What to see in India
Tourist attractions Jodhpur
The second-largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is a magical place, famed for its palaces, forts and medieval streets. Formerly the capital of the Marwar kingdom, the ‘Blue City’ gets its nickname from the coloured houses and buildings of its charming old town. Towering over the city is the imposing Mehrangarh Fort, an architectural masterpiece that promises to transport visitors back to the days of Rajput rulers and Rathore clans.
Founded in 1459, Jodhpur was an important stop on historic trade routes across the Rajasthan desert and grew wealthy through the trade of precious goods such as opium, silk and sandalwood. Nowadays, if your travel to Jodphur you’ll find that the modern city has extended far beyond the 16th-century city walls. Jodhpur consistently enchants visitors with its mix of historical sights and examples of contemporary desert life. Through its forts, palaces Havelis, temples and markets, you can truly absorb an authentic sense of the culture of Rajasthan. Furthermore, the city’s charming locations have featured in many blockbuster movies such as The Darjeeling Limited and The Dark Knight Rises.
A trip to Jodphur is often included as part of a tour of Rajasthan or Northern India, and whilst its princely palaces are seriously photogenic, a stroll through the humble old town is equally unmissable for a unique insight into the culture and life of Jodphur’s people, known as Marwaris.
Any tour of Jodphur should include the Mehrangarh Fort, undoubtedly one of the most important things to see in Jodphur. Emerging from a rocky cliffside, the fort rises 120 metres above Jodphur’s skyline. Within this vast complex, you’ll find several palaces, expansive courtyards and a palace museum. Seven unique fort gates lead to the interior of the complex, where you can stroll through lush Rajput gardens, admire the intricate architecture and soak in the amazing views of the city below from the panoramic ramparts.
Once you’ve done exploring the residences of Jodphur’s rulers of yesteryear, uncover the current ruler’s dwelling at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, another of the most unmissable things to see in Jodphur. Maharaja Gaj Singh II still lives in a part of this magnificent palace, one of the world’s largest private residences. Constructed in 1929, the palace is a masterpiece of intricate marble and teak architecture. The other half of the palace is a luxury hotel, but the Palace Museum, showcasing the interiors and treasures of the royal palace, is open to the public.
Just 9-kilometres from the city centre is the ancient town of Mandore, an unmissable day trip destination if you are staying in Jodphur. Here you’ll find the Mandore Gardens, one of the last remaining parts of this town, which has stood abandoned since the 15th-century. An amazing reminder of Mandore’s glorious past, the gardens are home to impressive cenotaphs, rock terraces and playful langur monkeys, it is the perfect place to contemplate intricate Jain and Buddhist-inspired architecture amidst beautiful natural surroundings.
Finally, if you travel to Jodphur, be sure to stop at Balsamand Lake, situated just outside the city. This tranquil lake is a popular picnic spot for locals and is home to an incredible red-brick palace, now converted into a heritage hotel. Surrounded by lush gardens, it’s one of the best places in Jodhpur to escape the hustle and bustle of the city,
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