Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan, India. Jodhpur is not as famous as Jaipur, its sister city that is known as Pink City. But since Jodhpur is also known as the Blue City, it would be a nice additional visit to make your Indian trip colorful. One day and one night in Jodhpur would actually be the ideal amount of time to explore the city.
Guest post by Haya Serena
Blog: Traveling Psychologist
What’s the best time to visit Jodhpur?
Based on the weather condition, winter is the best time to visit India, including Jodhpur. India is famous to be dirty and smelly, and when the weather is hot, the dust and the smell will be at its worst. The winter is not as cold as winter in Europe or America. It would be around 10 Celsius at night at 20-25 Celsius during the day.
Among the winter months, October could be the best time to visit Jodhpur, cause of the Marwar Festival. The festival is held either in September or October, but if it happens to be October, you can see the festival and get the best weather.
A few facts about Jodhpur
Jodhpur is founded by Rao Jodha. Pur in India means city and Jodh-Pur simply means a city founded by Jodha.
It is also known as the Blue city because of the houses in the old Jodhpur that are painted blue. Some also called it the Sun City because it’s sunny and hot all year round. According to my tour guide, the Maharaja ordered the people to paint their houses blue, so it gives them a cooler sensation in their minds. Plus, that way it would make Maharaja feel like he saw an ocean when he looked at the city from the Mehrangarh fort.
One Day in Jodhpur Itinerary
Top Things to Do in Jodhpur, India
If you’re traveling to Jodhpur, you cannot miss the visit to The Mehrangarh Fort. Hence, if your time is very limited, you should make this fort a priority. But of course, The Mehrangarh Fort is not the only point of interest worth visiting in Jodhpur. Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in Jodhpur.
Route wise, it is best to visit Jaswant Thada as your first stop. Jaswant Thada is an empty tomb, built by Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur. It is built in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, and serves as the cremation ground for the royal family of Marwar.
They don’t bury the whole body because of their belief about four elements – Air, Fire, Earth, and Water. They cremate the body, to represent Fire, while the smoke represents Air. The cremation ground represents Water and Earth. The ash is then poured into the Gangga River.
The tomb complex is very beautiful. There can be found many royal tombs made of white marble. The view is beautiful as well, and you can see the Umaid Bhawan Palace from Jaswant Thada.
From Jaswant Thada you can take a taxi or a rickshaw to Mehrangarh Fort. Unlike the Amber Fort in Jaipur (a fort in Jodhpur’s sister city), Mehrangarh Fort, is very masculine. The details are not as pretty as those in Amber Fort, and it doesn’t have that many wall paintings, however the view from the Mehrangarh Fort is magnificent!
The blue houses can be easily seen from this fort. At the sunset, it’s really a jaw-dropping experience. The magnificent view of Mehrangarh Fort also motivated Elizabeth Hurley to celebrate one of her weddings in this Fort. Too bad the marriage only lasted for two years.
There is also a museum and the galleries inside of the fort where you can see the king’s chambers. Some of the chamber’s ceilings are painted with the actual gold.
Exploring Blue Houses in Jodhpur
From the Mehrangarh Fort, you should walk downhill and you will reach the blue houses in the old city. The blue houses are just ordinary houses, not a landmark. Walking around these blue houses won’t be any interesting except for all-blue color of the houses. The complex is very dirty and the motorcycles and the rickshaws that go around the narrow alleys and roads could drive you crazy. And yet, some tourists find it an interesting cultural experience.
The blue-houses complex is divided into the areas, based on the caste system. There is a Brahmin area for the highest caste in the old city quarter, and a Silver Man area for the lower caste.
After you pass the Brahmin area, you will enter the Silver Man area, the lower caste. It’s obvious that you’ll find many houses/small shops that sell silver, but there are also streets that sell other stuff. There is a bangle street with the bangle stores all street long, as well as the fabric street. The bangle street and the fabric street are not a formal name therefore you won’t find it on the map.
Shop at Clock Tower Market / Sadar Market
Sadar Market is the most famous market in Jodhpur. Tourist also call it a Clock Tower Market merely because there’s a clock at the center of this traditional market. However, shopping at the blue-houses area is actually more fun, plus the prices are slightly cheaper.
Shop at Step Well Square, Visit the Jodhpur Stepwell (Toorji Ka Jhalara), and Drink Coffee in Step Well Cafe
Nearby the clock tower market, there’s a stepwell called Toorji Ka Jhalara. Toorji Ka Jhalara is an open public space. You can visit this stepwell anytime, but if you visit it after the sun goes down, it won’t be the ideal time for the photos.
In reality the stepwell is not as pretty as it looks on some of travel bloggers’ pictures.The smell is not nice as well.
On the other hand, the square around the step well is very interesting. The square is called the Step Well square and it is managed by RAAS group. This square is very interesting because of the Clock-tower market, but its surrounding is a real mess. It’s dirty and dusty, but as soon as you make a turn, suddenly there’s a hidden and pretty area around the corner.
There’s also a hipster cafe right at the Stepwell called Stepwell Cafe. The café is the very famous tourist place for drinking coffee and eating snacks. Their finger food is really good.
Have Dinner or Breakfast at Indique Restaurant
Indique is a rooftop restaurant with an excellent view of Mehrangarh Fort which is the main reason people chose it as a dinner place. However, the view is amazing both night and day.
Where to stay in Jodhpur?
If you’re looking for a cultural experience, then there’s no better place to stay than Haveli. Haveli is a traditional Indian mansion. There are two havelis nearby the Stepwell Square/Clock Tower Market named Pal Haveli and Haveli Inn Pal. The location is ideal for exploring the famous point of interests mentioned above. Mehrangarh Fort is 20-30 minutes walking distance from these two havelis.
Do not get mistaken between those two havelis. Not only that their names are almost similar, but those two havelis are also located on the same private square. The price is, however, much different.
Pal Haveli is more fancy than Haveli Inn Pal, with the rooms two times the price of Haveli Inn Pal.
There is no separation between these two havelis which means the guest from Haveli Inn Pal can enjoy the same private square with the Pal Haveli’s guest and except for the room, they can enjoy the same facilities.
The famous Indique restaurant is actually the restaurant of Pal Haveli, but the rooftop restaurant in Haveli Inn Pal is amazing as well. But as mentioned before, no matter which Haveli you are staying at, you can enjoy both restaurants.
If you have an unlimited budget, staying in Umaid Bhawan Palace would be an amazing experience. Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, this palace serves as the principal residence of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family. There is also a museum inside this palace. Depending on the dates, the minimum price per night in this palace is around 700 USD, which is still worth it for all the luxurious experience the guests will get.
Extra tips for visiting Jodhpur
– Tourists can’t rely on a public transportation in Jodhpur. Rickshaw could be an option, but it’s the best to rent a motorcycle or a car for the whole day and skip the bargain process with the rickshaw driver.
– For women, it’s the best to cover their shoulders, especially if you’re going to walk around the blue houses. Wearing long pants or any long bottoms is recommended for both women or men, not only in Jodhpur, but in whole India, since some tombs or palaces won’t let people who wear any kind of shorts in.
– Make your trip to Jodhpur even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in Jodhpur or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.
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