Jodhpur Guide

 

Once the former capital of Marwar, Jodhpur is one of the most enchanting cities in Rajasthan. The city is nicknamed the ‘Blue City’ as it looks completely blue from an aerial view because of the blue-painted walls of its ancient townhouses.

The city is home to many historic Indian monuments. The most famous of which is the Mehrangarh Fort, a 15th-century fort located on a cliff 400 feet above the city. Another is the Umaid Bhawan Palace which serves as the residence of the current royal family and also as a luxury heritage hotel.

Highlights

  • Jodhpur is the second-largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan.
  • The city is called the ‘Blue City’ due to the presence of many box-like blue houses that cover more than 10 kilometers of the city.
  • Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, one of the warrior rulers of the historical region of Rajputana.
  • The Mehrangarh Fort is Jodhpur’s best attraction, situated high above the city on a rugged cliff.
  • Aside from being one of the largest private residences in the world, Umaid Bhawan Palace is also a popular tourist attraction and a five-star heritage hotel.

Jodhpur: the Blue City of India

Jodhpur is the second-largest city in Rajasthan, situated just northwest of the Luni River on a tract of land covered with high sandy hills. The region is also sometimes referred to as ‘Marwar', meaning the region of death because of the area’s harsh desert conditions.

Jodhpur is also popularly called the ‘Blue City’ due to the presence of a sea of square blue-painted houses that cover more than 10 kilometers of the historic walled old city.

A blue pigment coating on a house used to indicate that it belonged to the Brahmins, which are one of the highest levels of the Indian caste system. Over time, the color became a symbol of Jodhpur’s identity for people of all castes.

Jodhpur also has other nicknames including the Gateway to the Thar as the north and northwest areas of the city form part of the Thar Desert and the Sun City due to the overwhelming amount of bright and sunny days it experiences.

History of Jodhpur

Jodhpur was founded by Rao Jodha, one of the warrior rulers of the historical region of Rajputana in 1459. It was believed that the Rajput clan he belonged to were the successors of Lord Rama. The city was previously known as Marwar and the name was changed to honor Rao Jodha.

The story of Jodhpur begins when the Rathores we uprooted from their homeland, Kaunaj, by the invading Afghans. They then fled to Pali, which is located close to present day Jodhpur. Rathore Siahaji then married the sister of a local prince. This helped the Rathores establish themselves in the region and create alliances.

Wanting to find a secure capital for themselves, the Rathores fought and ran the Pratiharasm people out of Mandore which is an area 9 kilometers away from present-day Jodhpur. By 1459, the capital of Jodhpur was established and grew into a flourishing modern city.

The city of Jodhpur prospered under the British Raj. Its merchants, the Marwaris, thrived and came to occupy a dominant position in trade throughout India. In 1947, after India gained independence, Jodhpur became the second-largest city in Rajasthan.

Jodhpur Weather and the Best Time to Visit

Jodhpur has a semi-arid climate.

The winter months in this city start in December and end in February. During this time, the temperatures average around 19°C (66°F) and range between 10°C (50°F) and 29°C (84°F).

The hottest months in this city are from April to June. The average temperature during this time is around 33°C (91°F) and can range from 23°C (73°F) to 41°C (106°F)..

Rainfall is heaviest in July and August. The total rainfall for the two months is 200 mm (7.9 inches) with around 15 rainfall days.

The average amount of sunshine throughout the year in Jodhpur is 8 hours per day.

The best time to visit Jodhpur is between October and January when the temperatures are cool and there is little rain. However, this is the peak season for tourism in Jodhpur which will result in higher travel expenses.

Top 5 Attractions in Jodhpur

Jodhpur is home to many historic monuments of ancient India. Here are some of the best attractions the city has to offer.

Activity Address Attractions Hours Entrance Fee
Mehrangarh Fort The Fort, Paota, Jodhpur, Rajasthan A Museum, Flower Palace, Pearl Palace, Nagnechiji Temple, Chamunda Mataji Temple 9 am to 5 pm 400 rupees
Umaid Bhawan Palace Circuit House Rd, Cantt Area, Jodhpur, Rajasthan A museum displaying a collection of the royal family’s possession and a five-star heritage hotel 9 am to 6 pm 100 rupees for museum entry
Jaswant Thada Lawaran, Jodhpur, Rajasthan Memorial site of the Rajput clan decorated with artwork and portraits of Rathore rulers 9 am to 6 pm 50 rupees
Mandore Gardens Mandore, Jodhpur, Rajasthan Cenotaphs, Hall of Heroes, and Mandore Garden Government Museum 9 am to 10 pm 50 rupees for museum entry
Ghanta Ghar Nai Sarak, Ghantaghar Market, Jodhpur, Rajasthan Clock tower and surrounding street markets selling vegetables, spices, Indian sweets, textiles, silver, and handicrafts 9 am to 8pm No entry fees

1. The Mehrangarh Fort

The Mehrangarh Fort is on top of the list of the must-visit places in Jodhpur. It stands magnificently at 400 feet above the city and is one of the largest forts in the country.

