The nearest airport to Jodhpur is Jodhpur airport, Jodhpur which is 6 kms. away from Jodhpur city centre and offers connectivity to Mumbai, Delhi and Udaipur.Book with us
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In the ratings by Tripadvisor 2017, on the top 10 preferred leisure destinations globally, Jodhpur is an unhurried and stately presence. Rubbing shoulders with Whistler in Canada, Kihei in Hawaii, El Nido in Philippines, Eilat in Israel, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain and Tbilisi in Georgia, Jodhpur virtually is the crown prince in the assembly.
Apart from gushes and ratings, it rains plenty of sun on Jodhpur, founded as the new capital of the Marwar Kingdom in 1459 by Rao Jodha of the Rathore dynasty and today distinguished by the muscular Meharangarh Fort that commands a view of the city beneath. The sobriquet “Sun City” almost nudges its original title of the Blue City. A 10 Km long wall separates the newer part of the city from the walled, older Blue city. This is particularly noticeable on the north side of the town, known as Brahmpuri for the many Brahmins that live there. At once medieval and at the same time progressive, this vision in indigo against a backdrop of a biscuit brown desert, has many aces up its sleeve for the wanderer. The majestic Umaid Bhawan Palace, the blue houses often flaunting flaming red Mathania chillies drying in the courtyard, colourful havelis, labyrinthian bylanes, the bustling markets of Jalori Gate, Sojati Gate or Sadar bazaar and stealthy stepwells, make this an Arabian night fantasy and more.
You could swoop up the bazaar and its goodies and still yearn for more. Lacquerware, silver jewellery, the quintessential breeches called the Jodhpuris, the tie and dye Bandhanis, block printed textiles and bright Leheriyas, puppets, carpets and if you have a robust tongue, the scarlet chillies.
The latter spices up the street side gourmand fare like Mirchi Vada, Pyaaz ki Kachori, both of which are best washed down with a tall glass of makahaniya Lassi or neutered by the Mawa sweets and Doodh Phirni.
A short distance away from Jodhpur, lie the ancient temples of Osian, the limpid Samand Lake, the Singhasni potters’ village and the remarkable nature worshipping Bishnoi villages which are recommended musts for culture hunters. Being located close to the fringe of the Thar desert allows for camel safaris, luxury camp safaris and Jeep safaris, each of which allows for golden sunsets, bushfire dinners and entrancing folk performances. More luxurious pursuits of adventure take you para gliding over the city or on a Leopard safari at Jowai or maybe idling away at a polo match on the royal grass grounds in the shadow of the Umaid Bhawan Palace during the winters. The game of Polo shares a strong association with Jodhpur that goes back to the 19th century. “Hotter than mustard” was how the polo teams of Jaipur and Jodhpur were referred to by British tabloids when they swept the 1933 London season. And they haven’t looked back ever since.
In Jodhpur, as a traveller, you more often than not wish that time stands still, like the century old clock tower that stands sentinel over a city that’s a sure-fire cure to déjà vu. And of course, the blues.
The nearest airport to Jodhpur is Jodhpur airport, Jodhpur which is 6 kms. away from Jodhpur city centre and offers connectivity to Mumbai, Delhi and Udaipur.Book with us
Jodhpur is connected by road to all major cities in Rajasthan as also Delhi and Ahmedabad with private luxury buses at service.Book with us
Jodhpur Jn is connected to Delhi by Mandore & Intercity Expresses & to Mumbai by Suryanagari & Ranakpur Expresses. It is connected by direct trains & major cities in India.Book with us
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Nagaur festival (also known as Ramdeoji Cattle Fair), named after a town in Rajasthan is the 2nd largest cattle festival in India attracting thousands. Watch the tugs-of-war, camel and bullock races, cockfights and folk music and dance performances. Trading at fair consists of sheep, Marwari horses and spices. It also hosts the Mirchi bazaar, the largest red-chilly market of India. The International Desert Kite festival is held during the Makar Sankranti and showboats some of the finest kites for 3 days.
