The bird’s eye view of the city of Jodhpur was nothing less than a blue-dyed mirage from the majestic Mehrangarh fort. It looked like numerous blue dots on a deserted canvas. The tangle of winding and yet narrow lanes of the old city is like a maze, leading you to nowhere if you are not escorted. Located in the shadow of the fort, the old city of Jodhpur is primarily dominated by the blue colored houses in a haphazard manner. Popularly known as the “Blue City” of Rajasthan, there is no proper explanation as to why Jodhpur is called the “Blue City”.
The obvious reason cited by the people is that the Brahmin (The upper caste) community started painting their houses blue to distinguish themselves from the lower castes in the society. Some claim that people of the old city had painted their house blue only to prevent it from excessive heat; apparently the blue color helps to keep the heat under control. There can be numerous reasons for it, but what really makes Jodhpur as one of the prominent places in India is due to its glorious past and enriching history. The walled city of Rajasthan is the second largest city of the state and is located on the edge of the Thar Desert. The chaotic by-lanes, inviting smell of the Kachori and Jalebi, busy street with people dressed in their colorful traditional attires, the towering clock tower and the unmissable Sri Misri Lal ki Lassi; you are surely in the most vibrant part of Jodhpur. With its poignant history and thousand tales from the past, Jodhpur makes you turn a few pages of history when you step inside the places like Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhawan Palace and Mandore Garden.
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If I ever came across anything grand, scaled and magnificent, then it has to be the iconic Mehrangarh Fort sitting on a rocky hillock at an altitude of 400 m, overlooking the city. Built in the 15th century by Rao Jodha, Mehrangarh Fort is one of the most visited forts in Rajasthan. Rao Jodha was the fifteenth Rathore ruler, who decided to move his capital from Mandore to a much safer place and started building this massive fort on a hillock known as Bhakurcheeria. Guarded with seven gates, this gigantic fort is an architectural masterpiece.
The intricate details of the ornate red sandstone carvings, Jaali windows, large courtyards and the towering terrace of the fort gives you a sense of grandness and royalty. Each corner of the fort tells a thousand stories from the bygone eras. It gives you a glimpse of the royal lifestyle.This imposing architecture dominates the skyline of Jodhpur with pride.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the largest private residence in the world. Built between 1928 and 1943, this spectacular palace sprawls across 26 acres of gardens, making it one of the most stunning royal residences. A part of the palace is turned into a luxurious hotel, managed by the Taj. Only one part of the palace is open for visitors. The royal family of Jodhpur still lives in the palace. Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, the palace is simply eye-arresting. The extravagance of Umaid Bhawan makes it one of the most iconic landmarks of Jodhpur.
When in Jodhpur, a visit to Jaswant Thada is a must. It was built in 1899 in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II by his son Maharaja Sardar Singh. The cenotaph is one of the most remarkable architectural marvel.The intricately carved sheets, the beautiful Jaali work and polished stones make it one of the most enchanting places to visit in Jodhpur.
While visiting Jaswant Thada, don’t forget to take a pause and listen to the soulful Rajasthani folk songs by the local singer right outside the complex.
Once the capital of Marwar, it is now an abandoned tourist destination in the city. Once Rao Jodha decided to move his capital to Mehrangarh fort, Mandore gardens became a deserted place in the middle of the city. There are cenotaphs of Jodhpur’s former rulers, but the architectural designs of those cenotaphs were not the usual chhatri-shaped cenotaphs. Rather, they looked like heavily stone carved, fine columns, elegant spire, and beautifully designed temples. Amongst them, the most impressive cenotaph was for Maharaja Ajit Singh. The high ceiling, four storied and intricately carved temple shaped cenotaph was quite eye-catching. Apart from that, the Mandore Gardens also houses a museum, a ‘Hall of Heroes’ and a temple dedicated to 33 crore Gods surrounded by beautiful gardens. If this place is maintained well, it can easily become one of the top tourist places in the city.
Where to stay
When it comes to accommodation, Jodhpur has a variety of options ranging from budget hotels, hostels, home-stays to ultra luxury hotels and resorts. You can choose accommodation based on your preferences. In case if you are looking for the best budget stay options, Treebo hotels in Jodhpur is the perfect choice.
Air: There are regular flights to Jodhpur from major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur and Jaipur. The quickest way to reach Jodhpur is via flight. It has its own airport, which is hardly 5 kilometres from the city centre.
Train: There are regular trains to Jodhpur from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. If you wish to explore the luxurious train ride to experience the royal Rajasthan, you can also choose to have a super luxurious ride on the ‘Palace on Wheels’.
Bus: You can reach Jodhpur via road as well. The city is well connected by buses from Delhi and other places within Rajasthan. There are numerous Volvo coaches and deluxe buses available which take you to Jodhpur from Delhi.
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