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The Mehrangarh Fort in all its might

Jodhpur – Exploring the Blue City of India

People across the world associate Rajasthan with grandeur. Jaw dropping visuals of majestic palaces and forts make Rajasthan what it is. Each and every province in this huge state has its own unique culture, dialect, food and values. Exploring Jodhpur,
commonly known as ‘The Blue City of India’, will be my first post in my Rajasthan series.

Reaching Jodhpur

You can take a flight, bus or train to Jodhpur based on the location from where you would want to start your trip.

The nearest well-known cities from Jodhpur are Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Udaipur. I had commuted via train from Ahmedabad to Jodhpur. Buses and trains are available from Jaipur and Udaipur as well. If time is a constraint for you then flight is always an option from major cities.

Railway station names: Jodhpur Junction (JU) and Bhagat Ki Kothi (BGKT)
Note: Both these railway stations are at a distance of 5 km from each other within the city

Commute within Jodhpur

I prefer to explore the places I visit on foot but if you want to hire a transport means then you will easily get auto-rickshaws within Jodhpur.

blue city walk
Exploring the city on foot

Where to stay

If you are a tourist and would want to explore the city for its places to see, then I would suggest you stay at a walkable distance from Ghanta Ghar. All the heritage havelis, hotels and hostels are around Ghanta Ghar. I would suggest staying in an ancient haveli in order to experience the grandeur and royalty.

Suggestions (based on where my friends and I have stayed till now):
Krishna Prakash Heritage Haveli
Zostel
Kankariya Heritage

Food in Jodhpur

If you are in Jodhpur then you would definitely want to try out their Kabuli. It is a unique dish made with different layers of rice, dry fruits, toasted bread pieces, pomegranate seeds, apple slices and yoghurt. Among all the Kabulis, that I had in Jodhpur this place served the best. (near Ghanta Ghar auto stand).

Kabuli shop
Shri Vinayak Bhojanalay – best for their Kabuli

Other delicacies to try:
Malai roti
Gulab jamun ki sabzi
Makhaniya lassi

Restaurant suggestions:
Vijay restaurant (please try their sweets only – their Kabuli was bad)
Shri Mishrilal Hotel
Gopal rooftop restaurant
Note: Many of the havelis have their own rooftop restaurants with a view of the Mehrangarh fort.

fort night view
View of the fort at night from our stay’s rooftop restaurant

Exploring places to visit in Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort

Until I saw the Mehrangarh fort I had never seen such a magnificent fort. The fort is spread over an area of 5 km, and  is built on a 400 feet high hill. It was constructed initially in the 15th century by the Rajput ruler Rao Jodha but most of the structures that we see today were constructed by Maharaja Jaswant Singh in the 17th century.

fort full view
The majestic Mehrangarh fort

Different sections of the fort

Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Dipak Mahal, Jhanki Mahal, Takhat Vilas, Sardar Vilas

Reaching the fort

I had taken an uphill climb on foot from where I stayed which also took me through parts of places why Jodhpur is called as the blue city of India. If you can’t climb, then you can also take a cab to reach the fort which is 3 km from Ghanta Ghar by road.

Timing: 9 am – 5 pm (open on all days)
Ticket price: Indian visitor – Rs. 200 and international visitor – Rs. 600

Number of peopleCost (including GST)
1-4Rs. 500
5-15Rs. 600
16-30Rs. 800
31-60Rs. 100
Guide charges

Note:
– The human guides can speak Hindi, English, Spanish, German, French and Russian.
– Unless you hire a guide you might not be able to understand the fort in its depth which is essential for a tourist who comes to explore a place 😊 My personal recommendation would be to hire one.
– Electronic audio guides are also available at a lower cost of Rs. 180 per device

music in fort
Music within the fort premises

Shopping within the fort

There are 2 different types of shopping places while you exit the fort

  1. The one which looks more organised and upscale with items which look branded and have a price tag (expensive) – this comes first while exiting the fort.
  2. The other one looks like it has shops set up on the street but it is still inside the fort and very close to the expensive one.
    Note: Whatever you like in the 2nd place, please buy it because you would not get it anywhere else in the city at that price. I realised this only after I came out of the fort.
within the fort
Within the fort

Adventure activities

To get the best view of the fort and some adrenaline rush, ziplining is a must within the fort premises. Flying Fox, a well known zipline operator, has 6 ziplines within the premises and it is super safe. They have instructors that guide you throughout your zip tour.

Cost: Rs. 2000 per person (if you book in advance you get a 100 rupee discount)

Overall time required to be spent in the fort would be 3-4 hours (at the least)

flying fox zipline
Ziplining – adventure time 😀

Toorji ka Jhalra

It is just like any other stepwell that you will keep encountering in Rajasthan and Gujarat. After sunset they light hundreds of lamps in the stair cases of the stepwell and that adds to the beauty of it.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

The palace which was once only the residence of the Jodhpur royal family is now divided into 3 parts:
– The residence of the royal family
– A luxury hotel managed by the famous Taj Group of Hotels
– A museum focusing on the history of the royal family

Jodhpur city
View of Umaid Bhawan Palace from Mehrangarh fort

Jaswant Thada

It serves as the cremation ground for the royal Rajput family of Marwar. The cenotaph is built out of intricately carved marbles. It also has a garden and a lake.

Shopping in Jodhpur

  1. Clock Tower (or) Ghanta Ghar market – you get different types of red chillies, spices and hand embroidered items
  2. Mochi Bazaar – it is famous for sandals (jutties) and bangles
  3. Kapraa Bazaar – Leheriya is said to have its origin in Jodhpur and this market is specially for all types of leheriya patterned clothing. You will also get bandhani clothing here though the pattern is originally from Gujarat
  4. Tripolia Bazaar – you get clothes, handicrafts, silver jewellery, metal furniture, marble statues and more
  5. Sarafa Bazaar – if you love silver jewellery then this is the place to go 😊
  6. Umaid Bhawan Palace market –  it is home to some exquisite antiques. They sell brass, copperware, paintings, pottery, silver, classy furniture, textiles and more
  7. National Handloom – Female accessories, clothing, bags, toys and more
DiwaliLights
Streets of Jodhpur during the Diwali week

Two things to keep in mind while shopping in Jodhpur

  • Be very careful with your money wallet. During tourist seasons (especially around Diwali), you will find a lot of pickpockets who are waiting for a chance to grab your wallet and run.
  • Bargaining should work in all the markets except Umaid Bhawan Palace market and Jodhpur National Handloom.

Points to note:

If you would want to take a tour of the blue city of Jodhpur for its blue painted houses, make sure you don’t roam around such blue housed streets before sunrise or after sunset. Most of the households have ferocious guard dogs who aren’t friendly.

You can check for guided tours organized by your hotel in case you would want to take a tour of the blue city or if you would like to visit any nearby villages.

Exploring Jodhpur – the blue city of India can be finished in a day if you wish to skip 1 or 2 places but if you have time then take it slow, soak in the colors and enjoy the city 😊

doors in mehrangarh
One for my love for antique doors and intricate carvings with the one I love <3

Click here to read about my blog posts about places in Gujarat.

Aarthy Chinnaiya

Hola, you travel-prying soul! Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by! My name is Aarthy Chinnaiya, exploring new places, food and people gets me excited. I focus on budget travel and exploring places to the fullest in limited number of days (being a Software Engineer I don't get much leaves you see :P). Follow me for a constant dose of my travel stories, experiences, tips and much more.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Ashika Karanth

    After reading your blog, I experienced a virtual tour of Jodhpur, and now, I feel inspired to visit the city in person and savor its delights. Thank you for this!

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