Explore the Blue City - called after the blue-painted houses below the Mehrangarh Fort. The city lies on the edge of the Thar desert and stands in a stark dry landscape. While in the desert one needs to travel much further West beyond Jaisalmer to see great sand dunes. Though the array of camels and camel trains around Jodhpur are typical signs of desert life.
The Blue City
Jodhpur is commonly called the Blue City of Rajasthan because of the numerous indigo blue painted houses below the Mehrangarh Fort. The city lies on the edge of the Thar Desert. The landscape around the city is a mix of arid dusty land interspersed with fields of green where irrigation allows plants to grow.
The city has a number of palaces, forts and temples - the most famous being the Mehrangarh Fort, which rises like a sentinel over the city.
A 10km wall with 8 gates encirles much of the city.
There are regular trains from Delhi stopping at numerous stations along the way, due to the many stops the journey time is long – the over night train arrives in Jodhpur at about 5 am.
The train line continues as far as Jaisalamer. There are regular bus routes to Udaipur, Jaisalamer and Jaipur. The city also has an airport , with regular flights to Delhi and Mumbai
Jaswant Thada Cenotaph
The Cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh lies just below the Mehrangarh Fort on the shores of a small lake. The Maharaja developed irrigation systems which helped developed agriculture and brought prosperity to this region on the edge of the baking desert.
Local people, believing in the healing power of the Maharaja, visit the Cenotaph, bringing flowers to the memorial and offering prayers to their god.
Within the vicinity there are smaller memorials to later day rulers and their families.
To get to the Cenotaph just drive down the exit route from the fort – it is clearly visible when walking the forts ramparts.
Visit what is acclaimed to be Rajasthan's finest fort, perched high over the city of Jodhpur.
The Mehrangarh Fort rises above the city, perched on a 120m escarpment. The walls enclosing the fort are over 10 metres thick and in some places over 20 metres thick. Entrance is through a winding cobbled road between two towering walls. On the sides of the wall indentations from cannon balls fired by attacking forces from Jaiper are clearly seen.
Note the spikes protruding from the wooden gates at elephant head height to prevent attacks by mounted elephants.
The walls in places are hewn out of the solid rock of the mount. Cannons are still mounted in position at some of the stations on the ramparts.
The Shringer Chowk courtyard ( see in movie ) has the white marble carved coronation throne. This throne was used in the coronation ceremony of all the Maharaja after the founder Rao Jodha.
The audio guide gives an interesting account of the forts history and the life of the Maharaja.
Outside the Fort
The Mehrangarh Fort commands such an imposing position above Jodhpur city and leaves a lasting impression, whether first seen from the railway station, by air or from a bus or car. A visit to the fort should be followed by a shopping spree in the Bazaar below. The Jaswant Thada can be seen while walking the ramparts.
In 1459, Rao Jodha laid the foundation stone of what became the greatest fort in Rajsathan. Today the beautiful palaces and period rooms have been converted into a museum, housing an impressive collection of palanquins, elephant howdahs, baby cradles, paintings and weapons.
When touring the fort, whether using audio tour guide or alone, take note of the following rooms.
this is the most exquiste room in the fort, it's walls and ceilings are intricately painted and gilted in gold.
was formerly the hall where private audiences with the Maharaja took place. The ceilings are decorated with mirrors and golf leaf. A single candle reflecting in the ceiling mirrors gives the impression of the night sky.
The armoury includes an array of Mughal weapons from daggers, swords to muskets and bayonets.
Through the rooms there are fine examples of colour stained glass sending strong tonal colors onto the floors and walls.
Read more about the founder of Mehrangarh Fort - Rao Jodha in the wikipedia article below.
Jodhpur Old City
Sitting below Mehrangarh Fort, the old city of Jodhpur with its colourful bazaars is a hive of activity and commerce.
Jodhpur Old City
Sardar Bazaar in the shadow of Mehrangarh Fort is an active and vibrant marketplace. The bazaar in the heart of the old city of Jodhpur has stalls, stores, tiny shops selling anything from fruits, spices to silver, jewellery, fabrics and leather
Time spent wandering around the bazaar will allow your imagination run back in time to the times of the Maharaja, as little has changed.
While wandering about notice the artists painting women’s palms with henna in delicate lacy patterns. The clock tower at the entrance to the Bazaar dates back to 1910.
When buying spices - buy samples and have them weighed, rather than the pre-packed versions ready made at much higher price for tourists.
Jodhpur New Town
Jodhpur Old City
Enjoy a walk through Jodhpur City outside the city walls. Share the streets with horses, camels, horse drawn carts, trolleys, push carts and much more. Walk the small streets savouring the atmosphere, local activities and commerce.
While the old town is confined with in the walled city, the new town sprawls out for miles beyond Sardaar Bazaar. The area adjacent to the Bazaar maintains an old world charm.
If travelling from Jodhpur Airport be aware that there is minimal food supplies – such as cafes and restaurants in the airport complex – this seem typical of the regional airports such as Jaipur.
So don’t go hungry waiting for your delayed flight – bring your own food.