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Jodhpur Tours


The heritage city of Jodhpur was once the capital of the strong and powerful kingdom of Marwar, Rajasthan's largest princely state. In medieval times, Jodhpur lay on the trade routes between Central Asia and the ports of Gujarat, and became a major trade centre during the 16th century. Modern day Jodhpur with a population of over six hundred thousand, is the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan and continues to be thriving centre for textiles and crafts.

Even today, Jodhpur retains much of the medieval flavour and ambience that instantly bring to mind the grandeur and glory of another era. Dotted with palaces, havelis, temples and houses washed pale blue, the city and its people live under the watchful gaze of the imposing Mehrangarh Fort. The city's heart beats in its crowded bazaars, in the maze of jumbled lanes, in the warmth and hospitality of a hardy desert people. Jodhpur's Umaid Bhawan Palace, the magnificent art and deco style is a residence of the royal family and is now a heritage hotel.

Sightseeing in Jodhpur

If you are going for sightseeing in Jodhpur, then a visit to the awe inspiring Mehrangarh Fort is a must. From outside its wide, high walls and sheer cliffs appear unassailable, imposing and austere, but once inside, you will discover several lavishly decorated palaces and period rooms, with intricate carved 'jalis' and panels that will take your breath away. Seven heavily fortified gateways lead to these palaces, armoury and royal chambers. A few of these gates remain but the palaces are impressive in their variety and ornamentation.

The notable palaces worth a visit within Mehrangarh Fort are the Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), with its beautifully painted walls, Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) with its Shringar Chowk (coronation seat) featuring peacock armrests and gilded elephants and the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace).

If you are a history buff, you will enjoy a visit to the Mehrangarh Fort Palace Museum, which is within the Fort premises. This museum showcases a wide collection of old royal palanquins, memorabilia, heritage of the Rathores, including arms, costumes and Ragmala paintings. Daulat Khana (one of the galleries in the museum) showcases the royal treasure of Mehrangarh Museum.

To the left of Mehrangarh Fort, a few metres away is the Jaswant Thada, a white marble royal cenotaph of Jaswant Singh II and four of his successors. Religious travellers can check out the Mahamandir, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is an architectural wonder, built in 1812, with 84 intricately carved pillars. As it was outside the city walls it was given its own protective fortifications, a sign of those turbulent times!

Other places to visit in Jodhpur include the Umaid Bhawan Palace that was built during the 1920s and '30s as a famine relief project when Maharaja Umaid Singh started a food for work program. The palace took 16 years to complete. With its 347 rooms it is one of the largest private residences in the world.

The present ruler has converted the Umaid Bhawan into a fine luxury hotel with an in house museum while retaining the use of one wing as the private residence of the erstwhile royal family. Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum houses a fine collection of royal memorabilia, armours and arms, bejewelled howdahs, palanquins, an array of stuffed leopards, antiques, fascinating crockery, amazing collection of clocks and various trophies.

Where to Stay in Jodhpur

Jodhpur has a variety of places to stay that ranges from world class luxury hotels to heritage and mid-rung accommodations.

The renowned luxury hotels in Jodhpur are Umaid Bhawan Palace, The Gateway Hotel, Park Plaza Jodhpur, Bal Samand Lake Palace and Taj Hari Mahal.

To experience the traditional Jodhpur you will find some great deluxe heritage properties like Ajit Bhawan, WelcomHeritage Balsamand Garden Retreat, Devi Bhawan, Jasol Heritage, Ranbanka Palace, Karni Bhawan and Maru Garh.

If you are looking for mid-rung accommodations then try The Kothi Heritage, Mapple Abhay, Hotel Kalinga, Lake View & Resort, Maru Garh or Suncity International. A budget traveller can check-in Inn Season, Hotel Ratnawali, Residency Palace or Shri Ram Excellency.

Time to Visit Jodhpur

The best time to visit Jodhpur is between October and March when the weather is great, the desert sun is not so hot and sand storms abate. This is the time you can enjoy the colourful festivals in Jodhpur and royal events as well. Apart from celebrating the festivals of Dusshera and Diwali in October the pleasant weather during these months also inspires polo matches almost every week at various venues. These matches are a part of Jodhpur's history that invites many international polo players and teams to play the sport with royal heirs. You can attend any one of these matches and enjoy watching this royal sport.

The Marwar Festival attracts many tourists and is held in Oct/Nov - for an insight into royal yesteryears don't miss this! This is also a good time to visit Jodhpur to attend the Rajasthan International Folk Festival that features folk music and dance with a backdrop of lavishly decorated Mehrangarh Fort.

How to reach

By Air :Jodhpur is connected by flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Udaipur at least thrice a week. The airport is 5 km from the city centre and auto rickshaw or taxis are available for the ride into town. Fix the price before getting into the auto/taxi and bargain hard! You could also have your travel agent to get a car to meet you on arrival or have your hotel send you a pick up.

By Rail :Jodhpur has direct rail connections with many important cities, notably Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Varanasi. The city is connected directly or indirectly to many places in the state and to important destinations in the neighbouring states of Gujarat and Delhi. Trains available are in the express, superfast and mail categories.

By Road :The national and state highways that connect Jodhpur to Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer and Ahmedabad are well maintained. Almost all rented cars and jeeps in India come with a chauffeur, so if you want to see the country and the weather is right, coming in to Jodhpur by road may be a good idea. State roadways buses and private bus services run air-conditioned coaches and regular buses on most routes. But the roads connecting Jodhpur to smaller destinations like Barmer and Pokhran may not be very good.