A complete travel guide to Jodhpur, provides information on travel to Jodhpur, India. Amidst the golden sands and beyond the camel country, Jodhpur travel guide will take you on a journey to discover the regal flavor of Rajasthan, India. Plan your travel to Jodhpur, India, and stay in Rajasthan Heritage Hotels on the edge of the Thar Desert to feel the royal touch of India.

India - Rajasthan - Jodhpur Travel Guide

Jodhpur Travel Guide

¤ The Great Jodhpur Legend

Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur - IndiaLocated on the periphery of the Thar desert, Jodhpur is second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur. According to one fable when Lord Rama, hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana wanted to cross the ocean to rescue his wife Sita, who had been abducted by the demon-king Ravana, he was turned back by the Sea-God. Furious, Rama mounted his arrow to dry up the ocean forcing the Lord of the Sea to retreat. However the arrow once mounted had to be discharged, and Rama fired it into another body of water located in western Rajasthan, thus drying it up. This is the area known as Marwar or Marusthali or the land of the dead.

¤ The Challenging Climate of Jodhpur

Here the summer sizzles, the hot dry winds scorches the flesh, the winters chill the bone marrow and years pass by without rainfall. Like the mystery of the Bermuda triangle where a number of ships and planes have disappeared never to be found again; so too at Marwar countless caravans of camels have known to have vanished without a trace. This is the general topography of Jodhpur, which was once the capital city of the Marwar. Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha of the Rathore dynasty, the place is not surprisingly named after him. Rao Jodha’s sixth son Rao Bika it may be mentioned founded the city of Bikaner some 30 years later, and extended the sphere of influence of the Rathores all across the Marwar region of western Rajasthan.

Quick bytes

Area : 75.50 sq. km
Altitude :
230 metres
Climate : Summer 42.2°C (MAX) - 27.3°C (MIN) Winter 27.5°C (MAX) - 9.5°C (MIN)
Rainfall : 31 centimeters
Best Season : October - March
Clothing : Summer - Light tropical Winter - Light Woollen
Language : Marwari, Hindi, English

¤ Jaisalmer Fort

If the Jaisalmer fort is known as an architectural masterpiece, the Jodhpur fort is no less and you can see it looming in the horizon long before you enter the city. The incline on which the Meherangarh Fort was built was known as Bakharchiriya or bird’s nest, and today the top of the castle presents a bird’s eye view of the entire city and its suburbs.

The circumstances, which led to the foundation of Jodhpur bears an uncanny resemblance to the founding of the other desert city of Jaisalmer. Like Jaisal who shifted his capital from Lodurva to Jaisalmer as his earlier capital was too vulnerable to invasions; so too did Rao Jodha move from Mandore to Jodhpur as the earlier city was not secure enough. and incredibly the advice once again came from a hermit who advised Rao Jodha to shift his base. If Jaipur is known as the ‘pink city’ then Jodhpur can be called the ‘blue city’ because its traditional homes are often painted in pale blue colour. According to one story, a few hundred years ago the Brahmins of Jodhpur had painted their houses in pale blue because they discovered that the colour repels mosquitoes. and till some time ago the colour blue signified that it was the residence of a Jodhpuri Brahmins.

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¤ Main Attractions in Jodpur

Being one of the fascinating destination of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is dotted with number of big and small attractions.

Umaid Bhawan Palace
The palace was constructed by Maharaja Umaid Singh. The main motive of constructing this palace was to provide occupation to his people during long drawn famine in the early 20 th century. This was a perfect example of early modern period architecture. Umaid Bhawan palace forms the grandest private royal houses of the world. Some portion of this grand palace has been converted into a luxurious hotel and a museum. » Mehrangarh Fort The Mehrangarh Fort is an architectural marvel, which stands proudly on a 125 m long hill. It spreads over an area of around 5 km and is one of the largest forts in India. The Fort was built in 1459 AD and stands as a reminder of the royal splendor and bravery of those times. This imposing structure, which overlooks the city of Jodhpur, has a good collection of royal accouterments on exhibition besides housing a number of charming palaces.

