The mesmerizing Sun City of Jodhpur is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rajasthan. The former Kingdom of Marwar is among the most-interesting places in historic India. Blessed by the sun, year-round sunshine the royal city got its name. The former royal province of Rajputana has now developed as the second largest city of the state. Nestled right at the edge of the Thar Desert, it is the ‘gateway to the delights of the Thar’. The star highlight of the city is the houses, which are in different shades of blue, hence the name ‘Blue City”. The tale of the Old city soaked in Blue is not just historic but common conclusion of the people to keep their home cook even in the hottest of days with the blue paint. Jodhpur tours offers interesting insights into the history, culture and other treasures.
March marks the beginning of the summer season and temperatures begin rising by mid-March. During summers, the temperatures can go as high as 42o Celsius. Being in close proximity to the desert, Jodhpur has a long and arid summer. Do keep hydrated and avoid going around in direct sunlight for long stretches. Monsoons are very short in Jodhpur with very little precipitation. Rains do bring down the temperatures during the day but at the same time, humidity increases a little. Temperatures range from 24-37o Celsius. The peak tourist season with pleasant days and cold nights, winter is the best time to be in Jodhpur. While the days will be pleasant for most part allowing for pleasurable sightseeing, the evenings tend to become cooler with a need for jackets.
Jodhpur, the second largest city in Rajasthan is popularly known as the Blue City. The name is clearly befitting as most of the architecture – forts, palaces, temples, havelis and even houses are built in vivid shades of blue. The strapping forts that tower this magnificent city sum up to a spectacle you would not want to miss. The mammoth, imposing fortress of Mehrangarh has a landscape dominating a rocky ridge with the eight gates leading out of the fortress. The new city is located outside the structure. Jodhpur is also known for the rare breed of horses known as Marwari or Malani, which are only found here.
Jodhpur marks its origin back to the year of 1459 AD. The history of this prosperous city revolves around the Rathore clan. Rao Jodha, the chief of Rathore Clan is credited with the origin of Jodhpur in India. The city is known to be built in place of the ancient capital, Mandore of the state of Manwar. Hence, the people of Jodhpur and surrounding areas are commonly known as Marwaris. Also, it is believed that the relics of Mandore can still be witnessed in the Mandore Gardens.
Rising perpendicular and impregnable from a hill which is 125 metres above Jodhpur’s skyline is the Mehrangarh Fort. This historic fort is one of the most famous in India and is packed with history and legends. Mehrangarh Fort still bears the imprints of cannonball attacks courtesy the armies of Jaipur on its second gate. Chiselled and sturdy, the fort is known for its exquisite latticed windows, carved panels, intricately decorated windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal and Sheesh Mahal.
Located 85 kilometres from the main city, the 400-year old Khejarla Fort is situated in a rural setting. The stunning red sandstone monument, now a hotel, is an example of Rajput architecture. Visitors will be mesmerised by the fort's picturesque settings, latticework friezes and intricate Jharokas.
Umaid Bhawan Palace was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1929 to counter a famine which had hit the state at the time. It was also known as the Chittar Palace while being constructed thanks to the use of stones drawn from the Chittar hill. The palace was designed by HV Lanchester, a renowned British architect, and was completed in 16 years. Built with sandstone and marble, the architecture of the palace is described as a blend of lndo-Saracenic, Classical Revival and Western Art Deco styles. It is recognised as one of the largest private homes in the world and also one of the more spectacular buildings. It is the only palace built in the 20th century.
Located near the Fateh Pole in Mehrangarh, the Ranisar and Padmasar are adjacent lakes that were constructed in the year 1459. Ranisar Lake was built on orders of Queen Jasmade Hadi, Rao Jodha's wife while Padmasar Lake was ordered by Queen Padmini of Rao Ganga, daughter of Rana Sanga of Mewar.
The government museum, located in Umaid Garden, houses a rich collection of relics including armoury, textiles, local art and crafts, miniature paintings, portraits of rulers, manuscripts and images of the Jain Tirthankaras. Wildlife lovers can also visit the zoo, which is located close by.
