Jodhpur Tourism & Travel Guide

Popular, colourful and culturally rich, Jodhpur is one of Rajasthan's most beautiful cities. It is also known as the Sun City of India and is said to have been built in the 15th century by a Rao Jodha. This city was earlier known as Marwar and is currently the second largest city of Rajasthan. From the stunning Mehrangarh Fort (from where you can see the stunning blue city), Umaid Bhavan Palace to the bustling Sardar Market, there is tons to do and explore in this touristy city. If you like your holidays to be quiet and laidback, Jodhpur may not be for you – atleast for the first couple of days. There is too much to keep you busy. Like almost all cities in Rajasthan, there are historical forts and palaces to explore and admire. Do carry a scarf and water for your afternoon expeditions should the heat tire you out. There are also umpteen restaurants and small cafes in Jodhpur which offer you delicious food and are also very welcoming. Jodhpur is also a great place to meet like-minded travellers. Jodhpur is well connected to all the major cities of the country via rail, road and air.
Best time to visit Jodhpur is from October to March
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Mehrangarh Fort
Fort Rd., Jodhpur
Mehrangarh Fort stands on a rocky hilltop which is about 120 m from the ground. The fort is one of the most magnificent and biggest ones in the Indian sub-continent. Battlements of the fort is around 6m to about 36m in height. The fort is still maintained and run by a royal family of Jodhpur. The legend as well as history of the fort is not only interesting but enriched with battles, wars and more. The main entrance of the fort is from the northeast side and is called Jai Pol. There is a museum inside the fort that retains the antiques from the royal families as well as from the battles. The entry to the fort is free but there is a charge for the museum. You will have to walk around 300 m to reach the main entrance or take an autorickshaw for the same. Dodh Kangra Pol is the exit gate of the fort. There are other gates called Loha Pol and Suraj Pol as well.
Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum
Jodhpur, Rajasthan
This is another of the palaces where the royals used to reside in the past and is today one of the museums where people explore different exhibits. Apart from being a museum, Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the luxurious hotels in the city of Jodhpur. Once you travel around 3 kms from the city towards the southeast area, you will reach the place. Gaj Singh II still lives in one of the parts of the Umaid Bhawan. The palace was built in 1929. The place has about 365 rooms and was designed and created by one of the famous British architects – Henry Lanchester. This palace was originally made for Raja Umaid Singh. To successfully build this palace it took about 15 years with around 3000 workers working on it and about an expenditure of 11 million INR. Makrana marble was used in the exteriors of the palace whereas Burmese teak in the inside. The collection of vintage clocks is another attraction to be seen here.
Jaswant Thada
Near Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
This is one of the marble structures in Jodhpur that was made in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The place is located on a lake just about 1 km from Mehrangarh Fort. There is an array of domes that will first catch your attention when you step here. The place is not only welcoming but also at peace and away from the hustle-bustle of the city. Another attraction of the place is the view that it offers of the entire city of Jodhpur. Jaswant Thada was built in 1899 and the architecture contains of jalis on the cenotaph as well as various paintings of Rathore rulers straight from 13th century.
Mandore Gardens
Mandore, 8 km (5 mi) north of Jodhpur, Jodhpur 342001
Mandore Garden is a sightseeing place in Jodhpur and one that is at its best during early morning hours. There are memorials and temples in this garden that is more like a gem on the crown. However, most of the temples are empty or are either in ruins, it is still something that will interest the historical buffs. Well again, there are quite a number of monkeys roaming about in the garden. A few hours is all you need for this place where you can explore through a walking tour and even sit and relax for a while of the weather suits.
Sardar Market
Naj Sareet Street, west of Manak Chowk, City Centre, Jodhpur
Another of the affordable options for shopping nice Indian and Rajasthani textiles and fabrics as well as handicrafts, this is one place worth a mention in the list. The Sardar Market is an old village area for shopping and also offers some good and pure spices. However, one drawback of the place is that it is always crowded. There is a major attraction in the middle of the market in the form of a clock tower. Omlet guy is the best to head to for a quick bite whereas do not forget to try the Malai lassi when in the market. Overall, make a good budget for shopping and eating when here.
