time and want to be efficient with your time, then setting aside one day should be enough to visit Jodhpur. But if you wish to do more aside from wandering around the shops and taking photos, then consider allocating two days.
Every year in October is the Marwar Festival in Jodhpur, where music and dance performances commemorate the Rajasthan heroes. Just keep in mind that your trip might coincide with a festival or celebration.
If you’re planning to do the Golden Triangle
A tour circuit called the “Golden Triangle” includes cities most preferred by the tourists: the capital Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The cities make a triangle on the map. Jaipur is the capital of the Rajasthan province, so it’s easy to add on Jodhpur if making this route.
HOW TO PLAN YOUR TRIP TO INDIA
– Our Life in India Guide (General information about the country: what kind of place is it for travelers, religion, caste system, misconceptions about cleanliness and everything you need to know before you go)
– Our India Travel Guide (budget, route, alerts, as well as suggestions and preparation tips before you go)
PLACES TO SEE: A JODHPUR ITINERARY
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If you have only 1 day: Better prioritize the blue streets, Mihrangarh Castle and Tunwarji Ka Jhalra. Also it is really worth going to the Maharani Art Exporters if you want to do some shopping.
The Best of Things To Do in Jodhpur: Old Town Center Covered in Blue
Everything on the streets in the center of the old town is covered in blue. Why, you may ask? Different opinions are floating about, but take it from us Turks: the general view in the Aegean is that blue window frames prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.
Another point of view is that in the past, the Hindu priests who were former members of higher castes painted their homes blue to differentiate them from people in other castes. In time, everyone began painting their houses blue. Even though we might not know the exact reason, the blueness of the city makes it truly unique and the colors really come alive at sunset.
We suggest you read about Religion in India and What Hinduism is here.
This is the most important building in the city and, at the same time, it allows you to have the best view of the blue. We took this article’s main photo from the castle 😉 We advise you to plan for Mehrangarh Castle as the last stop of the day of things to do in Jodhpur, as the colors are much better in the evening hours. (Desert colors are dimmed a bit in sunlight.)
The castle, which is 125 meters high, has become a symbol of the city. It’s also one of India’s biggest castles. Although it looks like it’s made of wood, everything aside from its shutters are made of stone. A fun tidbit: A scene from “The Black Knight Rises” was shot here.
The Gates of Mehrangarh
The castle’s construction began in 1459 during the reign of Rao Jodha. There are seven gates you’ll have to pass through before you can enter the castle. When you reach the fifth gate, you can see traces left by bullets.
The last gate is from the 15th century and has 15 handprints belonging to the wives of the maharaja. The reason behind these handmarks is a bit creepy, as they were left behind before the wives immolated themselves on the maharaja’s funeral pyre in a long-banned practice known as “sati.”
Since there have been several additions to the castle for centuries, there are small palaces that are connected to each other in the castle, and there are many courtyards that link them together. It’s quite a complex structure. One of the most exciting museums in India is the castle museum, which displays the thrones of the royal families that ruled Jodhpur.
Entrance fee: 600 Rupees with an audio guide, 400 Rupees for students. You’ll have to pay an extra 200 Rupees to take videos and 100 Rupees to take a photo. The castle is open every day between 9 am and 5 pm. Address: The Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, 342006. Website. Phone: +91 291 254 8790. Click here for the location.
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park
Just below the Mehrangarh Castle is a 72-hectare park that used to be drylands. The park isn’t very old and was established in 2006. It was opened to the public in 2011. Here, you’ll be able to see natural sandstone, which is the material mainly used to construct buildings in India.
At the park, you’ll also see a plant hospital where endemic plants are maintained, and you can walk around four routes with an audio guide. Open 7 am – 6:30 pm between April and September and 8 am – 5:30 pm from October to March. Entry is 200 Rupees. Renting a guide is 200 Rupees. Website. Tel: +43 1 521510. Click here for the location.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
This massive building was finished in 1929 through the work of 3,000 people, and it took 15 years to complete. A part of this palace was built in the name of Maharaja Umaid Singh, who died in 1947. Parts of the palace have been transformed into a luxury hotel and a small museum.