Jaswant Thada
Jaswant Thada lies quite close to the Mehrangarh Fort complex. It was built in 1899 AD in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and houses the cenotaphs of a number of Rajput royals. The main cenotaph has rare portraits of many Rajput rulers on display. If you travel to Jodhpur, this is a place you must visit.

Architectural Splendor of Jodhpur
Given the rough terrain it is not surprising that the architecture of the city was influenced by it. Desert architecture is noted for two distinct traits, the need to guard against the heat and to fortify itself against invasions. Fortifications tend to merge with the colour of the land, providing it with a natural camouflage.

The Meherangarh Fort
Fort at Jodhpur is such that the fort walls and the sheer basalt escarpment are not distinguishable, one from the other. Huge gates at the entrance are fitted with iron nails to prevent elephants from bringing them down. The palaces and the mansions within the complex are more delicately designed. The chief palaces you can see in the fort are the Phool Mahal, the Moti Mahal, the Jhanki Mahal, the Sheesh Mahal and the Sadar Vilas.

Nearby lies the Umaid Bhavan Palace (Built by the former Jodhpur Maharaja Umaid Singh), one of the largest residences in the world, and alongside it is the Ajit Palace the house built by Umaid Singh for his younger brother.

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¤ Excursions

Balsamand Lake and Garden (5 km)
A pretty lake built in 1159 A.D. A splendid summer Palace stands by the lake side surrounded by beautiful gardens. An idyllic spot for excursions.

Mandore (8 Km):
The former capital of Marwar, north of Jodhpur. Worth seeing are the old cenotaphs and caves in the crags, which once sheltered ascetics. The exquisite landscaped gardens come alive with peacocks and monkeys and the sprawling greenery of sacred peepal, banyan, bottle-brush, pomegranate, palm & plantains and bubbling fountains are a feast for the eyes. Set against a rocky wall is a pillared compound, housing the "Hall of Heroes" and "Shrine" of the 330 million gods.

Sardar Samand Lake (55 Km)
Rajasthan's village life comes into view on the way here. Chinkara and black buck might frisk past to break the monotony of the drive.

Guda Bishnoi (25 Km)
these are immaculately kept villages of the Bishnoi community-staunch believers in the sanctity of plant and animal life. Khejri trees and deer thrive in these village.

Balsamand Lake in Jodhour India
Mahamandir Temple (9 km)
Just nine kilometeres from Jodhpur lies Mahamandir temples which was constructed in 1812 A.D. The temple is beautifully carved out 84 pillars and has more architectural splendor. It was constructed in the year 1812 and carries delicate stone work.

Kailana Lake (11 Km)
This is an ideal picnic spot and is located 11 kms from Jodhpur. Spanning over an area of 84 sq kms, it is a charming picnic spot which offer spectacular view of the sunset.

Jhalamand Garh (10 Km)
Just 10 kms from Jodhpur is the Jhalamand Garh which was constructed as the 18 th centuary fort and carries a profound aura of regal family. You can have some scenic view of the Jodhpur town from the fort. The fort have around 18 rooms and since it has been converted into a heritage hotel, it provides Rajasthani and continental cuisine on request.

Luni Fort (35 Km)
Just 35 kms from Jodhpur, you have the popular Luni fort which is been converted into a heritage hotel. It has intricate Jharokas and have traditional paintings.

The other worthwhile excursion around the city is Osiyan. Situated about 60 km away from Jodhpur, it houses some of the most exquisite Jain and Hindu temples you will find in entire Rajasthan.

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¤ The Exquisite Interiors of the Palaces

The interiors of the palaces are superb, with the walls painted with a number of motifs in a rich mosaic of colours. The Sheesh Mahal in which tiny mirrors were embedded into the walls and ceilings was an idea, which the Jodhpur royalty picked up from the Mughal empire at Delhi. The stained glass windows let in the brilliant sunlight; while master painters executed beautiful miniatures which would sweep your breath away. Suffice to say that the fort at Jodhpur is one of the marvels of Rajasthan and an example of the skill of the stone carvers of Jodhpur. The grim façade of the fort contrasts greatly with the airy, lacy textures of the zenanas or women’s quarters. The Phool Mahal in particular is lavishly gold-plated and painted with medallions portraying former Jodhpur rulers. Painters visiting Jodhpur were extended all royal courtesies and patronage due to them. For the royal women who had to be shielded from prying eyes of men as purdah was very much in vogue, they often sat behind latticed screens and windows which were carved with almost lace-like fineness.

