Jodhpur can be a great stop on a trip around India thanks to its relaxed feel that makes it seem, on the surface at least, a little more serene than many other parts of the country. Jodhpur has several nicknames including ‘Sun City’, as it is located in the Thar Desert and known for its baking sunshine and blue skies. That said, the sky is not the only thing that is blue here, and Jodhpur is also called the ‘Blue City’ as a result of a number of traditional blue buildings spread around the area that surrounds Fort Mehrangarh.
Fort Mehrangarh dates from the 15th century and sits on the top of a hill, offering amazing views over the city of Jodhpur below. The fort is surrounded by walls and inside these you will find palaces, beautiful gardens, and stone courtyards. If you look closely, you will even be able to see the site where several cannonballs were fired into the building in the days of old when this was very much still a working fort.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Umaid Bhawan Palace is known for being Asia’s most upscale royal lodging and with such a reputation preceding it, it can be a slight disappointment for travelers who were expecting more of this famous monument. The palace is still owned by the Jodhpur royal family and as a result you can only visit certain areas of the residence. There is a large on-site museum that will fill you in on all the history of the palace and the royal family, but it is often quite crowded with tour groups also going through.
It’s fair to say that Jodhpur has a completely different feel to many other cities in Rajasthan, as well as the rest of India generally. There is a friendliness here that is also more relaxed and can feel less invasive to travelers. Mixed with this you will find beautiful architecture, especially the gorgeous blue houses here which have earned the city its nickname the ‘Blue City’. Aside from the architecture, Jodhpur has a fascinating downtown area which is great for shopping or sampling the local Rajasthani food.