Ah, Jodhpur! The blue jewel in the Rajasthani crown, rivaled by the pink jewel which is Jaipur. Jodhpur is a few hours drive from Jaipur which is where you’ll likely arrive if you’re coming from Dubai/UAE. I say drive and not train ride because there are several places worth stopping at on the way and a car gives you an added flexibility.
Among the interesting stops is the town of Pushkar, a holy site for Hindus and home to the first and currently one of the very few Brahma Temples in the world. The town is compact but I would recommend staying the night here to experience the market at night when it really comes to life. Less than an hour away from Pushkar is Ajmer, which has an Islamic holy site. I recommend our guide Aslam (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) who also has a driver and will take you around.
Onto Jodhpur — so why should you add this place to your itinerary?
1. See the blue houses:
Although the number of blue houses is less than it used to be, there are still some batches of blue around town, particularly the area of Chandpole. To get that Instagram shot, head over to Cozy Guest House (accessible even if you’re not staying) or Namaste Cafe. The houses in Jodhpur are painted in blue as a way to cool down the interiors during the brutal summer months.
2. Try the most delicious Indian sweets:
My preconceived notions of Indian sweets as too sugary and un-innovative was entirely shattered upon visiting Jodhpur and particularly a shop called Jodhpur Sweets. Prepare to be wowed by the wide variety of tastes and textures every little sweet bite has! Instead of buying in bulk, pick and choose a small box that you can munch on during the day!
3. Experience the Rajasthani cuisine:
Peeps who aren’t into sweets can rejoice as well because Jodhpur is also home to many street food stalls than I care to remember. However, my favorite experience came at a restaurant called Gypsy that serves Rajasthan thal which means you get to try almost everything that the Rajasthani cuisine has to offer for less than 5$. Another excellent experience was at Shami Samosa with their life changing samosas.
4. Visit the mighty Mehrangarh Fort:
Although its interior is not as impressive as its Jaipur counterpart, the Mehrangarh Fort sure is impressive. Perched on a high hill, it overlooks the entire town and also a perfect stop for you to see the batches of blue houses.
5. Marvel at the mini Taj Mahal:
Located a few meters away from the fort yet often overlooked by visitors is the Jaswant Thada. Built in 1899, it served as the cremation ground for the royal family of Marwar, and is often referred to as the mini Taj Mahal owing to its beautiful design and marble floors.
6. Admire the monuments of Mandore Garden
Mandore is an ancient town a few kilometers north of Jodhpur, and was the seat of the Pratiharas of Mandavyapura, who ruled the region in the 6th century. It is also home to a charming collection of temples, memorials, and high rock terraces.
A bit smaller than the one In Jaipur, Jodhpur has two magnificent stepwells, which I only hope would be cared for more. Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps, and are an example of the many types of storage and irrigation tanks that were developed in India, mainly to cope with seasonal fluctuations in water availability.
One of the most recognizable landmarks in Jodhpur is its clock tower, around which a sprawling market spreads on and on. In that market you can find anything from clothing, jewellery, artifacts, food, and others. If you are a zealous shopper, this is paradise for you!
If you want more information on Jodhpur, you can email me at email@example.com.