The interior of the hotel is designed in a beautiful art-deco style, but they do not allow visitors to enter the hotel as tourists, so remember that when including this on your list of things to do in Jodhpur.
Alternatively, if you come to eat at the hotel’s restaurant, then you’ll be able to check out the inside. Don’t miss out on the classic car collection lined up on the lawns in front of the king’s museum. Entry to the museum is 50 Rupees. Open between 9 am – 5 pm.
Jodhpur Clock Tower (Ghanta Ghar)
This clock tower is one of the most important symbols of the city. It’s located in the most crowded part of Jodhpur and is surrounded by markets. It’s at the intersection of the Nai Sarak and Sardar Bazaar, and was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh.
Address: Nai Sarak, Ghantaghar Market, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Click here for the location.
Historical Sardar Market
Located right next to the Clock Tower, here you’ll be able to find plenty of things to do in Jodhpur, from buying spices to sampling street food, to checking out leather goods to purchasing jewelry made from silver as well as local handicrafts. Don’t forget to bargain with sellers! Consider it as part of the market experience.
This ornate monumental tomb made of white marble is a perfect contrast to the castle in the foreground. It was built in 1899 by Maharaja Sardar Singh in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh. It is still in use for cremation by the royal family. Entry is 30 Rupees, and it’s 25 Rupees to take pictures. Open from 9 am to 5 pm.
Address: Lawaran, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001. Click here for the location.
These are gardens full of temples located 9 kilometers north of Jodhpur. During the 6th century, when the Gurjara-Pratiharas Dynasty was in power, Mandore was the capital of a region called Marwar. Later, King Rao of the Rathore Dynasty moved the capital to Jodhpur.
Here, you’ll be able to find small temples, monuments, rock terraces and museums. If you don’t have a lot of time, it’s something you can leave off your itinerary, but it still makes for a more relaxing experience when it comes to things to do in Jodhpur. Click here for the location.
Tunwarji Ka Jhalra
You probably remember this a fascinating structure from popular Instagram posts. This step well was restored after it was being used as a landfill. The clean water that was added to the place now has fish, and there is a cafe here where you can sit and enjoy the scenery. It’s definitely one of the unexpected treasures and things to do in Jodhpur, and in India!
Address: Gulab Sagar, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001. Click here for the location.
SHOPPING IN JODHPUR
When you visit Jodhpur, there will be tons of places to shop such as the Sadar Bazaar, Sojati Gate, Station Street, Tripolia Market and Nai Sarak Street. You’ll be able to buy a variety of things such as handmade silk slippers, old furniture, silver jewelry and, of course, colorful silk Indian textiles.
If you’re interested in buying fabric, since it’s one of the popular things to do in Jodhpur, then we recommend Maharani Art Exporters. The man who owns the shop manufactures for the world’s most famous haute-couture brands. The prices are reasonable since they’re at the manufacturer’s price. I would have stayed there forever, but Bilgehan had to practically drag me out. Tambuju Bazaar, firstname.lastname@example.org, +91 291 265 3152.
WHAT TO EAT WHEN YOU VISIT JODHPUR
You might be hesitant to eat freely in India, and you would be wise to be so. However, you can (mostly) avoid getting sick as we did by being careful about what you eat. When it comes to things to do in Jodhpur, we have to talk about what and where to eat!
While you are here, we recommned you try to specialities of this region such as kadhi (chickpea flour curry), panchkuta (a dried bean stir-fry), gulab jamun (fried dough soaked in syrup) and namkeen (savory & sweet “chips”). You can find them in some of the restaurants below.
This is a rooftop restaurant located in the Pal Haveli Hotel, which was a mansion that dates back to the 18th century. The restaurant has a romantic atmosphere and a view of the castle, Umaid Bhawan and the Clock Tower. The menu is filled with choices from northern Indian cuisine, including tandoori, biryani, buttered chicken and rogan josh. Main courses cost between 85 and 200 Rupees. Open between 7 am – 11 pm.
