The saga continues, moving on from holy city of Pushkar to Jodhpur. We were actually here for a day on either side of Jaisalmer (post coming soon) so you could definitely fit more into two consecutive days. Unfortunately, the diarrhoea chronicles were ongoing for half of the group and so they missed out on the majority of Jodhpur. However, I’d been suspiciously well since Agra, so I managed to take it all in. Nonetheless, here’s a taste of what there is to do if you find yourself in the Blue City.
Where did we stay?
We stayed at Madpacker’s Jodhpur hostel. It’s a very modern hostel for reasonable prices and serves some great western food if you’re craving (try the milkshakes). We met the owner at the rooftop bar and he explained how he wanted to create a calm environment that feels like home (aimed at Europeans). In all honesty he was a bit of a prick, but his hostels are great and he’s since expanded across India.
This fort gives a stunning panorama over the city and is a must-see during your time here. It takes up a morning to see the whole thing but it’s very impressive. It counts as a heritage site meaning the interior has been maintained as well as the vast exterior.
They offer a student discount (400INR instead of 600) but they get very strict about what counts as a valid student ID. I didn’t have my university card with me and was using UNiDAYS. If you stand your ground they’ll concede. Make sure to get the audio guide, it adds a lot to the experience if you’ve only used the Lonely Planet guide for previous forts.
For some added adrenaline consider riding the Flying Fox. This is an awesome zip line that is located on the edge of the fort and has a stunning view over Jodhpur. It isn’t cheap though- 1250INR for students.
After you’ve wandered round the fort, feel free to walk over to Jaswant Thada- a dazzlingly white mausoleum less than 1km away.
Wander the Old City
If you’ve followed the same route through India as this saga then you’re probably used to the chaos of the old city. Jodhpur is no different.
The clock tower is a good landmark to head for/ask directions for to know you’re in the old town. It’s a century old yet surprisingly still working.
Once you’re here explore Sardar Market and lose yourself in twisted streets and alleys where anything from spices to silver is on offer. Don’t forget to grab some lunch before heading to the next tourist spot.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
After exploring the old city, we went to the Umaid Bhawan palace (get a rickshaw but make sure to haggle). The vibe is bizarre because it’s actually split into three distinct sections. It was built in the early 1900s during a drought; the ruler thought that he would “generously” allow people to build him a palace so as to provide a means of employment.
As of today it’s split into the original palace complex (still inhabited), a museum and a functioning hotel. The history behind the building is interesting and the fancy polished cars outside are very cool if that’s your thing.
The palace and hotel sections aren’t open to casual guests so it doesn’t take long to see it all. If you’re only in Jodhpur for a day I’d skip it. On the other hand, if you find yourself extremely under budget maybe splash out on a room; at the time of writing one night is £400 but it was £600 when I visited pre-COVID. Fun fact: Nick Jonas got married here.
Explore the Blue City
This was my favourite part of Jodhpur. We returned to Jodhpur from Jaisalmer and I had to convince the others that we could spare a few hours before our flight to Mumbai.
Whilst Jodhpur is marketed as the blue city, I didn’t actually see any areas of blue buildings up close on my first visit; I could see an area from the fort though. When I tried to go, I realised it’s actually really difficult to explain to a rickshaw driver you want to see blue buildings. They had no idea what I was on about.
To find the blue buildings, head towards the suburb of Chandpole. If you need a specific point for an uber/rickshaw go to Chandpole gate. If you head towards the clock tower direction you’ll soon be in a sea of blue. Alternatively, as I did, once you reach Chandpole turn off your maps and get lost for a bit.
If you want a good panorama head towards the fort as the incline will give a good view over the rooftops. Some locals may offer for you to go up on their roofs but they’ll likely charge you for the privilege.
When I went, everyone was feeling rough apart from Yash and myself so we set off on our adventure. In the heart of the buildings, the blue is absolutely beautiful and it makes every photo look amazing.
We found a few dogs lazing about and they started following us. This happened a few times and we weren’t concerned. Unfortunately, we then hit a dead end and the dogs started baring their teeth and growling. The options of escape included climbing onto someone’s roof, going through someones house, or trying to run around the dogs. In my head I was doing some Jason Bourne parkour, but in reality I was wondering if my rabies vaccine was up to date.
Luckily, a dad walked past with his young daughter and employed some superhuman parenting shouting that made all the dogs run off. Moral of the story, don’t trust the dogs.
Enjoying the blog?
Another instalment of the Indian saga comes to an end, I hope you enjoyed these suggestions of what to do in Jodhpur. Let me know what you got up to if you’ve been there before and comment some links to your best photos below!
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