On The Rocks
Ajit Bhawan Near Circuit House, National Highway 65, Ajit Colony, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
Looking for a restaurant from where you can enjoy the weather and views of the city? On the Rocks is a garden restaurant in Jodhpur and quite a popular one. The place is only 2 kms from the old city of Jodhpur. The place is always full of tourists and even locals. Indian cuisine is their specialty and there are barbecues that will surely enhance your taste buds. Playground options are available for those visiting with kids. There is a bar and dance floor option but only for adults and couples respectively.


Jaipur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Rajasthan’s opulent capital is a magical land brimming with desert camps and lakeside palaces. Sitting on the edge of the Thar desert and surrounded by the Aravali hills, the Pink City boasts of hilltop forts, bustling bazaars and the best pyaaz kachoris you’ll ever taste. Among the places to visit in Jaipur, the grandiose pink sandstone Palace of Winds, or Hawa Mahal, towering over the hustling streetscapes and the majestic City Palace are the ones attracting the most tourists. The 18th century old astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a UNESCO world heritage site and a major tourist attraction. Perched proudly on the top of a hill is Amber Fort, dating back to the 16th century. The red sandstone structure houses palaces, temples, gardens and a lake inside its premises. One of the most favoured things to do in Jaipur is to walk through the lively Bapu Bazaar, and come out with bags stocked with bandhani-printed sarees, lac bangles, meenakari trinkets and blue pottery. And while you’re at it, shop for some string puppets or kathputlis that make for some excellent souvenirs. Galtaji temple, also called the Monkey Temple, is another must visit. If your eyes just can't get enough, visit Amber Fort, which has its own 600-year-old story to narrate, through its spectacular light and sound shows, cultural performances and folk music. Rajasthani tailored clothes, jewellery and handicrafts are a huge hit as souvenirs, for their exquisite mirror work, embroidery, leather and splashes of colour. Some famous places this illustrious workmanship can be bought from are Rajasthali, Anokhi, Johari bazaar and Sireh Deori Bazaar, but remember to bargain. Central Museum and Albert Hall museum are great places to learn about Rajasthan's rich history and culture and also to buy handicrafts. The Jaipur Literature Festival, the world's largest free literature festival, is dear to almost every bibliophile around the globe. Here, enjoy literature and music, amidst the likes of William Dalrymple, Stephen Fry and many other renowned writers and personalities. The 5-day festival is hosted in Diggi Palace, which gives people around the world an insight into Rajasthan's captivating cultural heritage. For those interested in pampering their palates with the flavourful Rajasthani cuisine against the backdrop of a picturesque village should visit Chokhni Dani. For a regal experience, a stay at the Suvarna Mahal is a must visit.
Udaipur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Udaipur beckons tourists from all over the world with its romantic landscapes and ethereal monuments. Bordered by the crags of the hazy Aravallis, the city that was established in the 16th century by Maharaja Udai Singh, is now a major heritage tourism hotspot for India. With a seductive old-warm charm, opulent palaces and lively bazaars, tourists will never run out of places to visit in Udaipur. Some enchanting attractions in the city include the filigreed walls of Bada Mahal, the mountain pass of Haldighati, the lavish gardens of Saheliyon ki Bari and the placid waters of the Jaisamand Lake. The shimmering Lake Pichola hosts numerous things to do in Udaipur, such as a boat ride through the lake to the Jag Mandir Palace, from which you can witness the most stunning sunset. For those with a penchant for automobiles, the Vintage Car Museum in the Garden Hotel, hosts a fantastic exhibit of vintage vehicles. Udaipur's cuisine comprises of Rajasthani staples such as the flavoursome dal baati choorma and gatte ki sabzi. Popular eateries here include Chandni, Ambrai, Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel, Lotus Cafe and Mayur Rooftop Cafe. Hotels are easily available in Udaipur, and several retain their old world feel.