Neem Tree Court – On The Rocks
This is a family-owned business that offers a refreshing environment. It’s famous for its tandoori and Mongolian dishes. There is also a bar where you can have a pre-dinner cocktail and enjoy music and snacks, which are fun things to do in Jodhpur, or anywhere really. Website. Address: Ajit Bhawan Near Circuit House, National Highway 65, Ajit Colony, Ajit Colony, Jodhpur. Tel: +91 291 251 2701. Click here for the location.
This restaurant’s specialty is its Thai-style meal presentations. Thali is the name given to the various dishes that come in a large, round tray. There are 29 options in the tray, and among them is balushahi, which is fried dough dessert kind of like a donut. Address: 689, First Floor, 9th C Road, Sardarpura, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342003. Website. Tel: +91 74120 74073. Click here for the location.
This restaurant is the perfect place to try Rajasthan cuisine while taking in a view of the castle. Jharokha is a rooftop restaurant located in Hotel Haveli. Both Indian wine and Spanish beer are served here. They offer both vegetarian and meat dishes from North Indian cuisine. Try the aloo shimla mirch, which is a potato and capsicum curry. The hotel is also famous for its pancakes. Website. Tel: +91 291 261 4615. Address: Toor Ji Ka Jhalra, Makrana Mohhala, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001. Click here for the location.
WHERE TO STAY IN JODHPUR
We would like to share with you the hotels we enjoyed for when you visit Jodhpur, but please remember that the service sector in India is still developing and there will be shortcomings. Also, you should know that winter in Jodhpur gets quite cold, and the best hotels don’t offer heating. So pack your clothes accordingly if you want to take in all the great things to do in Jodhpur the city has to offer. 🙂
The Ajit Bhawan Palace ($$)
This a modernly furnished hotel with a historic feel as it dates back to 1927. This is one of the most comfortable options you’ll be able to find when you visit Jodhpur. The airport is only five kilometers away, and you can arrange for a service to pick you up from the airport. There is a café, a bar and a restaurant that serves food from around the world. It is also has a spa and massage service. Click here for detailed information and to make a reservation.
Pal Haveli ($$)
This is one of the most beautiful places you can stay in while you’re in Jodhpur. We’ve also recommended the hotel’s restaurant in the above section. Mehrangarh Castle is only 600 meters away. Click here for detailed information and to make a reservation.
Suraj Haveli ($)
This hotel is located one kilometer away from Mehrangarh Castle, and it has a beautiful terrace with mountain views. The hotel itself is clean, and the staff is accommodating. You’ll also get a lot for the amount you pay. Click here for detailed information and to make a reservation.
WHERE IS JODHPUR?
Jodhpur is a city in Rajasthan province located in central India. It is the second-largest city in the province. Located in India’s northwest, it is southwest of New Delhi. Due to sunny weather and the stunningly blue homes, it’s often referred to as the “Blue City” or “Sun City.”
Jodhpur is located:
335 kilometers from Jaipur, or about 5 hours and 10 minutes by train,
574 kilometers from Agra, or about 10 hours and 50 minutes by train,
593 kilometers from New Delhi, or about 11 hours and 15 minutes by train,
984 kilometers from Mumbai, or about 16 hours and 40 minutes by train.
GETTING TO JODHPUR
Before ticking off things to do in Jodhpur, you might be hard-pressed to find direct international flights into the city. The most logical route is to fly into Delhi and then reach Jodhpur by train.
The Golden Triangle that we mentioned at the beginning of the article starts from Delhi and continues onto Agra and ends in Rajasthan. The Shatabdi Express connects Delhi with Agra and Jaipur, making it a favorite route.
The Ranthambore Express train takes 5 hours, 10 minutes from Jaipur to Jodhpur,
The Chetak Express takes 9 hours, 10 minutes from Delhi to Jodhpur,
The Express Train takes 10 hours, 25 minutes from Agra to Jodhpur,
and the Vivek Express train takes 16 hours and 15 minutes from Mumbai to Jodhpur.
An extra note: Tuk-tuks or rickshaws here are called “tempo.” Every journey offers a different experience. I can’t count the number of times I thought we were going to crash into something, but we never did. 😉
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Hope you enjoyed our list of things to do in Jodhpur. For our other city guides, you can check our India Travel Guide.