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20 Unmissable Things To Do In Jodhpur
By Akansha Borthakur
11 Sep, 2023
Bequeathed in the heart of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is a city that exudes timeless charm. Its azure landscapes and contrasting golden sands make it a place where history, culture, and modernity intertwine. Often termed the 'Blue City', Jodhpur is a mosaic of vibrant bazaars, ancient forts, and serene temples, each narrating tales of bygone eras. Beyond its architectural marvels, the city offers a plethora of unique experiences for every traveller. Whether it's the allure of local handicrafts in bustling markets, the melodies of Rajasthani folk music, or the tantalizing aroma of traditional cuisine, there's an abundance of things to do in Jodhpur.
Experience the stunning view of The Blue City Jodhpur (Picture Source- Outlook India)
WHY VISIT JODHPUR?
The 'Sun City' of Rajasthan isn't just a destination; it's an experience that lingers in your heart. With its vibrant streets adorned in hues of blue, this city offers a sensory journey that captivates travellers from around the world. Jodhpur's allure lies not only in its architectural marvels but also in its soulful stories. Whether you're strolling through the bustling Sardar Market or gazing at the imposing Mehrangarh Fort, you'll find yourself transported to a different era. Beyond the aesthetics, Jodhpur is a treasure trove of cultural encounters. The vibrant folk music, the energetic dance forms, and the exquisite craftsmanship of its artisans are a testament to the city's rich heritage.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant Marwar festival of Rajasthan (Picture Source- Adotrip)
The culinary landscape of Jodhpur is equally enchanting and has some stellar items like Mirchi Vada and Makhaniya Lassi that are not to be missed. The festivals here celebrate its spirit, with the Marwar Festival and Nagaur Fair offering a glimpse into its traditional rituals and vibrant traditions. Whether you're an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or an explorer of cultures, Jodhpur promises to leave an indelible mark on your soul.
JODHPUR'S RICH HISTORY UNVEILED
Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a valiant Rajput chief of the Rathore clan, the city emerged as the epicentre of Marwar. Its strategic location on the Delhi-Gujarat trade route facilitated the flourishing trade of opium, silk, sandalwood, and other exotic goods. During the early modern period, Jodhpur's destiny intertwined with the Mughal Empire as it became a vassal state. The city flourished, absorbing new art forms and enjoying internal autonomy. However, it faced tumultuous times, including a brief Mughal sequestration in 1679. The decline of the Mughal Empire ushered in an era of Maratha dominance, as history reveals a remarkable resilience characterized by a 30-year struggle and eventual resurgence under Maharaja Ajit Singh.
Rao Jodha Rathore, the valiant Rajput chief of the Rathore clan (Picture Source- Tutorialspoint)
In the colonial era, Jodhpur stood as the largest princely state in Rajputana, enjoying prosperity and influence. The Marwaris, its enterprising merchants, rose to prominence in India's trade landscape. Post-independence, Jodhpur united with India and grew to become Rajasthan's second-largest city. Jodhpur's historical legacy is an integral part of its identity and a testament to its enduring spirit. Unveil the charm of Jodhpur's history as you explore its captivating attractions.
HOW TO REACH JODHPUR
Jodhpur's allure lies not just in its experiences but also in its accessibility. Whether you're a wanderer seeking solitude or a traveller embarking on a cultural journey, reaching this enchanting city is a seamless endeavour.
Jodhpur Railway Station (Picture Source- Luxury Trails of India)
Jodhpur Airport, also known as Maharaja Bhagat Singh Airport, connects the city to major Indian cities. With regular domestic flights, travellers can quickly fly into Jodhpur and begin exploring.
Jodhpur Junction, a central railway station, is well-connected to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Jaipur. The journey offers glimpses of Rajasthan's rustic landscapes, creating a trip as beautiful as the destination itself.
An extensive network of state and private buses links Jodhpur to neighbouring cities and states. The road trip offers an opportunity to soak in the ever-changing vistas of Rajasthan, revealing its vibrant tapestry.
For those who prefer the freedom of the road, a self-driven journey to Jodhpur is a captivating experience. The well-maintained highways and picturesque routes allow you to set your own pace and uncover hidden gems along the way.
