Many travelers believe that if they have visited the forts and palaces of cities like Jaipur and Udaipur, then they have explored the entire state of Rajasthan.
But Rajasthan, also known as The Land of the Kings, also contains other delights. One of them is the “#Blue City” of Jodhpur, named as most homes here are coloured blue.
Yes, Jodhpur also has a fort and many palaces, and they’re breathtaking. But that's just the beginning. Read on to find out more about what you’ll see in this jewel of a city if you choose to go exploring there. The Blue City has so much to offer..
1. The royal side of Jodhpur
Jodhpur is a heritage city in Rajasthan, full of palaces, forts and many stunning mansions, some of which date back 500 years and were once home to many court members of the kingdom of Marwar (see #3 below).
The most impressive palace is the Umaid Bhawan Palace.
This is the home of Gaj Singh, the current king of Jodhpur, and is one of the most luxurious palaces one can find in India..
It is also a hotel, operated by Taj Hotels. Its 347 rooms start at $1,000 per night and go up to $4,000 per night.
You can also visit the palace museum and its collection of vintage cars, which covers 20% of the whole palace complex.
You can also check out other palace hotels like the Ajit Bhawan, the Hari Mahal and the beautiful Bal Samand Lake Palace, which is a 17th-century palace built on an artificial lake under the supervision of Maharaja Jaswant Singh I.
2. The jaw-dropping mountain fort of Mehrangarh
Mehrangarh Fort is another stunning location worth a visit. This massive castle is still in good shape centuries after it was built, and even has a small standing army (now a part of its management)..
The fort was built in the 15th century by King Rao Jodha to replace the old fort in Mandore due to continuous wars.
Today, Mehrangarh Fort welcomes thousands of travellers on a daily basis, who come to view its amazing collection of paintings, palanquins, armory and small interior palaces. An entry ticket costs just $1.50, so Mehrangarh is definitely worth exploring.
3. The Cuisine of Marwar
Marwar was the name of the kingdom which once encapsulated many districts of Rajasthan, including Jodhpur.
The local cuisine of Jodhpur is still called “Marwar cuisine,” as it's different from all other types of food throughout #india. Because Jodhpur is a desert area, its food requires less water and can last for serval days.
Marwar cuisine is generally presented as a big supper, served on steel thali (plates). A huge variety of vegetarian food is available, ranging from
- Dal baati churma
- Pyaaz kachori
- Sweets include besan chaaki and ghevar.
These dishes may look like tongue twisters, but if you dine at local restaurants like Gypsy Thali or Janta Sweet Home, you can taste this unique cuisine from Jodhpur and experience it for yourself.
4. The blissful safari tour of Bishnoi Village
Bishnoi Village Safari is a half-day tour of some villages just outside of Jodhpur city. The villagers are famous for their craftsmanship and love of animals.
The tour starts with a trip to one of the villages, where you can experience the life of the Bishnoi people, who are very polite and welcome guests with open hearts.
The Bishnoi follow very strict principles which include cherishing wild animals and protecting nature. Thus, on this trip you'll spot many blackbucks and chinkaras, which are endangered species, near beautiful Guda Lake.
Visit Jodhpur in 2017 and you won't be disappointed
So, a holiday in Jodhpur in 2017 will not only allow you to visit the must-see sites like Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan Place, but it will welcome you as a royal guest of the state of Marwar.
Jatin Chhabra is a New Delhi based travel blogger who has travelled more than 3000 km in search of interesting tourist sites in India. He is the only blogger in India to cover more than 20 Stunning Stepwell like Chand Baori, Rani Ki Vav, etc from Northers to Southern India.