What to see in Jodhpur

India | Rajasthan |

Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan and is particularly known for the Mehrangarh Fort which dominates the whole valley from the top of a rocky hill. The fort houses several old palaces and museums, not to be missed on any tour to the city.


With its population of over one million inhabitants, Jodhpur is the second city of Rajasthan and is more or less equidistant from the other cities normally visited on most Rajasthan tours, such as Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Udaipur and Jaipur (about 5 or 6 hours by car). Visitors not traveling in India by car and driver, may get to Jodhpur by one of the daily flights from Delhi, Mumbai or other major hubs served, alternatively, there are also long distance trains and buses, although they may require several changes on a whole day long trip.

Jodhpur is also known as the blue city, for its traditional houses painted in this color, although this practice is slowly disappearing. The city was founded in the fifteenth century, when the construction of the majestic Mehrangarh Fort also began, favored by its geographical position along the main trade routes between west and south. Jodhpur also became an important cultural and artistic center in India and is the best place in Rajasthan to admire and buy intriguing Rajput miniature paintings. Currently the city lives on trade and on a quickly increasing tourism.

The main attractions in Jodhpur not to be missed are:

How long is suggested to stay in Jodhpur? To visit Jodhpur it is required a full day, therefore, considering the normal travel times from the other cities of Rajasthan, it is advisable to plan two nights in the city. The various attractions are quite distant from each other (except the fortress and the Jaswant Thada mausoleum), to move around visitors may use the tuk tuk or taxi.

What is the best time to visit Jodhpur? The best time to go to Jodhpur is from October to March, as for the rest of northern India, because this period gives more comfortable and drier weather, with lower temperatures.

But now let's see some photos of Jodhpur taken during our trip in Rajasthan.

Mehrangarh Fort
The Mehrangarh Fort dominates the city of Jodhpur from the flat top of a 122-meter (400 feet) rocky cliff. The walls, up to 40 meters (131 feet) tall, as well as the buildings of the fortress, seem to be a natural extension of the rocks above which the structure stands.
Fort of Mehrangarh Mehrangarh fortress
Jodhpur Fort Gate among the walls of the fortress
The access to Mehrangarh Fort is through a steep street that crosses seven imposing gates, giving impressive views onto the massive walls protecting the fortress.
Jodhpur fortress Fortress of Mehrangarh
Walls of the fortress

If you do not feel good enough to climb to the fort on foot, a lift service is available not far from the external parking and shortly after the ticket office (but during peak times the queue can be a bit long).

Eventually, the road through the portals can be walked downhill when leaving the fort at the end of the visit. However, the fact is that at least in one of the two directions, it is absolutely worth walking this road, for the beautiful views onto walls and outermost buildings.

Jodhpur the blue city
Upon reaching the top of Jodhpur Fort, visitors may enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the city open, which is also called the blue city, due to the color of the houses in the historic district (although the tradition of painting the houses in blue is slowly disappearing).
Mehrangarh museum Mehrangarh museum palace
Latticework window Maharajah Sangar Kochi's throne
Once in the Mehrangarh Fort, visitors will find themselves in a courtyard surrounded by palaces made of sandstone and marble finely carved. These palaces house the Mehrangarh museum and the marble throne of maharajah Sangar Kochi.
Latticework windows
Along the facade of the buildings, many amazing latticework windows will not go unnoticed. The dense pattern through the stone was used to allow court women to see from inside what was going on outside, but without being seen.
Miniature painting Rajput miniature
Among the various items stored in Mehrangarh museum, some of the most impressive are the rare Rajput miniature paintings dating back to past centuries, which are so detailed, to constitute real photographs of the most important historical events. Rajput miniatures are so finely painted, to require a lens to appreciate all the details. The excellent conditions of paintings dating back to the 17th century, therefore so old, are also impressive. Making Rajput miniature paintings requires great skill, surgical precision and months of patient work. Jodhpur is the most important city in India for this kind of art, there are several schools teaching the techniques and the city is one of the best locations where to buy miniature paintings as souvenirs.
Squirrel's tail brushes
Elements used to extract natural colors

The Rajput miniature painting requires brushes made of squirrel tail, while the colors are mainly obtained from minerals easily available in the region. For the golden color, authentic gold leaf are used, as they add shine and brilliance difficult to obtain differently.