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¤ Arts & Crafts of Jodhpur

In their solitude, women became great patrons of art and really set the trend for the entire city of Jodhpur. Artists were hired to paint all the ceilings and walls, and embellish the pillars and arches. The fabrics they wore were hand-printed and were specially designed for them by master craftsmen. Rather like the ‘haute couture’ or high fashion of today. Family jewellers made the newer and more exotic jewels and they usually wore silver slippers decorated with multi-coloured threads and beads. Later Jodhpur became the epi-centre of western Rajasthan as far as enamelling of jewellery is concerned, and enamelled silver and gold ornaments for the neck called timniya are much in vogue here.

But, what really put the city on the map of the world was the invention of ‘Jodhpurs’ or riding breeches. Invented by Sir Pratap Singh, the most famous ruler of Jodhpur who reigned in the 1870s he was a keen horse rider. As his traditional pyjamas would get torn when he mounted his horse, he invented this item of clothing to meet his riding needs. Pratap Singh also invented the close-collared Jodhpuri coat, and Jodhpuri boots which became the staple dress at the court. Another interesting craft of Jodhpur is the painting of camel hide skins with gold to make small containers for storing asha, the precious liqueur that is a popular beverage in Jodhpur. Constituted of distilled rose or saffron embellished with crushed pearls and ground gold, with chunks of goat and sheep brains added on which are believed by the locals to be aphrodisiacs. Jodhpur cuisine is generally a question of making-do. With little chance of vegetables or pulses growing in the desert, dry meat preparations of venison or rabbit-meat are the favourites.

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¤ Dance & Music

Rajputs brought along with them dance and music to the desert. The instruments they play are housed in the Meherangarh Fort Museum, and on full moon nights you can watch balladeers playing their melodies, which can be enthralling for any visitor. Jodhpur is also home to several folk dance forms. Although different communities have their own distinctive dances, the most bewitching one is the tera talli dance. The women sit in a cross-legged position in tera talli and clash their cymbals loudly as they sway from side to side. As the beat quickens they place terracotta pots on their heads and in their mouths they insert a naked sword. The other electrifying dance is performed by snake-charmers, and is called the sapera dance. The other dance popular in Jodhpur as all over Rajasthan is the ghoomar which is performed on festive occasions by women in their homes.

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¤ Fairs & Festivals

The major festival held in the Marwar area is the Maand Festival which is held during the Hindu month of Ashwin (September-October). The festival goes on for two days and is devoted to music and dance, which provides a good opportunity to the folk dancers who congregate there to to display their skills and provide some lively entertainment to the public. The folk music has a romantic has a lyrical and romantic appeal to it. The music concentrates on the lives of Jodhpur’s rulers, the battles they fought along with other valiant heroes who are immortalised in their songs. The two day extravaganza is held at the fort and the beautiful Umaid Bhavan Palace. Other events at the festival are a camel tattoo show and polo. At Mandore a short distance away from Jodhpur lies a gallery of statues of belonging to the heroes of Marwar. In their honour, an annual fair is held called the Veerpuri Fair.

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¤ Shopping in Jodhpur

Jodhpur is considered a paradise for shoppers. Being a Rajasthan city, Jodhpur have famous Bandhini and Lehariya textile. It is a block prined textike and is available in number of range.

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¤ Getting There

Fly Away :
Major airport is 5 kms from downtown and is well connected with Indian airlines. Delhi and Mumbai are usually the major flights which connects Jaipur and Udaipur.

On Track :

The city is well connected by rail and with major cities in North and West India. Jodhpur junction is well linked to Delhi by the Mandore express, to Mumbai by the Ranakpur express and to Kolkata by Howrah - Jodhpur express.

On Wheels : Jodhpur is a well connected city and is linked to some of the major cities like Agra, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Mumbai and Udaipur.

Major Tour Packages To Rajasthan
Golden Triangle Package Tour ( 7 Nights / 8 Days )
Palace on Wheels Train Tour (8 Nights / 9Days )

Heritage India Tour Package (17 Nights / 18 Days )

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