Jodhpur, the second largest city of Rajasthan, has been catching the attention of holidaymakers from every corner of the world. Standing as a guard of the western border of India, Jodhpur is a great and must-visit city that is renowned for its splendid forts and palaces. In fact, it is one of the most incredible cities in India for one strange reason, i.e. it’s a blue city. That is the reason why more than half of the houses in Jodhpur are painted in blue or have a blue roof. Or, they have a blue ornamental door. However, it is not just the blue vibe that makes this town one of the most explored tourist destinations. There are several things you can do when touring around in Jodhpur.
Well-known as the ‘Sun City’ due to its sunny and warm climate conditions, Jodhpur is laden with history, culture, and royal traditions. If you are looking to pay a visit to the ‘Blue City’, there is a lot you can do to immerse yourself in its rich history and culture. Forts, old monuments, lakes, palaces, temples, and background of the Thar Desert are some of the most intriguing things that act as a crowd-puller.
Let’s talk about the top 20 things you can do in such a fabulous Rajasthani town.
1. Visit the Gigantic Mehrangarh Fort:
Apparently, this has to be on the top of the list. Mehrangarh Fort, one of the massive forts in India. Overlooking the city of Jodhpur, this fortress sits with a tremendous amount of pride upon a hill at a height of 120 metres. Although it does not seem stunningly beautiful, it is remarkable in every sense of the word. You can see impressions of cannons on one of the fort’s seven gates.
Built by Rao Jodha in 1460, there are some of the finest masterpieces in its gallery you can have a look at. These include turbans, paintings, folk music instruments, armory, elephants’ howdahs, palanquins, and many more.
If you’re thinking that Mehrangarh Fort is only well-known for its striking architecture, you’re mistaken. If you are an adventurous type and are looking for some thrills, you can opt for a zip-lining ride that lasts for around 90 minutes. This ride will give you some breathtaking aerial views of the fort’s battlements as well as desert lakes.
2. Experience the Spirit of Royalty in the Umaid Bhawan Palace:
Umaid Bhawan is possibly one of India’s most iconic palaces ever built. However, it has now been transformed into a swanky hotel. This opulent hotel is used for fairs, festivals, and weddings as well. Also known as Chittar Palace, it is segregated into three areas: a heritage hotel, museum, and the royal residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur. It was once home to Maharaja Gaj Singh and the royal family of the Blue City.
Umaid Bhawan Palace has a museum that showcases a great collection of cars and clocks. Over 26 acres of plush garden are adorned with flora leaving the entire palace filled with a sweet perfume of rose and jasmine. It is a prominent landmark of the city and you must have it on the top of your to-do list. Tourists from across the globe flock this palace to witness some of the unique artefacts.
3. Desert Safari at Khimsar:
If you want to seek the perfect adventure, look no further than the desert safari at Khimsar. The magnetism of this place lies in the fact that it can only be accessed by jeep, camel, or horseback. It happens to be the most ideal destination for those who want to explore desert life in close quarters. Being a wild desert terrain, signing up for a camel or jeep safari is the smartest move.
As far as your eyes can see, there are rolling sand dunes and prickly scrubs, which make Khimsar a great destination for those who are looking to catch a glimpse of the Thar Desert in its glory. Sunsets in this place are really mind-blowing and don’t forget to carry woolens, if you plan to take a safari in winters.
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4. Explore the Royal Memorial of Jaswant Tada:
Do you have a fondness for history? If so, then you won’t even of overlooking Jaswant Tada – one of the most visited sightseeing spots no history buff misses. A stone’e throw from the massive Mehrangarh Fort, it is a stunningly beautiful marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II by his son. The cenotaph is a striking beauty loaded with carved marble lattice screen on domes, which reflect with diverse colors in mornings and evenings.
The main reason to visit this attraction is for its tranquility, calmness, and not to mention, incredible architecture. The wooden entrance doors, manicured lawns, marble lattice, etc. make this spot one of the most popular among tourists coming to Jodhpur from far and wide.
