Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan, India. It may not be as famous as its sister city Jaipur, which is also known as the Pink City, but since Jodhpur is also known as the Blue City, it would be a nice additional visit if you want to make your Indian trip a colorful one. One day and one night in Jodhpur would actually be the ideal amount of time to explore the city.
Guest post by Haya Serena
What’s the best time to visit Jodhpur?
Based on weather conditions, winter is the best time to visit India, including Jodhpur. India is famous for its dirt and smells, and when the weather is hot the dust and the smell will be at their worst. The winter is not as cold as winters in Europe or America. The temperature will be around 10 degrees Celsius at night and 20-25 during the day.
Among the colder months, October could be the best time to visit Jodhpur, primarily because 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 was 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 old Jodhpur that are painted blue. Some also call 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 that they give them a cooler sensation in their minds. Plus, that way it would make the Maharaja feel like he’s looking at the ocean whenever he’d look at the city from the Mehrangarh Fort.
One Day in Jodhpur Itinerary
If you’re traveling to Jodhpur, you cannot miss a 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 most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Jodhpur.
It is best to visit Jaswant Thada as your first stop. This is an empty tomb built by Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur. It was 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 the 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 the 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, but the view is magnificent!
The blue houses can be easily seen from this fort. At sunset, it’s really a jaw-dropping experience. The magnificent view from the Mehrangarh Fort also motivated Elizabeth Hurley to celebrate one of her weddings here. Too bad the marriage only lasted two years.
There is also a museum and some galleries inside the fort where you can see the king’s chambers. Some chambers’ ceilings are painted with real gold.
Exploring the blue houses in Jodhpur
From the Mehrangarh Fort, you should walk downhill and reach the blue houses in the old city. The blue houses are just ordinary houses, not a landmark. Walking around them won’t be very interesting except for their all-blue color. 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 are divided into areas based on the caste system. The Brahmin area is for the highest caste in the old city quarter, and the Silver Man area is for the lower caste.
After you pass the Brahmin area, you will enter the Silver Man area. It’s obvious that you’ll find many houses/small shops that sell silver here, but there are also streets that sell other stuff. There is a bangle street with bangle stores all street long, as well as a fabric street. The bangle street and the fabric street are not formal names, so you won’t find them on the map.
Shop at the Clock Tower Market / Sadar Market
Sadar Market is the most famous market in Jodhpur. Tourist also call it the Clock Tower Market merely because there’s a clock tower at the center of this traditional market. However, shopping among the blue houses is actually more fun, plus the prices are slightly cheaper.
Shop at the Stepwell Square, visit the Jodhpur Stepwell (Toorji Ka Jhalara), and drink Coffee in Stepwell Cafe
Near 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, either.
On the other hand, the square around the stepwell is very interesting. The square is called the Stepwell Square and is managed by the 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 pretty area around the corner.
There’s also a hipster cafe right at the Stepwell called the Stepwell Cafe. The café is a very famous tourist place for drinking coffee and eating snacks. Their finger food is really good.
Have dinner at Indique Restaurant
Indique is a rooftop restaurant with an excellent view of the Mehrangarh Fort, which is the main reason people chose it as a dinner place. However, the view is amazing during 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 a haveli, a traditional Indian mansion. There are two havelis near the Stepwell Square/Clock Tower Market – 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 confuse the two havelis. Not only are their names 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. As mentioned before, though, 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 public transport in Jodhpur. Rickshaw could be an option, but it’s best to rent a motorcycle or a car for the whole day and skip the bargaining 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.
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Haya Serena is a psychologist. She loves traveling but also loves her mundane job. She decided to keep both lives. She doesn’t believe that work-life balance is a separate life. Hence, during traveling she likes to explore herself more and find life lesson that she believes has indirectly improved her work.