The blue city- Jodhpur

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Photo of The blue city- Jodhpur by neha ballal

I fell in love with Mehranghar fort. As soon as you reach the old city of Jodhpur you see it. You cannot escape it. Any hotel you stay at, and restaurant you eat at, from some corner of your eye you will always be able to see the might fort, and yearn to be in it, maybe forever!

Photo of The blue city- Jodhpur 1/3 by neha ballal
The mighty fort

THE BLUE CITY:

Yes it really is blue, and narrow and confusing. You start walking from your hotel in the old city and I am sure after half an hour of haphazard walking you will be completely lost but with the hospitality of the people you wont feel it. We spent an entire evening walking around, people are warm and welcoming.

Photo of The blue city- Jodhpur 2/3 by neha ballal
A blue facade

We went into a haveli on the street where the family was very welcoming and let us go to their terrace to view the city and their lakes from a higher location. And it was beautiful.

There are few step wells left in ruins, many water bodies for collection of rain water, few majestic havelis and many small homes, almost all painted blue located in every nook and corner of the old city.

Photo of The blue city- Jodhpur 3/3 by neha ballal
A water body in the old city

GHANTA GHAR CLOCK TOWER & THE MARKET:

While roaming in the old city you will eventually reach the central clock tower area. It has a busy market stretch right next to it where you can get a lot of roadside eateries and local shopping streets. Though no area here is clean, it is an experience to walk in those narrow lanes, escape the traffic and cows every now and then and make it out alive to tell the tale.

The busy clock tower area

Photo of Sardar Market, Ghantaghar Market, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by neha ballal

MEHRANGARH FORT:

In this mighty fort, as the building materials were chiselled from the rock on which the fort stands, the structure merges with its base. The most astonishing truth I learnt here was that it is still run by the Jodhpur royal family! Imagine, a whole fort which is in your name! The might and their power.

Entrance of the fort

Photo of Mehrangarh Fort, Sodagaran Mohalla, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by neha ballal

You don’t need a ticket to enter the fort itself, only the museum section. You can spend an entire noon exploring the fort, which overlooks the blue city thus giving you a view of the city below too.

The view of the city from the fort

Photo of The blue city- Jodhpur by neha ballal

UMAID BHAVAN PALACE:

This is one of the few palaces of the country which still houses a king. The palace is divided into a private residential area, a fancy 5 star hotel and the other part open for visitors like us is the museum. They have numerous paintings displayed and you can see the interiors of one part of the palace and imagine how the rest would be.

It even houses a collection of vintage cars at the entrance. A small representation of the immense wealth these royals had. The palace is said to have been at a cost of 11 million rupees.

The courtyard in the palace museum

Photo of Umaid Bhawan Palace, Circuit House Rd, Cantt Area, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by neha ballal

Painting displayed in the museum

Photo of Umaid Bhawan Palace, Circuit House Rd, Cantt Area, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by neha ballal

MANDORE GARDEN:

This garden is like a memorial to the 64 queens and concubines who committed sati on Ajit Sighns death. It is situated 9km north of the center of Jodhpur. It was the capital of Marwar prior to the founding of Jodhpur.

One of the memorials

Photo of Mandore Garden, Mandore, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India by neha ballal

Its gardens has rock terraces and a variety of dark-red cenotaphs of Jodhpur’s rulers. A rickshaw to the gardens costs between ₹200 and ₹250.

The ruins of the fort

Photo of The blue city- Jodhpur by neha ballal

For the more adventurous a path winds 350 m behind the gardens to the extensive remains of Mandore’s fort on the hill above, the origins of which go back to the 6th century AD or possibly earlier. The fort in its ruins gives a view of the whole garden below and you pass by numerous foundations/ruins on the way which transport you back in time.

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