5. Experience the Culture-rich Marwar Festival:
Earlier known as the Maand Festival, this is a carnival of the royalty of the city. It takes place between the months of September and October. When you visit Jodhpur in these months, you can experience the best of local culture. The folk music and dance performances inherent to the city are colorful and dynamic. Also, this festival is attended for polo matches, puppet shows, and many other things that celebrate arts and culture.
6. Shop Around the Iconic Clock Tower:
The Clock Tower or Ghanta Ghar (as called by the locals), is a popular landmark in the old city of Jodhpur. This pleasurably disorganized area is where you should begin a walking tour of town. Visit the Sadar Bazaar where you can find a plethora of shops selling bangles, saris, ethnic clothing, spices, handicrafts, and several other Rajasthani things. A walking tour is one of the most amazing things you can do in Jodhpur. If shopping is what excites you deep inside, the Clock Tower is the best place to go on a shopping spree.
7. Visit Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park:
The Rao Jodha desert rock park, which is truly one-of-its kind, is situated right behind the majestic Mehrangarh Fort. The primary intention of the founders of this park was to make an appropriate home for native plants growing on rocks. In this park, there are three trails for travelers and they lead back to the Visitors Centre – a spot where you can not only purchase tickets but revive yourself in the café. You can even buy souvenirs. Near to the park is Jaswant Thada.
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8. Take a Trip to the Majestic Osian Temples:
If you are looking to get the most out of your Jodhpur trip, then taking a trip to the majestic Osian temples is what you should think of doing. It is a 90 kms drive from the city and will bring you to the center of an ancient settlement of the temples, which have been given a nickname “the Khajuraho of Rajasthan”. Osian is a pilgrimage point for both Hindus and Jains.
In fact, some of the temples here date back to the 8th century. The Sachchiya Mata Temple is one of the imposing in the complex because of its gateways, pillars, and hand-carved statues. Explore the ancient collection of 18 temples at Osian. It is an experience you will never forget.
9. Pay Your Respect at Santoshi Mata Temple:
Santoshi Mata is a remarkably crucial goddess in the Hindu belief. Also known as the Mother of Contentment and enshrined at the Santoshi Mata temple, many local devotees (especially the women) pay a visit to this holy place of worship to seek her blessings, especially on Friday. That’s because it is contemplated to be a special sacred day of Santoshi Mata. And if you are the temple not only for the devout, but for an aesthetic experience, there is no way you are getting disappointed.
10. Visit the Mandore Gardens:
Located less than four miles from the main Jodhpur city are the Mandore Gardens, so it’s rare to come across a trek this peaceful and stunning. These gardens were prepared using stone-carved temples and the remains of the cenotaphs that date back to the 14th century. The calming and peaceful atmosphere of Mandore Gardens makes them a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic with your loved ones or taking a pleasurely stroll through the gardens with your significant other. Make sure you watch out for the “Hanumann Langur”, a term used for monkeys here.
11. Taste Lip-smacking Local Delicacies:
When in town, make sure you take a culinary tour of Jodhpur cuisine. Know that your tour trip to Jodhpur is never complete without sinking your teeth into the local street food of the Blue City. There’s a lot you can taste, including pyaaj ki kachori, makhaniya lassi, hot spicy mirchi bada, mawa ki kachori, and many more. Don’t forget to savor the rich flavor of the well-known Rajasthani food: Dal Baati Churma, which will definitely take your taste buds on an exciting tour.
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12. Enjoy the Beauty of Nature in Umed Garden:
Umed Garden, which encompasses an area of about 82 acres, has been named after Maharaja Umed Singh, who developed it. The park also has a library, museum, zoo, and fountain. Constructed in 1978, the zoo is named Walk in Aviary. You can catch a glimpse of deers, crocodiles, ducks, leopards, rabbits, foxes, African and Australian parrots, and many more.
13. Spend Some Time at Balsamand Lake:
Balsamand is another artificial lake, which is located on the outskirts of the city. Dating back to the twelfth century, this lake was designed as a water reservoir for Mandore. Today, it is great spot for the people to come with their family members and enjoy a picnic and soaking in the nature at the same time. The Balsamand Lake Palace cum heritage hotel is a great sight that will leave you in awe.