THINGS TO DO IN JODHPUR
Mehrangarh Fort: A Majestic Desert Fortress
Explore the majesty of Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur (Picture Source- HerZindagi)
Mehrangarh Fort covers 1,200 acres atop a hill, constructed by Rao Jodha in 1459, with later additions in the 17th century. The fort houses intricately carved palaces, courtyards, and a museum. A winding road connects it to the city below, bearing scars from historic cannonball impacts. Seven gates, including Jai Pol and Fattehpol, celebrate the fort's victorious history.
The fort's origin is shrouded in legend, attributed to a hermit's selfless act to appease the gods. This majestic structure boasts a formidable exterior and intricate carvings, sprawling courtyards, and ornate palaces that narrate tales of Rajput valour and opulence. It has witnessed battles, sieges, and the changing tides of Rajputana history. Visiting here allows travellers to delve into a rich tapestry of culture and artistry. From its ramparts, panoramic vistas of Jodhpur's blue cityscape captivate photographers. The fort hosts a remarkable museum housing a trove of artefacts, including regal weaponry and opulent palanquins.
Umaid Bhawan Palace: Where Royalty Meets Grandeur
Experience the opulence of Umaid Bhawan Palace
As one of the world's largest private residences, Umaid Bhawan Palace is integral to Jodhpur sightseeing. Managed by Taj Hotels, this opulent palace bears the name of Maharaja Umaid Singh, the grandfather of the current owner, Gaj Singh. With 347 rooms, it serves as the primary residence for the former Jodhpur royal family and also houses a museum. The palace's construction began on 18 November 1929, fulfilling a vow made by Maharaja Umaid Singh to alleviate a drought brought about by a saint's curse. This magnificent palace is divided into three sections: the royal residence, a luxurious Taj Palace Hotel, and a museum showcasing the 20th-century history of the Jodhpur Royal Family.
Bishnoi Village Safari: Rural Rajasthan's Richness
Learn to cook at Bishnoi Village in Jodhpur
Embark on a journey that transcends time and ventures into the heart of rural Rajasthan with a Bishnoi Village Safari. This unique experience offers a glimpse into traditional life, where harmony with nature is paramount. Witness the vibrant tapestry of local culture as Bishnoi communities welcome you with open arms. The safari introduces you to the Bishnoi way of life, steeped in customs and rituals passed down through generations. Amidst the arid landscape, lush Khejri trees and pristine ponds - engage in conversations, learn about their traditions, and participate in their daily chores. A Bishnoi Village Safari is not just an excursion; it's a bridge to understanding the essence of rural Rajasthan, making it one of the quintessential Jodhpur attractions one should not miss.
Jaswant Thada: An Elegant Marble Cenotaph
The exquisite cenotaph, Jaswant Thada
An exquisite cenotaph, Jaswant Thada, was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh in 1899 to commemorate his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. This architectural marvel serves as the final resting place for the royal Rajput family of Marwar. Fashioned from intricately carved Makrana marble, the cenotaph's thin and polished sheets emit a radiant glow in the sunlight. The serene grounds encompass ornate gazebos, a terraced garden, and a tranquil lake. Within the complex, three additional cenotaphs grace the landscape. One of the best things to do in Jodhpur , Jaswant Thada, captivates with its beauty, rich history and cultural significance.
Sadar Bazaar and Ghanta Ghar: A Vibrant Shopping and Cultural Hub
Experience bustling shopping at Sadar Bazaar
Also known as the Clock Tower Market, Sadar Bazaar and Ghanta Ghar form the pulsating heart of Jodhpur's bustling bazaars. Sardar Market, named after Jodhpur's former ruler, Sardar Singh, offers an exceptional retail therapy experience. It boasts narrow lanes and alleys filled with numerous shops selling an array of traditional textiles, handicrafts, spices, and more, showcasing the city's rich cultural heritage. The market's lively atmosphere, filled with the aroma of spices and the melody of haggling, invites travellers to engage in authentic experiences.
Maharaja Sardar Singh constructed Ghanta Ghar almost 200 years ago. It once served as the primary timekeeping reference for locals. You can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the city from its top. After sunset, the tower illuminates, adding to the allure of this bustling market, making it one of the famous attractions in Jodhpur.