This milky white memorial built towards the end of the 19th century as a tribute to the leader Jaswant Singh is a huge tourist attraction. Jaswant Singh, who ruled Jodhpur, invested well in his state. He made attempts to bring down the level of crime, subdue dacoits, built railways and broadly worked on raising the economy of Marwar. Jaswant Thada is managed and looked after by the Mehrangarh Museum Trust (MMT) and is open to public. The Trust is operating a Museum in Jaswant Thada displaying portraits of Marwar rulers along with informative didactics – the information serves as orientation space to understand the history of Marwar through the Portraits. Its grounds serve as a serene venue for morning concerts during music festivals such as the Rajasthan International Folk Festival and the World Sacred Spirit Festival.
Ghanta Ghar, also known as the clock tower of Rajasthan, is situated in one of the busiest areas of Jodhpur, the Sadar Bazaar. It was constructed by Shri Sardar Singh Ji of Jodhpur. The Sadar Market is quite popular among tourists, who throng the streets to purchase Rajasthani textiles, clay figurines, miniature camels and elephants, marble inlay work and classic silver jewellery.
Mahamandir, meaning great temple, is a sanctified spot where tranquillity reigns supreme. Situated on Mandore road, the temple is an architectural wonder. It is supported by 84 pillars and ornamented with detailed designs and figures depicting various postures of Yoga.
The Mandaleshwar Mahadev was built by Mandal Nath in AD 923. It is believed to be one of the oldest shrines in the city. The walls of the temple have some beautiful paintings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Built on the banks of the Sardar Samand Lake by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1933, the Sardar Samand Lake Palace is a spectacular hunting lodge. It remains the royal family's favourite retreat and houses a vast collection of African trophies and original watercolour paintings. The lake attracts several migratory and local birds such as the yellow-legged green pigeon, Himalayan griffon and Dalmatian pelican, making it a bird watcher's paradise.
Masuria garden is one of the three most beautiful and famous gardens of Rajasthan. Located on top of the Masuria hill in the middle of Jodhpur, it is popular among devotees because of the centuries-old temple dedicated to a local deity, Baba Ramdev. There is a restaurant located here which offers a stunning panoramic view of the city.
Shastri Circle is a traffic roundabout in the middle of Jodhpur City. While it has a job to do during the day, it is most spectacular at night, when it comes to life with lights and fountains. This draws locals as well as tourists to the spot.
Towards the north of Jodhpur is the ancient capital of Marwar, Mandore. This area is of major historical importance and you will find the dewals or cenotaphs of Jodhpur’s former rulers. Unlike the original chhatri-shaped cenotaphs that are typical patterns of Rajasthan architecture, these are built along the lines of Hindu temples.
Situated on Jaisalmer road, this small artificial lake is an ideal picnic spot. It is like a canvas with a splash of romantic colours. The beauty of the lake stays with you long after you’ve experienced it. For those who’d like to go out on to the lake, boating facilities are also available through R.T.D.C.
This park is situated on the way to Jaisalmer, about 1 kilometre from Kailana Lake. It offers a bird watching point for visitors and is also home to several animals such as deer, desert foxes, monitor lizards, blue bulls, hare, wild cats, mongoose, monkeys, etc. The park also offers spectacular views of sunset and should not be missed.
Balsamand Lake is about 5 kilometres from Jodhpur on the Jodhpur-Mandore Road. Built in 1159 AD, it was planned as a water reservoir to cater to Mandore. The Balsamand Lake Palace was built on its shore later as a summer palace. It is surrounded by lush green gardens that house groves of trees such as mango, papaya, pomegranate, guava and plum. Animals and birds like the jackal and peacock also call this place home. This lake is now a popular picnic spot with tourists and locals.
Guda, a Bishnoi village, is home to a vivid range of exotic wildlife and nature. It is a habitat for thousands of migratory birds in the area. One can often catch the Demoiselle crane frolicking at the lake. Antelopes and black bucks can also be spotted by the pond. This place is a must-visit for nature lovers.