Nagaur festival (also known as Ramdeoji Cattle Fair), named after a town in Rajasthan is the 2nd largest cattle festival in India attracting thousands. Watch the tugs-of-war, camel and bullock races, cockfights and folk music and dance performances. Trading at fair consists of sheep, Marwari horses and spices. It also hosts the Mirchi bazaar, the largest red-chilly market of India. World Sufi Festival and its Jodhpur leg is hosted at the Mehrangarh Fort and sees a confluence of international musicians and performers apart from the Sufi artistes.
Marwar festival. Fomerly called the Maand Festival, its held in memory of the heroes of Rajasthan, with folk music ballads, lores and dances across Mehrangarh fort, Umaid Bhawan palace and Mandore garden. Among other attractions at the festival, is the camel tattoo show and polo.
Marwar festival. Fomerly called the Maand Festival, its held in memory of the heroes of Rajasthan, with folk music ballads, lores and dances across Mehrangarh fort, Umaid Bhawan palace and Mandore garden. Among other attractions at the festival, is the camel tattoo show and polo. RIFF. Hosted by the Mehrangarh Museum Trust and blessed by Maharaja Gaj Singh and Mick Jagger, the Jodhpur RIFF has come to be accepted as the season opener for Jodhpur, with international artistes mingling with prodigious local talent at the Mehrangarh fort annually.
Located 5 kms. from Jodhpur on the Jodhpur-Mandore Road, Balsamand is a spot often dotted with picnic baskets. Created in 1159 AD by the Gurjara-Pratihara rulers, it was designed as a water reservoir to provide water to Mandore. The Balsamand Lake Palace was built later as a summer palace on its shore. Surrounded by lush green gardens that house lush groves of mango trees, papaya, pomegranate, guava and plum plantations, Balsamand Lake draws in fans from the animal and avian worlds including Jackals and the Peacock.
Often referred to as the Taj Mahal of Marwar, the Jaswant Thada is a cenotaph that houses the remains of the royal families of Marwar. It was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur State in 1899 in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The mausoleum is built out of intricately carved sheets of marble, so thin and so finely polished that they emit a warm glow when illuminated by the sun. The cenotaph's grounds feature carved gazebos, a tiered garden, and a small lake.
Mandore was the erstwhile capital of the Marwar region before safety and repeated assaults from the Mughals led Rao Jodha to establish Jodhpur and Mehrangarh. The Mandore gardens with its retinue of charming temples and memorials, and its high rock terraces, is a hidden gem. The gardens house the Chhatris (cenotaphs) of many erstwhile rulers of the Jodhpur state, with the cenotaph of Maharaja Ajit Singh built in 1793 being possibly the most intricate and grand. Mandore also claims Raavan from the Hindu epic Ramayan as its son in law, him having wedded Mandodari. Today the gardens house a government museum, a 'pantheon of 16 Rajput heroes' carved out of a single rock and a Hindu temple referred to as the temple of 330 million Gods. Often your jaunt in the gardens would be pleasantly interrupted by the smooth soothing strains of the Ravanahatta(a two stringed instrument, that is reputed to be the precursor and inspiration for the European Violin) The Ravanahatta is believed to have originated among the Hela people of Lanka. As per legend it was used by the King Ravana to entertain Lord Shiva. As per the Hindu epic Ramayana, Hanuman is said to have picked up the instrument after the war and brought it to North India. Arab traders carried this from India to Arabia and then to Mediterranean Europe.