Kaylana Lake: Oasis Amid Aravalli Hills
Marvel at the breathtaking views of an artificial lake
Kaylana Lake, located 8 km west of Jodhpur, is an artificial lake created by Pratap Singh in 1872. Spanning an area of 207 acres, the lake was developed by transforming the palaces and gardens built by two former Jodhpur rulers, Bhim Singh and Takhat Singh. Placed amidst the picturesque Aravalli hills, Kaylana Lake offers a serene escape from the city's hustle and bustle. Fed by the Hathi Nehar (Elephant Canal), the lake provides a tranquil setting for leisurely boat rides. Visitors can soak in the breathtaking views of the hills, spot migratory birds, and enjoy the serenity of this beautiful spot, making it a must-visit destination for Jodhpur sightseeing.
Culinary Expedition through Jodhpur's Vibrant Markets
Dive into the spicy flavor of mirchi vada
Embark on a compelling journey through Jodhpur's bustling markets, where the city's culinary treasures await. Begin at Pal Road, known for its lip-smacking chaats and delectable sweets at Mahalaxmi Misthan Bhandar. At Clock Tower Market, savour spicy mirchi vadas and fragrant makhaniya lassi. Delve into the flavours of Sardarpura's C Road with its aromatic pyaaz ki kachoris and creamy mawa kachoris. Nai Sarak entices with its kachoris, sweets, and snacks, while Shanicharjika Than offers a variety of Rajasthani snacks. This gastronomic odyssey is essential to Jodhpur's attractions, allowing you to relish the city's rich culinary heritage.
Gudha Lake: An Avian Paradise
Admire the elegance of the Sarus Crane at the Gudha Lake (Picture Source- Tripadvisor)
Located 18 kilometres from Jodhpur, Gudha Lake is a haven of avian diversity and one of Jodhpur's most famous things. This serene oasis invites you to witness the graceful movements of migratory and resident birds: elegant Sarus Cranes, colourful Kingfishers, majestic Eagles, and playful Parakeets. Winter months, from October to March, are ideal for birdwatching as migratory species like Pelicans and Flamingos make a grand appearance.
The walking trails surrounding Gudha Lake and the smaller ponds in the vicinity offer excellent opportunities for spotting a diverse range of wildlife, including blackbucks, chinkaras, blue bulls, desert foxes, Indian jackals, and local bird species.
Desert Safari at Osian: Dunes, Camels and Adventures Await
Embark on a Desert Safari experience
Experience the essence of Jodhpur's adventurous spirit with a captivating desert safari at Osian. Situated around 65 kilometres from the city, Osian is a historic oasis renowned for its cultural significance and awe-inspiring desert landscape. The Thar Desert surrounding Osian provides the perfect setting for exhilarating activities like dune bashing, camel rides, and quad biking – making it a paradise for adventure enthusiasts.
Osian's historical importance dates back to the ancient trading routes, making it a vital hub in the past. Witnessing the vibrant sunset against the golden dunes is a sight to behold, adding to the enchantment of your Jodhpur adventure and making it an unmissable addition to your Jodhpur sightseeing list.
Tripolia Bazaar: Streets Full of Jodhpur's Artistic Heritage
Visit the vibrant Tripolia Bazaar (Picture Source- YoMetro)
Tripolia Bazaar is a true reflection of the city's artistic heritage, showcasing the craftsmanship of skilled artisans. Nestled in the heart of Jodhpur, the bazaar gets its name from the three main gates that lead to its vibrant lanes. Visiting Tripolia Bazaar is a journey through time, where you'll discover a wide array of authentic Rajasthani products. From intricately designed textiles, embroidered fabrics, and colourful pottery to exquisite jewellery, the market offers a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of Jodhpur. It's one of the quintessential things to do in Jodhpur and an ideal place to indulge in some retail therapy by showing support to skilled local artisans.
Toorji Ka Jhalra: Grand Historical Waterworks
Discover a hidden gem tucked in the heart of the bustling city
Built in the 1740s, Toorji ka Jhalra or 'stepwell', served as a water source for the city's inhabitants. As one of the few surviving structures showcasing Jodhpur's traditional water management systems, the stepwell was commissioned by the queen-consort of Maharaja Abhay Singh. It pays homage to the region's enduring tradition, where royal women oversaw public waterworks. This remarkable edifice was crafted almost 250 years ago from the renowned rose-red sandstone indigenous to Jodhpur.