The fort was built in 1459 by the Rajput king, Rao Jodha, when he established Jodhpur as his new capital. The entrance of the fort is made up of seven gates which include the Victory Gate, Fateh Gate, Gopal Gate, Bhairon Gate, Dedh Kamgra Gate, Marti Gate, and Loha Gate.

Inside the fort, travelers can visit a series of palaces and a museum. The museum is the home to an array of royal memorabilia from Maharaja Gaj Singh II's collection including weapons, paintings, costumes, fine textiles, and baby cradles.

The Phool Mahal or Flower Palace was where dancing girls are believed to have entertained the royal men. Next to it is the Moti Mahal or Pearl Palace. It is the largest palace of the fort and was where Raja Sur Singh used to sit on his throne and meet visitors.

There are also two temples located inside the fort. Nagnechiji Temple is the royal family's temple while Chamunda Mataji Temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, who is widely worshiped in Jodhpur.

2. Umaid Bhawan Palace

The Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the largest private residences in the world and currently serves as the home of Jodhpur’s royal family. Aside from being a popular tourist attraction, part of the palace is also a gorgeous heritage hotel managed by Taj Hotels.

The construction of this palace began in 1929 and was completed in 1943. It is made from grand yellow sandstone and covers an area of over 26 acres. The palace also boasts a combination of Indian and European styles of architecture.

At present, the palace has 347 rooms and is divided into three parts. One part is the residence of the royal family, where the tourists are not allowed to enter.

The second part contains a museum that displays a collection of the royal family’s possessions including vintage clocks, old photographs of the palace, classic cars of the king, porcelain wares, murals, and miniature paintings.

The third part of the palace has been converted into a five-star hotel that offers the most exquisite services to its clientele and is one of the most popular hotels in Jodhpur. The hotel pampers its guests with lavish dining, spa and wellness services, and plenty of leisure activities.

3. Jaswant Thada

Jaswant Thada is a white marble monument that also serves as a mausoleum. The structure is also commonly known as the Taj Mahal of Mewar as the building has several domes that resemble that of the Taj Mahal.

The cenotaph inside Jaswant Thada serves as a memorial site of the Rajput clan and is hidden among lush green trees along the lakeside. Jaswant Thada was built in the 19th century by Maharaja Sardar Singh in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II the 33rd Rathore ruler of Jodhpur.

The architecture of Jaswant Thada is a blend of Rajput and Mughal styles. The whole structure is made from white marble so bright that the outer surface of the building emits a warm glow when it is hit by sunlight. The interior of Jaswant Thada is decorated with artwork and portraits of Rathore rulers.

Visitors can also explore the beautifully maintained garden located inside the monument. The garden contains some intricately carved gazebos and a pond, making it the best place to relax and enjoy some quiet time.

4. The Mandore Garden

The Mandore Garden is situated in the city of Mandore, located just 9 kilometers north of Jodhpur. This garden boasts wide green expanses, exquisite architecture, and royal cenotaphs.

The garden is a part of the massive Mehrangarh Fort and contains attractions such as the many cenotaphs located within its premises. The cenotaphs of the garden were built in the 18th century and made of red sandstone. Each of them is four-stories high and was created as a memorial for the different rulers of the Mandore Kingdom.

Another attraction in the garden is the Hall of Heroes. This building is dedicated to the Rajput folk heroes and displays statues and images of each one.

Located close to the Hall of Heroes is the 'Three Hundred Million Gods' shrine. Visitors can find images of various Hindu gods in glowing colors inside.

Those who are interested in learning more about the garden and the structures that can be found here can visit the Mandore Garden Government Museum. It contains numerous artifacts and relics that explain a detailed history of Mandore and the Mandore Garden.

5. Ghanta Ghar

Ghanta Ghar, also known as the Clock Tower of Rajasthan, is a magnificent clock tower located in the center of the city. Ghanta Ghar is a popular landmark that symbolizes the beginning of Old Jodhpur and offers a brilliant panoramic view of the city from the top.

Ghanta Ghar was built during the reign of Maharaja Sardar Singh around 200 years ago to be an impressive landmark near the Mehrangarh Fort. The clock tower is a good example of 19th-century stone masonry and is made entirely of sandstone which is in harmony with the sandstone of the Mehrangarh Fort in the background.

The clock tower is surrounded by a street market with vendors selling vegetables, spices, Indian sweets, textiles, silver, and handicrafts. At night, the whole structure is lit up, making for a beautiful way to end a day well spent at this bountiful market.

