Located near the Thar desert, Jodhpur, is the second largest city of Rajasthan. Jodhpur was established by Rajput chief Rao Jodha in the 15th century. Like Jaipur, Jodhpur is also surrounded by a long wall consisting of 8 doors and 100 towers all around the wall. Owing to its architecture, characterised by pale blue shade, Jodhpur is also known as the ‘blue hued’ city of India.
The fort of Mehrangarh is regarded as one of the most impressive and formidable structures in Rajasthan. The fort stretches to a length of 5 kms and is located on a 125 metre high elevated land. The fort was built in such a way that it becomes almost impossible for enemies to intrude it.
Jaswant Thada houses the cenotaphs of many Rajput royals. It was built in white marble in the year 1899 A.D. in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. There are portraits of various Jodhpur rulers within the main cenotaph.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace is an example of the early modern period architecture. A relatively new building, the magnificent Umaid Bhawan was built in early 20th century. Taking 16 years for completion, the purpose of building Umaid Bhawan Palace was to give employment to the famine struck population of Jodhpur. The descendants of some former royals still stay at the palace. A section of the palace has been converted into hotel and museum.
65kms from Jodhpur, amidst the sand dunes of Rajasthan, lies the Osian camel camp with expansive views of the vast Thar desert on one side and the intricate temples of Osian on the other. Venturing out on camelback or jeep safaris, you can meet the local tribes, potters, weavers, shepherds and artisans of the region and sight various varieties of desert wildlife such as bluebulls, gazelles, foxes, peacocks and partridges.
The Osian camel camp features a refreshing swimming pool, a feat of architectural engineering in the sand dunes! The camp is famous for its safari bar, a wonderful place to relax in the evenings over a drink and cigar. Folk entertainment is also a regular feature with semi candle lit dinner at the camp.
If short on time, visit Osian for a day tour.
Experience a jeep safari to Bishnoi villages, to get a feel for the local lifestyle of Rajasthani villagers. Bishnoi’s are a village community of Rajasthan who are famous for their cultural lifestyle and their love for nature and animals. You get an opportunity to observe the village lifestyle and interact with villagers, shepherds, farmers and weavers of the region.
Jodhpur houses a fine selection of vintage cars belonging to erstwhile Maharajas and Princes. For a truly unique experience, enjoy a joy ride in a vintage car around the city of Jodhpur – you are sure to hoard crowds and grab the attention of local passers by!
Explore the shops and warehouses along Umaid Bhawan Palace Road and High Court Road for fine pieces of antique furniture. Jodhpur is a paradise for antique lovers, with designer furniture and metal works being exported from here to the western world.
Explore the variety of handicrafts made of mirrors, sequins, beads; textiles; silver jewellery; pottery; carved boxes; metalwork; marble miniatures; paintings; copper and brass ware; ivory pieces; wall hangings; colourful rugs, puppets etc which are all on display in Jodhpur.
‘Kapraa Bazaar’ i.e. ‘Clothes market’ specialises in colourful Rajasthani apparel. ‘Leheria’, a unique colourful print found on saaris and dupattas has its origins in Jodhpur. The traditional tie and dye Rajasthani printing technique is also popular in Jodhpur, available in a spectrum of colours. Explore the tiny shops in this market for beautiful cottons, chiffons and silks.
‘Mochi Bazaar’ i.e. ‘Cobblers Market’ in the walled city and Jutti Corner on Station Road specialise in finely embroidered colourful Rajasthani footwear called ‘mojri jootis’. A variety of traditional footwear in various designs and patterns can be found in abundance here.
A haunt for exquisite traditional silver jewellery, Sarafa Bazaar is cluttered with shops selling a variety of accessories to suit every taste. Other interesting buys from here include items of home décor such as photo frames, little trinkets, artefacts and small souvenirs.
It is an intriguing experience to shop for spices in Jodhpur. The capital of red chilli production in India, Jodhpur’s stark desert landscape gets its famous red colour from pavements carpeted with red chilli. Mathaniya's deep red colour chillis are exported across the world from here!
Jodhpur is home to talented and skilled craftsmen like textile dyers, metal engravers, bangle makers, cobblers, and a legacy of professional tailors specializing in classic 'Jodhpur' breeches. Tripolia bazaar, Lakhera Bazaar, Clock Tower, Sardarpura Market, Sojati Gate and the National Handloom Store are other interesting places to shop around.
Rajasthani people are food lovers and Jodhpuris are no exception! While the popular dishes like ker-sangri, gate ki subzi, dal-bati churma and badi ka saag are available almost everywhere in Jodhpur, head to some fine local restaurants to savour a variety of cuisines.
Jodhpur Coffee House : Located near Sojati Gate, the renowned Jodhpur Coffee House offers good South Indian snacks and value for money thalis offering a great variety of food at a budget.
Uttam Restaurant : Located at High Court Rd, near Sojati Gate, Uttam restaurant offers excellent value for money with reasonably priced fast service thalis in a friendly atmosphere.
On the Rocks : One of the greenest restaurants of Jodhpur, On the Rocks offers excellent variety of vegetarian and non vegetarian options with live folk music and dance.
Umaid Bhawan Palace : For an up-market palatial experience, visit the Umaid Bhawan Palace and savour the fine a-la-carte cuisine at ‘Risala’ or the continental menu offered at the casual coffee shop ‘The Pillars’ or just grab a drink at ‘The Trophy Bar’. Smart casuals dress code applies.
Jodhpuri Sweets : If you were born with a sweet tooth, Jodhpur offers a nice variety of sweet delicacies. For the traditional age old recipes, head to Agra Sweet Home, Mishrilal, Janta Sweet Home, Jodhpur Sweet Home or Pokhar Sweets for mouth watering Mave ki Kachori, Makkhan Vade, Moong Dal ka Halwa and Makhania Lassi (a saffron-flavored yogurt drink).