After years of neglect, restoration efforts have revived Toorji Ka Jhalra to its former glory. With intricate carvings adorning its walls and steps, the stepwell's design is a fine example of Rajasthani craftsmanship. Visiting this heritage site is an enlightening experience, allowing you to step back in time and appreciate the ingenuity of Jodhpur's past.
Ranisar and Padamsar: Royalmade Gnammas of Yore
Mesmerize yourself with the view of the peaceful lakes (Picture Source- DestiMap)
Ranisar and Padamsar lakes, constructed over five centuries ago in Jodhpur, grace the rear of Mehrangarh Fort, near Fateh Pol. These picturesque lakes were ingeniously designed for water conservation. Queen Jasmade Hadi, wife of Rao Jodha, the city's founder, commissioned the development of Ranisar Lake in the 15th century. Queen Padmini, daughter of Rana Sanga of Mewar, ordered the creation of Padamsar Lake. The serene ambience of these adjacent lakes forms a captivating contrast with the imposing Mehrangarh Fort, creating a genuinely mesmerising spectacle. Remarkably, even in the arid climate, Padamsar Lake never runs dry, making it a remarkable feat of water engineering and a must-visit attraction when exploring things to do in Jodhpur.
Mandore Gardens: Timeless Lush Estates
Formerly a royal cremation ground for Marwar rulers, Mandore Gardens has transformed remarkably into a captivating garden, attracting both locals and tourists. A notable feature is the ancient Mandore Fort, once the capital of Marwar before Jodhpur, now in ruins but still showcasing intricate carvings and stunning architecture. The Ravana Temple is a testament to Ravana's marriage to Mandodari in Mandore town. The park's lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and towering trees create a serene oasis in the heart of the city.
Visitors can explore the Hall of Heroes, displaying Rajasthan's history and culture through paintings, sculptures, and artefacts. The Temple of 300 Million Gods offers a spiritual experience, and the Government Museum provides further insights into the garden's history with a collection of ancient relics. Take advantage of the unique and architecturally distinct cenotaphs honouring the Rathore clan rulers. When seeking Jodhpur attractions, Mandore Gardens offers a multifaceted experience.
Soorsagar Palaces: Ruins That Speak Volumes
Visit the serene Sursagar Pond (Picture Source- GetCabIndia)
These magnificent palaces, nestled on the serene banks of Sursagar Pond in the Sursagar area of Jodhpur, have faded into obscurity over time. Yet, in their heyday, these palaces housed royals of great importance. Located 14 km from Jodhpur, these structures are a testament to the fusion of Marwar and Mughal aesthetics. Commissioned by Sawai Raja Sur Singh Ji (1595-1619), these palaces were adorned with intricate carvings and constructed from red ghatu stone.
They include the Janana Mahal, Mardana Mahal, and two other exquisite prasads, each elevated on stone platforms. Surrounded by ramparts, the palaces once housed the first post office in Marwar, a museum visited by Lord Kitchener in 1909, and a library established by historian P. Vishweshwar Nath Reu in 1916, featuring thousands of rare books. Regrettably, the ravages of time have reduced these palaces to ruins, but their historical significance reminds us of Jodhpur's rich heritage.
Makhani Lassi at Mishrilal Hotel: Hidden Culinary Delight
Savor a creamy glassful of the iconic Makhani Lassi (Picture Source- Conde Nast Traveller)
Indulge in a creamy glassful of the iconic Makhani Lassi at Mishrilal Hotel, a beloved spot in Ghanta Ghar market. With its rich, pillowy texture and unparalleled taste, this delectable treat has won hearts for generations. Made using a secret family recipe passed down through the years, the lassi blend of yoghurt, cream, and special aromatic spices creates a unique flavour profile. The hotel's legacy dates back decades, making it a significant culinary landmark among things to do in Jodhpur. Savour the delightful sweetness of Makhani Lassi and relish a taste of tradition that has stood the test of time.