Luxury Hotels in Jodhpur

These top hotels in Jodhpur are great places to rest after a tiring day to enjoy world-class facilities like spas, pools, and beautiful views.

Name Address Facilities Price range
Umaid Bhawan Palace Circuit House Rd, Cantt Area, Jodhpur, Rajasthan Squash and tennis courts, a pool table, table tennis, a smoking room, spa, and an indoor and outdoor pool 50,000 to 500,000 rupees
Taj Hari Mahal Taj Hari Mahal, 5th, Residency Rd, Jodhpur, Rajasthan An outdoor swimming pool, a library, a beauty salon, a spa and fitness center, and a 24-hour business center 16,500 to 36,000 rupees
RAAS Jodhpur Tunwar ji ka Jhalra, Makrana Mohalla, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001 A heated pool, spa, and Jodhpur’s best rooftop restaurant and bar 24,000 to 40,000 rupees

Umaid Bhawan Palace

Aside from being one of the largest private residences in the world and a popular tourist attraction, Umaid Bhawan Palace is also one of India’s most extraordinary heritage hotels and is managed by the Taj Group.

The palace features an Art Deco and Renaissance design with rooms covered in wood paneling, gleaming marble, and polished granite. Located on Chittar Hill on the outskirts of Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan is only 20 minutes away from the Mehrangarh Fort and 15 minutes away from Jodhpur Airport.

There are many types of rooms clients can choose from at this hotel from a palace room to a Maharani suite. Each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV, DVD player, spa bath treatments, and a fully stocked mini-bar. Prices can range from 50,000 to 500,000 rupees per night.

Clients can be entertained by the many recreational facilities offered including squash and tennis courts, a pool table, table tennis, a smoking room, spa, and indoor and outdoor pools. When you settle down by the pool, a picnic basket with snacks and cold drinks will be brought to you.

Taj Hari Mahal

Spread across 6 acres of landscaped gardens, the luxurious Taj Hari Mahal is built to resemble a 14th-century royal palace. This hotel is part of the Taj Group's less pricey Vivanta range which offers an affordable slice of luxury in central Jodhpur.

This hotel has a Moghul-inspired style of architecture, with domes, high ceilings, and an interior courtyard. It is also just 20 minutes from the Mehrangarh Fort and 15 minutes from the Jodhpur Airport.

Taj Hari Mahal offers a variety of room types ranging from a garden-view room to a premium suite. All rooms feature original wall paintings, large windows, and an ergonomic workspace. They are equipped with a flat-screen TV and free tea/coffee making facilities. Prices range from 16,500 to 36,000 rupees per night.

Here, guests can be entertained with an outdoor swimming pool, a library, a beauty salon, a spa and fitness center, and a 24-hour business center. They can also enjoy modern Rajasthani and continental dishes at The Latitude or authentic Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine at The Good Earth.

RAAS Jodhpur

Mandir Palace was built by Maharawal Jawahir Singh at the beginning of the 20th century. The architecture of this hotel is Indo-Saracenic, which is a blend of Rajput and Islamic styles.

This property is located very close to the many attractions of Jodhpur. It is around 1,650 feet from the Clock Tower, 1.2 miles from the Mehrangarh Fort, and 4.3 miles from the Jodhpur Airport.

Clients can choose to stay at different types of rooms from a luxury room to a stepwell suite. All rooms have a balcony and equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a wardrobe, and a seating area. Prices range from 24,000 to 40,000 rupees per night.

Although RAAS Jodhpur is a relatively small hotel, it still offers some great facilities including a heated pool, spa, and the city’s best rooftop restaurant and bar. The roof terrace bar Darikhana offers some great dishes such as sesame seed-coated deep-fried yogurt dumplings.

How to get to Jodhpur from Jaipur and Udaipur

There are several ways to travel from Udaipur and Jaipur to Jodhpur. However, some methods are better than others. Traveling by train or by chauffeured car are by far the best ways to travel between these cities.

By Train

Jodhpur can be easily reached from these two cities by train. From Jaipur, the trip will take around 4 hours and costs around 120 rupees. From Udaipur, a train ticket costs around 130 rupees and will take around 2 hours.

By Chauffeured Car

Chauffeured car is the best way to travel to Jodhpur from Jaipur and Udaipur. It offers comfortable travel and flexibility in time and stops for passengers. From Jaipur, it will take around 5½ hours to arrive in Jodhpur while from Udaipur it will take around 4½ hours.

Travelers can also make side trips to Bikaner or Jaisalmer en route to Jodhpur.

Explore Jodhpur with Asia Highlights

The blue city of Jodhpur has many attractions that are worth visiting and incredible markets and ancient streets to explore. If you would like to add Jodhpur to your India trip without the hassle of doing all the research and planning yourself, contact Asia Highlights. Our experts can help you make the perfect trip where everything is tailor-made to your preferences.