14. Experience History Again at Sardar Government Museum:
While there are several tourist attractions in Jodhpur to check out, make sure you pay a visit to the Sardar Government Museum, which is a must visit for history lovers. Built by Maharaja Umed Singh, you can find a diverse collection of textiles, portraits, weapons, stuffed animals, metallic artifacts miniature paintings of the former kings, and many more.
15. Visit the Kaylana Lake:
Kaylana Lake is more than just a picturesque place to soak up the expanse of the blue-green water. This lake is the one where most of the city gets its drinking water, so it is the major source for people to get their water to drink, provided that Jodhpur is the city which is mainly built on desert. It comes as no surprise that Kaylana Lake has become one of the most visited tourist destinations, being one of Rajasthan’s largest water reservoirs. Families don’t think twice about making a pit stop for their afternoon tea or lunch whether in or out of town. When you stand next to the edge of water, you can enjoy a cool breeze greeting your face.
16. Take a Cycling Tour:
One of the best things you can do in Jodhpur is taking a cycling tour. If you are looking to experience every part of town enjoying a fantastic ride, there is no other way that seems better than riding a cycle. Having a ride to various places is a great idea of fun. In fact, it is more exciting to do cycling with your nearest and dearest ones.
17. Go for a Bishnoi Village Safari:
Taking a Bishnoi Village Safari will make you experience the arts, crafts, wildlife, culture, tribal life of several villages in town. This safari was created by Chhotaram Prajapati, who’s a weaver. He makes people coming to Jodhpur aware of different cultures as well as traditions of villages in the country. The residents of Bishnoi Village worship nature and animals. The Guda Lake is another sightseeing spot of this village with cranes, blackbucks, chinkaras, and many more.
18. Jodhpur RIFF (Rajasthan International Folk Festival):
If you are looking to get acquainted with the spirit of incredible Rajasthan, there is no other way than being a part of the Rajasthan International Folk Festival (short for RIFF). Also, it is one of most popular festivals in India that witnesses a major influx of tourists from around the world. This grand event not only celebrates but also promotes arts and traditional folk music of the state. It’s held on the premises of Mehrangarh Fort and that’s what makes it more fantastic.
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19. Fly Kites in the Jodhpur International Desert Kite Festival:
Jodhpur International Desert Kite Festival – one of the most popular festivals in the country – is attended by people coming from every nook and corner of the world. Most of the tourists visit the city exclusively for the festival. It is a three-day long festival that takes place every year.
It features a multitude of unique and multicolored kites throughout the ground. Here you can take pride in being a witness to kite-flying choreography, which is one-of-its kind. Furthermore, various competitions are held, like the Display Flying and Fighter Kite Competition. Winners of this competition are awarded a dinner at an interesting location.
20. Explore the Historical Place of Toorji Ka Jhalra:
Toorji Ka Jhalra is a splendid step-well, which is considered a hidden gem of the Blue City. It was built in 1740s by a Rani Tawar Ji, who was the consort of Maharaja Abhay Singh. The queen built this step-well to continue an age old tradition that women from the Royal family would build water works.
The design and structure help bystander understand the lifestyle of the previous generations who had made extensive use of the step-well in its prime, while the site used to serve as the local watering hole.
One of the best things about spending your time in this amazing city is the street food. When in Jodhpur, make sure you don’t miss the street food. You will be amazed to wander through the shopping streets in the city and buy the local items for your loved ones back home.
Jodhpur used to be the capital of the Marwar State of Rajasthan, and a 10-km-long wall, which is made of stone, encloses the city. There are eight doors that stand through this wall and lead to different places of this town that remains spectacular in every sense of the word. The city of Jodhpur is laden with 100 towers, most of which are bordered by protective barricades.
If you are waiting for the right time to take a trip to the “Blue City”, it is between October and March. This is the peak season when tourists from far and wide visit the city due to its pleasurable climate.
The erstwhile capital of Marwar, Jodhpur is renowned for Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, and Jaswant Tada. There is no dearth to the number of things to do in Jodhpur. Once there, you will come back for more, as you may have a hard time doing everything Jodhpur is famous for in just one day.