Jodhpur- the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan, is called the "Sun City" owing to its fantastic weather all year round. If you've scrolled through hundreds of gorgeous images of Jodhpur; you know that it is also called the Blue City. All the buildings painted a lovely sky blue, looking incredible in contrast to the dusty old desert town.
Having checked out of the Camp Thar Resort in Osian, I had about a day to spend in Jodhpur before I took an overnight bus to Udaipur. Now, with just a day to see such a large city, it seemed impossible. But, I think I managed to discover a large portion of it and so, I thought it'll be helpful to give you a one-day travel guide for Jodhpur.
So, if you have a day in Jodhpur here's what you should do...
If you've done even a little bit of research on Jodhpur, you know you HAVE to visit the Mehrangarh Fort. The ticket is about 100 rupees for an Indian citizen and a whooping 600 for international guests. Luckily, we had our student identity cards and entered with a 50-rupee pass!
My Jaipur blogpost covers some of my travel tips and carrying your student ID card tops the list!
The fort is more than magnificent and breathtaking; I couldn't seem to gauge how massive it was. After buying our tickets, we thought we had entered the fort so; we kept walking until a signboard said "This way for the fort", and I couldn't stop laughing! Its huge and overwhelming, and if you're interested in knowing the history and stories of the fort then you're in for a long day! I still think I haven't entirely seen each part of it.
When you look down from the high vantage point of its ramparts, it's quite possibly one of the coolest views you'll see. It's a magical blue city in the middle of a desert with a giant fort overlooking it, palaces scattered around and in the distance you see the hills protecting it. It's quite a spectacular view.
Jaswant Thada is a cenotaph (an empty tomb that does not contain the remains of the person it was built for) located about half a kilometer away from the fort by rickshaw. It serves as the cremation ground for the royal family of Marwar. From a distance, you may not find it jaw dropping or incredible but once you get a closer look at it, the intricately carved sheets of marble make you feel peaceful and calm. The sheets are extremely thin and polished so that they emit a warm glow when illuminated by the sun.
Umaid Bhavan Palace looks great from a distance but honestly, it's quite average considering tourists don't get to go inside because the Taj Hotels converted a part of it into a hotel property while the rest is preserved. It'll cost you your entire bank balance (especially if you're a student) to book a stay there, and they don't welcome guests for a cup of coffee or to eat at their restaurants (I speak from experience).
Sardar Market near the Clock Tower
If you have some more time after seeing the attractions, head to the Sardar Market for some local shopping. It's known for its general merchandize but also for its lovely bandhini materials (a type of tie-and-dye textile). Wondering what's 'the thing to buy' in the Jodhpur bazaars? Antique artifacts, wooden furniture, gold, scarves, puppets, hand crafted toys, home decor and so much more!
You may also find a lot of embroidered leather shoes, antique pieces, handicraft work and sweet shops. Don't miss them! You'll notice a lot of locals selling fake silver jewelry, I'd suggest you don't buy these here and instead purchase real silver when you visit Jaipur.
Where to eat in Jodhpur? Cafes, restaurants, hotels...
Since you're in Jodhpur only for the day and assuming you will be there for at least three meals, here's where you should eat when in the Blue City.
1. Gypsy is easily one of the best places to eat in Jodhpur. It's a foodie's dream come true! Known for the best thali in Jodhpur, Gypsy's menu comprises of 30 separate and distinct dishes and the staff there will insist that you order all! It's not at all expensive to eat a meal here (or even all your meals, if you like), it's worth every single penny you pay and more! The people in Rajasthan, food is a means of interacting, making friends and beautiful memories with absolute strangers.
Order this - Poori & Mix Veg Sabzi, Pulao, Halwa, Paranthas, Dal Bati Choorma, Besan ki Kadhi and Gatte ki Sabzi.
2. Indique is hands down one of the best rooftop restaurants in the city of Jodhpur. Located on the terrace of the Pal Haveli, Indique takes you back in time, in the existence of the Rajput kings and queens. It sits right under the proud gaze of the Mehrangarh Fort, the seat of the royals. It offers a spectacular view of the famous landmarks of Jodhpur and the entire city. The best time to enjoy this view and the weather is in the evenings, when the sky is aglow with magical sunset strokes and colors.
Order this - Lal Maas, Gatte ki Khichdi, Gujarati cuisine and Dal Bati Choorma.
3. Janta Sweet House is THE place to go to if you're looking for the best crispy, traditional and tasty kachoris. You haven't truly tasted the flavors of Jodhpur unless you get your hands on the varied assortment of kachoris, which are a hit among the tourists and locals alike. The street food is as good (or more) as the elaborate fine-dining restaurants in Jodhpur.
Order this - Onion kachori and Mawa kachori.
4. Darikhana is in the Raas Haveli Hotel, which boasts of being the first boutique hotel in Jodhpur and is the ideal place to savor some authentic Lal Maas. Team it with a butter tandoori roti or the Warqi paranthas cooked in ghee to offset the hotness of this dish. Situated in the shadows of the imposing Mehrangarh Fort, the Raas Haveli with its open courtyard completed with a pool, makes for quite an inviting setting to gorge on this spiced meat delicacy.
Hope this blog helps you find your way into the big blue city of Jodhpur. Make the most of your time here, it's truly a wonderful place!