On the banks of river Bandi lies Pali, the birthplace of Maharana Pratap 70 kms. away from Jodhpur. Earlier known as Pallika, the place took its name from the Paliwal Brahmins who used to reside in the place during the ancient times. Pali is famous for its textile industries and been an ancient trading centre. Spiritually charged, this place is renowned for Jain temples, forts, gardens and museums. The Naulakha Jain Temple, dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara is famous for its beautiful architecture and is a top draw. Other important temples include the Somnath Temple, and Hatundi Rata Mahabir Swami Temple. The Lakhotia Garden, in the heart of the Pali City and with a pond for company has an ancient Shiva temple which is a must on the devotee’s circuit. If you are a fan of step wells, Pali has them in plenty locally called Baoris, and adorned with intricate designs at each step. Yet another shoo in is Sojat, the textile hub of Rajasthan well known for its large scale cultivationof henna, a herbal extract used for dyeing and tattooing and guess what Ice creams and Kulfi.
Spread across 72 hectares, near the imposing Mehrangarh Fort lies the stunning desert park, an ecologically and architecturally restored desert and arid land vegetation. The area in and around the park contains distinctive volcanic rock and sandstone formations said to have originated 745 million years ago. Resident to several reptile species, 200 species of birds, free-ranging dogs, Indian crested porcupine, and the five-striped palm squirrel, the park offers a Visitors Centre with an Interpretation Gallery, a native-plant nursery, boutiques and a cafe. There are four trails (yellow, green, red, and blue trails), about 880 m to 1115 m long, that visitors can take with the help of trained guides and naturalists.
Operating out of the Chokelao gardens inside the fort complex, the Flying Fox zipline experience at Jodhpur is rated the No.1 activity in Jodhpur by Tripadvisor. For the adrenaline seekers, and there have been 50,000 before you, zip high over the battlements and crenallations of imposing Mehrangarh Fort. Gliding smoothly over its two desert lakes, trek through the Rao Jodha eco-park and get the best aerial views of the Blue City. A 90 min tour, it includes the mandatory safety brief & assessment, practice zip, and short walks between each zip.
Mehrangarh Fort. It almost seems like the hills rise to become the impregnable fort that kept many an army and elephant back. Seeming like an ocean liner cruising on the sands, Mehrangarh is a genuine post card monument that takes the ordinary and rushes it to limelight. This fort is the center of gravity for Jodhpur and deceptive in expanse. Armed with 7 gates, perched 410 feet high above the city, the fort’s second gate is riddled with imprints of cannon fire that once rang true from invading Jaipur armies. Just goes to show how coveted the monument is. The name "Fort" belies the size of the complex, which houses the Maharaja's palace, several temples and, tucked away in the back, an extensive garden still farmed to this day. Mehrangarh derives its name from Mihir Garh or the Sun’s fort, the Sun being the ruling deity for the founding Rathore dynasty. The museum inside the fort preserves the heritage of the Rathore dynasty in arms, costumes, turbans, palanquins, paintings and decorated period rooms. Watch out for the sword of Mughal Emperor Akbar and the magnificent gold howdah* in which the Maharaja used to ride on his elephant. The fort has folk musicians performing live at the entrance and houses several palaces, museums, restaurants, exhibitions, and craft bazaars to get lost in. The fort blessed with good looks has posed for several movie blockbusters including the Dark Knight Rises as also Paul Thomas Anderson’s non fictional music documentary Junun. And if you are in a reflective mood take pleasure in the Chokelao garden, an oasis of lush lawns, shady trees and fragrant flowers.
The Ghanta Ghar is the centurion sentinel that has stood ever awake for the last nearly 300 years. One of the most notable landmarks, the clock is serenaded by the sights, sounds and smells of the bustling Sardar Bazaar. Built by Maharaja Sardar Singh from whom the market takes its name. The clock tower radiates lanes into the city with the one going westward plunging into bazaars selling vegetables, spices, sweets, silver and handicrafts.
