Jodhpur is an indigo-dyed city located in central Rajasthan that emerges from the surrounding desert. Rising above Jodhpur is Mehrangarh Fort, which is surrounded by the old walled city whose serpentine lanes lead to clusters of houses bathed in blue. In the past, the color blue was used by Shaivite Brahmins in the city to paint their houses, but has since been used by other residents as well. Travel back in time to the walled old town, which exhibits medieval charm with its labyrinth of glorious Rajput palaces, traditional havelis and houses, old bazaars, and hidden wells. After the 16th century city walls lies the modern city of Jodhpur. Besides its centuries-old architectural wonders, the city is also known for its culinary delights, hospitality and shopping. True to the culture of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is a kaleidoscope of color, sound and taste: the perfect sampler if you have a long weekend to spare.
Where to stay:
Perched on Chittar Hill, one of the highest points in Jodhpur, the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace is undoubtedly the jewel of Jodhpur hotels. It offers stunning views of the Blue City, the vast sand dunes and the majestic Mehrangarh Fort. This grandiose lavish hotel was designed by renowned Edwardian architect Henry Vaughan Lanchester. It features a mixture of Renaissance and Rajput architecture. Built between 1928 and 1943, this hotel has 70 rooms, including well-appointed Art Deco-style rooms and suites. Go out for dinner at Risala, their authentic Rajasthani restaurant and Pillars, their picturesque colonnaded veranda offering European and Mediterranean specialties.
Also overlooking the intimidating Mehrangarh Fort is Raas Jodhpur, a former haveli that has been turned into a luxury property. Showcasing a bold juxtaposition of old and new, Raas Jodhpur is an 18th-century structure fitted with modern amenities.
Although the hotel has forty lavish guest rooms and suites, we recommend that for the full experience you stay in their Heritage Suite, located in the original haveli. Have a drink in their terrace restaurant, Darikhana with a breathtaking view of Mehrangarh Fort, and dine in their multi-cuisine restaurant, Baradari Restaurant. We love that the food is prepared using organic fruits and vegetables from the chef’s personal garden.
If you want to stay in a more economical hotel, go to Ajit Bhwan. Built in 1927, this red sandstone palace features traditional Rajput architecture, lavish interiors and a large outdoor swimming pool. Also, they offer a must spectacular desert safari!
Where to eat and drink:
Although Jodhpur hotels have a great choice of restaurants with delicious food, to really experience the culture of the city, we highly recommend that you visit the local restaurants in Jodhpur. Host a royal feast at a restaurant Chokelao Mahal, located inside Mehrangarh Fort. Offering a bird’s eye view of the Blue City, this restaurant is accessible by a jeep that picks you up at the entrance. Their lal maas and chakki ka saag are deliciously delicious.
You can’t miss dining at Gypsy, a casual Rajasthani restaurant that serves authentic thalis with impeccable service. Step Well Cafe is a quaint cafe with panoramic views of an ancient walking well – Toor ji ka Jhalra. Located in the old walled city of Jodhpur, this bistro offers a full Indo-European menu. It is a great place to take a break from exploring the city or shopping in the nearby bazaar.
A pan-Asian restaurant and bar, On The Rocks is located near Ajit Bhawan. Their intimate bar and large cocktail menu with delicious Whiskey Sour are very popular.
Also Read: 5 Places To Visit In Rajasthan
The namkeen and mithai of Jodhpur are famous among locals and tourists. Visit Choudhary Namkeen for their spicy mirchi vadas and Surya Namkeen for their delicious shahi samosa and pyaz ki kachori. In addition, Chaturbhuj Rameshchandra‘s gulab jamuns and Mohanji Mithaiwala‘s boondi ladoo and rabri ladoos are very delicious.
If you are still not satisfied, stop by Nai Sarak, a small street with a number of food stalls selling all kinds of Rajasthani delicacies.
Where to shop:
The Sardaar Bazaar near the clock tower is the place to go for local crafts. It is a bustling bazaar comprising a number of narrow alleys lined with shops, known for their tie-dye textiles, embroidered leather shoes, antiques, rugs and spices.
For traditional Rajasthani clothing and footwear, stop at Mochi Bazaar. Shops are full of traditional mojaris, colorful Rajasthani sherwanis and lacquer bracelets. The Gem and Jewel Palace is a local institution for traditional Rajasthani jewelry, ranging from delicate necklaces, exquisite earrings, and stunning bridal jewelry.
VJ Home is fantastic for traditional wood furniture and iron and stone decor pieces. A number of palaces in Rajasthan brought their furniture from VJ Home. Celebrity favorite Maharani textiles and crafts are a great store for silk stoles, pashminas, brocade fabrics, and a variety of upholstery fabrics.
Finally, Step Well Square is ideal if you want to shop in contemporary Indian stores. Located near the Step Well Cafe, Step Well Square is a restored part of the Old Town. Many popular Indian brands such as Rajesh Pratap Singh, Via Jodhpur, Forest Essentials and Good Earth can be found here.
What to do:
You cannot go to Jodhpur and not visit Mehrangarh Fort. Rising 410 feet above the city, this structure was built in the 17th century. It has a museum and a number of palaces. We suggest you take the audio guide from Mehrangarh Museum and stop at Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal and Moti Mahal. In addition, adrenaline junkies can also zip-line the fort with a unique view of the city.
Next to Mehrangarh Fort is Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park. This park was created in 2006 with the aim of preserving the natural ecosystem of the region. It has over 80 varieties of succulents and other plant species that grow in the rocky landscape. In this park, take a guided tour or stroll along the crisscrossed hiking trails while learning about the native flora and fauna.