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park: A Living Exhibit of Desert Flora
Visit the magnifacent Desert Rock Park (Picture Source- TripInvitres)
Standing as a tribute to Jodhpur's dedication to preserving its natural history, the Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, sprawling across 72 hectares, offers a captivating blend of ecologically restored desert and arid land vegetation. Established in 2006, this park was a deliberate effort to rejuvenate the natural ecology of the extensive rocky terrain surrounding the fort. Open to the public since 2011, the area features remarkable volcanic rock and sandstone formations. The park provides a Visitor's Centre with an Interpretation Gallery, a native plant nursery, a quaint shop, and a cafe. Visitors can explore four trails (yellow, green, red, and blue) ranging from 880 m to 1115 m in length, and the park offers knowledgeable guides and naturalists for an enriching Jodhpur sightseeing experience.
Jodhpur Desert Camping: Nights Under the Stars
Experience a night under the stars while camping in the Rajasthan desert (Picture Source- Samsara Desrt Camp & Resort)
For a truly immersive experience in the heart of the Thar Desert, camp at the dunes near Osian, where the golden sands stretch to the horizon. Engage in camel rides, witness mesmerising sunsets, and indulge in traditional Rajasthani cuisine. The desert comes alive as night falls with cultural performances, folk music, and stargazing sessions. Embrace the serenity of the desert, away from the city's hustle and bustle. Desert camping in Jodhpur provides a chance to connect with nature, savour local flavours, and create lasting memories under the starlit sky.
Chamunda Mata Temple: An Abode of Devotion
Explore the ancient temple (Picture Source- Rajasthan)
Positioned at the southern tip of Mehrangarh Fort, the Chamunda Mataji Temple upholds the spiritual allure of Jodhpur's attractions. Rao Jodha, the fort's founder, transported the revered idol of Devi Chamunda Mataji from Mandore in 1460, driven by his deep devotion to the goddess. Even today, Rajas and Maharajas royal families consider Devi Chamunda Mataji their "Isht Devi" or adopted goddess. This sacred site draws royalty and the familiar people of Jodhpur, especially during Dussehra when devotees converge to offer prayers and homage to this revered Indian goddess. Visitors can also take in the breathtaking views of Jodhpur while paying tribute to the deity.
Balsamand Lake: Serene Haven for Jodhpur Sightseeing
Spend an evening at Balsamand Lake ( Picture Source- Jodhana Heritage Resorts)
Amid the picturesque landscape of Jodhpur lies Balsamand Lake - an idyllic oasis that has captured the attention of generations. Constructed in the 13th century by the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty, this reservoir was ingeniously crafted to cater to the palace's water needs and the surrounding gardens. The vast expanse of water is bordered by lush greenery and an opulent palace, offering a tranquil refuge from the city's hustle. Visitors can enjoy strolls along the lakeside, appreciating the serene ambience and breathtaking vistas. The gardens around Balsamand Lake make it a perfect spot for picnics, a refreshing escape for the Jodhpur sightseeing experience.
Machia Biological Park: A Biodiverse Tapestry
Visit the Machia Biological Park (Picture Source- Jodhpur Tourism)
Established as a testament to the region's biodiversity, the Machia Biological Park offers a fulfilling and educational experience, making it a noteworthy addition to the list of things to do in Jodhpur. 13 km on the outskirts of Jodhpur, the expansive Machia Biological Park beckons wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Spanning an impressive 80 hectares, this zoological park is a thriving haven for indigenous species, like tigers, leopards, ostriches, bears, crocodiles and several reptiles and birds. Its primary focus on conservation and education sets the stage for a unique experience, allowing visitors to witness animals thriving in environments mirroring their natural habitats. Consider embarking on a safari within the park's confines for an immersive adventure.
The picturesque landscape of The Blue City
As we conclude our journey through the vibrant city of Jodhpur , it becomes evident that this destination is a treasure trove of experiences for any backpacker. From the majestic Mehrangarh Fort to the serene Balsamand Lake, there is a diverse array of things to do in Jodhpur and famous places that cater to every traveller's interests. Whether captivated by its rich heritage, intrigued by its architectural marvels, or tempted by its delectable cuisine, Jodhpur promises an unforgettable adventure. So, why wait? Plan your visit today!