The Bishnois remain one of the oldest ecologically sensitive communities in India. Their name derives from bis (twenty) and nai (nine), the 29 tenets laid out by Guru Jambheshwar about sanitation and health, social behaviour, conservation and religion, that guide their lives. In the fifteenth century, Jambhoji, a resident of a village near Jodhpur, had a vision that the drought in the area was caused by man’s abuse of nature. Jambhoji decided to pursue a spiritual path and came to be known as Swami Jambeshwar Maharaj and founded the Bishnoi sect. Having sworn not to fell a tree or hunt an animal, there are legends about the Bishnois’ perseverance. The sacrifice made by Amrita Devi and nearly 300 others is a heart-rending example. 200 years back, when the Maharaja of Jodhpur Abhay Singh, wanted to build a new palace, he instructed his men to collect wood. To procure this his men swooped on the village of Jalnadi to fell trees. Amrita Devi hugged the first tree to prevent it from being felled and in the melee got struck by the axe and died on the spot. Before dying she uttered the now famous couplet of the Bishnois, ‘A chopped head is cheaper than a felled tree’(Sar santhe rooke rahe to bhi sasto jaan). Residents of 83 surrounding villages rushed to protect the tree and nearly 350 lost their lives. The King upon being apprised about the incident was filled with remorse and guilt. He promised them that they would never again be asked to provide timber to the ruler, no khejri tree would ever be cut, and hunting would be banned near the Bishnoi villages. The village of Jalnadi thus came to be called Khejarli. A simple grave with four pillars was erected and every September, it sees Bishnois assemble there to commemorate the extreme sacrifice. The heartland of the Bishnois in the forests near Jodhpur abound in trees, vegetation and Antelopes, particularly the Blackbuck and the Chinkara.
The Bishnois guard animals and trees with their life. They allow them to graze freely on their farms, keep stone vessels near their houses filled with water and leave water-filled pots hanging from tree branches for the birds. Though they are staunch Hindus they often do not cremate their dead but bury them, as they are not permitted to use wood for the cremation. The community is proscribed from dressing in blue clothes as the dye for colouring them is obtained from cutting shrubs.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace, is one of the world's largest private residences a part of which is run by the luxury hotels chain – Taj has 347 rooms. It was known as Chittar Palace during its construction due to use of stones drawn from the Chittar hill where it is located. The Palace was built to provide employment to thousands of people during the time of famine in the late 1920s.
In the 1970s, the guano (droppings) from bats residing in the Mehrangarh fort used to be sold by the Mehrangarh Fort trust as fertiliser for growing Chillies in Jodhpur.
The Howdahs found in Jodhpur and other parts of India were a kind of two-compartment wooden seats (mostly decked with gold and silver embossed sheets), which were fastened onto the elephant's back. The front compartment, afforded more leg space and a raised protective metal sheet, and was meant for the club class – i.e. kings or royalty, and the rear smaller one for a reliable bodyguard disguised as a fly-whisk attendant. It appears that even Elephants weren’t spared segmentation and seat classes.
The Mehrangarh fort was built strategically on a hill known as Bhaurcheeria, the mountain of birds by Rao Jodha the Rathore ruler. According to legend to build the fort he had to displace the hill's sole human occupant, a hermit called Cheeria Nathji, the lord of birds. Upset at being evicted, Cheeria Nathji cursed Rao Jodha and his citadel with an ever scarcity of water. The hermit was mollified by Rao Jodha who built a house and a temple in the fort very near the cave the hermit had used for meditation. Even today the area is plagued by a drought every 3 to 4 years. Rao Jodha is also rumoured to have taken an extreme measure to ensure that the new site proved propitious; he buried a man called "Raja Ram Meghwal" alive in the foundations. "Raja Ram Meghwal" waspromised that in return his family would be looked after by the Rathores. To this day his descendants still live in Raj Bagh ("Raja Ram Meghwal's" Garden), an estate bequeathed them by Jodha.
The old part of Jodhpur, is what gives it its sobriquet – the Blue City. Houses are painted indigo. And this has extremely interesting but differing versions. Some say that the higher caste Brahmins used this colour to distinguish their residential quarters while some maintain the houses were painted with a mixture containing Copper Sulphate to prevent termites. And some say this was done to keep the Jodhpur heat away.