Mirror palace Sheesh Mahal
The Mirror Palace, or Sheesh Mahal, shows a mix of frescoes and bas-reliefs decorated with precious stones, which are reflected among countless mirrors on walls and ceiling.
Flower Palace Phool Mahal
Floreal decorations in Jodhpur Decorations made by gold leaf
One of the most interesting rooms of the Mehrangarh fortress is the Flower Palace (Phool Mahal), so called because the walls and ceiling are full of flowers represented on frescoes and bas-reliefs. It is estimated that several kilos of pure gold was used to decorate the whole room. The function of this room was to offer a private, exclusive and sumptuous location to the royal family. It was built by the maharajah Abhaya Singh between 1724 and 1749.
Palace of the flowers
Another photo of the spectacular Flower Palace and its decorations made by sheets of pure gold.
Takhat Vilas
Also very interesting is the Takhat (Takhat Vilas) hall built by the maharajah Takhat Singh in the 19th century, the last royal in power in Jodhpur who used the Mehrangarh Fort as a residence. Very interesting is the floor that seems covered by a carpet, but is actually painted wood.
Fort in Jodhpur
Moving among the various palaces of the fortress, visitors can often enjoy nice panoramas of Jodhpur.
Moti Mahal courtyard

Another beautiful palace is the Pearl Palace (Moti Mahal) with a courtyard surrounded by facades of marble finely carved and intriguing latticework windows.

Latticework by marble Moti Mahal
Pearl palace

The interior of the Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) is equally intriguing. But why was it called Pearl Palace if there is no trace of this element in the decorations?

The answer is simple: the numerous niches along the walls, were used to hold candles, which once lit, the flames were reflected everywhere by the mirrors under the ceiling, making everything shine as if there were real pearls.

Jaswant Thada
Another attraction not to be missed during a tour in Jodhpur, is the magnificent Jaswant Thada, a mausoleum standing on top of a hill not far from Mehrangarh Fort. Built entirely of white marble, the structure was commissioned by maharajah Jaswant Singh II to commemorate his father, but later became a cemetery for the whole royal family.
Royal cemetery in Jaswant Thada Jaswant Thada cemetery
The garden surrounding the mausoleum of Jaswant Thada houses in fact numerous chapels, with the urns of the various members of the royal family.
Jodhpur Jaswant Thada mausoleum
The marble platform on which the Jaswant Thada mausoleum stands.
Marble building

The interior of Jaswant Thada mausoleum, also all in marble.

Jodhpur clock tower
The tour in Jodhpur continues visiting the historic district of the city, starting from the famous Clock Tower built between the 19th and 20th century by maharajah Sardar Singh in English style (the last maharajahs in Jodhpur were quite fascinated by western architecture).
Bazaar in Jodhpur Jodhpur bazaar
Jodhpur street market Sardar Bazaar
From the Clock Tower, small streets enters the Sardar Bazaar, an open-air market where everything is sold, from typical Indian spices to clothes.
The Mehrangarh Fort dominated the downtown of Jodhpur from the top of the hill.
Umaid Bhavan Umaid Bhavan palace
The Umaid Palace (Umaid Bhavan) dates back to the last century and is a mix of architecture in various styles since the maharajah Umaid Singh who wanted to build it, was attracted by the modernity of western design. The structure, in red sandstone, houses a luxury hotel and a museum with numerous items belonged to the past royal families.
A few kilometers from the center of Jodhpur, Mandore has a large garden (Mandore Gardens) with numerous monkeys wandering around.
Mandore garden Mandore temples
Mandore gardens Temples in Mandore
Dome richly carved
But the real attraction in Mandore gardens are these temples, remains of the ancient capital of the Rathor clan and cenotaphs of the maharajahs, who continued to erect the funeral monuments here. As architecture, the Mandore Temples look like Hindu temples, they are made of red sandstone and have finely carved domes.

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