Jaisalmer
Best time to visit - January- March and October- December
The name of the city means “The Hill Fort of Jaisal”. The Golden City of India is known mainly for the beautiful sand dunes, marvelous palaces and old bungalows, the tranquility of the Jain Temples and of course the view of the Thar Desert. The state is full of color and is enriched with the love of art and culture. Not just the camel safaris, but sitting with the folk singers and enjoying their music about everyday life in Rajasthan is sheer bliss. The music of Jaisalmer is a mixture of folk and Indian Classical. Their language is influenced from Sindh and is a bit different from typical Rajasthani. The Gadisar Lake, Jaisalmer Fort and the Desert National Park are among the many attractions in the beautiful city. The climate is extreme so cover your body whenever you are out to escape from the heat of the sun.
Mt Abu
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
Mount Abu is the only hill station in the deserts of Rajasthan. Among forts and palaces, this quiet hill station is quite popular with local tourists as well as visitors from across the country. A place of great religious reverence to the Jain community, the Dilwara Jain Temple is a set of five temples, all belonging to a different century. The temples are carved out of white marble and depict scenes of Gods and Goddesses and are a must visit for their architectural brilliance. You can also spend a day at Nakki Lake. Lying in the hills, this lovely lake offers boating opportunities to visitors. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is another wonderful way to spend your time on this hill station and can take up your entire day, so do keep yourself free. For trekkers and adventure enthusiasts, the Guru Shikhar is the highest peak in the region and trekking here is a memorable and adventurous experience, though if you aren't an experienced trekker, you may need a little help! There are numerous hotels and guesthouses here, though depending on the type of traveller you are, it might be a good idea to do a little bit of research before settling on a place to stay.
Ajmer
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Surrounded by the enchanting Aravali hills, Ajmer is a medieval city most popular for the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. Once ruled by Prithviraj Chauhan, the city is a treasure house of Rajput and Islamic architecture. Ajmer, which is located in the heart of Rajasthan, also serves as the base for Pushkar, which is just 11km away. The magnificent Taragarh fort situated on the summit of the Taragarh Hill is an unmissable site for its view of the city. At the foot of this hill is the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, the tomb of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. The large pillars or Kose that you’ll see here actually run till Agra from where Akbar and his queen visited this sanctum. You can also visit the Akbar Fort and Museum for its collection of medieval armour and sculptures. There are several other sites of Hindu, Islamic and Jain religious importance that you can look out for while taking a ride through the city on the horse-drawn tongas. Fill up on delicacies such as the Kesarganj gol chakkar, chaat and kachori at the Pandit Restaurant opposite Daulat Bagh. The women’s market is a hub of traditional lehengas and odhnis. Amidst the old-fashioned and charming city of Ajmer, Ambassador and Hotel Mansingh Palace offer two of the most conventional and luxurious stays.
Pushkar
Best time to visit - January,February,March,September,October,November,December
Pushkar is full of colour, culture, warmth and joy! The first thing that attracts one to Pushkar is perhaps the colourful streets lined with small shops and hopeful faces. The route from Ajmer to Pushkar is stunning and unlike any other route in Rajasthan. It's quite hilly and hence surprising. Pushkar is a very small town and its first glimpse is astonishing for first timers who are expecting a big town. The town is very famous for its numerous temples, serene lake and lovely market. Do visit Pushkar Lake during the evenings, since afternoons here are quite hot unless you are visiting during peak winters. There is also a small temple next to the lake and though the temple is beautiful, the priests here make it difficult to sit in peace. They constantly pester you to perform pujas and it's a little annoying when all you want is to enjoy a few moments of silence. The market next to the temple and lake is quite fun to explore and there is tons you can take back including bangles, bandhini sarees and dupattas, palazzos and stunning silver jewellery. Don't forget to have the kachoris next to the temple since they are perhaps the best you'll have in Pushkar. Reaching Pushkar is hassle-free since there are tons of buses plying from and to major cities and it would be best to combine Ajmer and Pushkar in one trip. Do choose a traditional homestay to spend your vacation in Pushkar and you'll have an unforgettable experience!
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