Jodhpur is at the edge of the Thar desert and is the largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur. The city is dominated by a massive fort, topping a sheer rocky ridge right in the middle of the town. Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rajput clan known as the Rathores. His descendants ruled not only Jodhpur, but also other Rajput princely states. The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by 10 kms long wall, built about a century after the city was founded. From the fort, you can clearly see where the old city ends and the new begins. It’s fascinating to wander around the jumble of winding streets in the old city, out of which eight gates lead. Jodhpur is affectionately referred to as the ‘Blue City’ because of the indigo-coloured houses in the old town. These can be seen from the ramparts of the mighty Mehrangarh, which looms high above the buzzing city.
Mehrangarh Fort: Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest forts in India. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrates a saga of hard sandstone’s yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures. Inside the fort, there is a series of courtyards and palaces.
Umaid Bhawan Palace: Built of marble and pink sandstone, this immense palace is also known as the Chittar Palace because of the local Chittar sandstone used. The only palace built in 20th century under the famine relief programme, has now been converted into a hotel with some parts being retained as a museum.
Jaswant Thada: This white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II is a short distance from the fort, just off the fort road. The cenotaph, built in 1899, was followed by the royal crematorium and three other cenotaphs which stand nearby. There is some beautiful marble jali work and fine views from the terrace in front of the cenotaph.
Clock Tower & Sadar Market: The clock tower is a popular landmark in the old city. The vibrant Sardar Market is close to the tower, and narrow alleys lead from here to bazaars selling vegetables, spices, Indian sweets, textiles, silver and handicrafts. It is a great place to ramble around at leisure.
Government Museum has a rich collection of weapons, textiles, miniature portraits, local crafts and images of Jain Tirthankars. It is situated in the middle of the Umaid public gardens.
Mahamandir Temple: Built in 1812, this is an old walled town with few hundred houses. The temple with 84 beautifully carved pillars is an architectural wonder.
Kailana Lake is an artificial lake on the Jaisalmer road. An idyllic picnic spot with spectacular sunsets.
By Air: Indian Airlines operates flights from Jodhpur to Delhi, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur and Mumbai.
By Bus: There are various buses from Jodhpur to Udaipur, Jaipur, Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Ahmedabad and Delhi.
By Train: There are rail connections to Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Kota, Bikaner, Ahmedabad and Delhi.