If you are planning a trip to India, you don’t want to miss the Blue City. Read this guide before you book your trip so you won’t miss any of the best things to do in Jodhpur!
Where is Jodhpur, India?
Jodhpur is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, which is in northwest India.
Why is Jodhpur called the Blue City?
People call Jodhpur the Blue City of India because many of the houses are bright blue, especially in the historic district. They say the blue color helps keep the houses cool and deter mosquitos.
Is Jodhpur Worth Visiting?
Yes, absolutely. It’s a bit far from the “Golden Triangle” that most people going to Northern India usually visit (New Delhi, Jaipur, and the Taj Mahal), but Jodhpur is definitely worth adding to your itinerary. You can get a direct flight from New Delhi to Jodhpur so it’s pretty easy to get there, too.
Another advantage is that it’s way less crowded than the other three cities of the “Golden Triangle” so it’s more peaceful and relaxing.
How Safe is Jodhpur?
Jodhpur is a safe city to visit, especially in the touristy areas.
I traveled in Jodhpur with a girlfriend, so we were two blonde gals traveling alone. We had a tour guide who was with us most of the day, and we felt very safe in the touristy areas. However our guide did warn us not to wander around outside of the tourist areas after dark.
For an easy, stress-free trip in Jodhpur, I recommend booking a tour with GetsHolidays. You will have your own private driver and guide who will be with you the entire time.
What Are The Best Things To Do in Jodhpur?
Here is a list of the most popular things to do in Jodhpur, along with some tips for visiting each place. These are the things you absolutely don’t want to miss if you go to the Blue City of India. Use this guide to help plan your itinerary so you don’t miss any of the best things to do!
Best Things To Do In Jodhpur #1:
Visit Jaswant Thada
Jaswant Thada is a pure, white marble monument built in the loving memory of a former King of Jodhpur. It was built by his son in 1899.
This memorial is beautifully built out of very thin, delicately carved sheets of marble. These marble sheets are carefully polished to give off a warm glow from the sun.
This monument is also known as the Taj Mahal of Marwar.
Here is a look inside the memorial. On the walls you can see pictures of the former kings of Jodhpur.
Tips for Visiting Jaswant Thada
If you want to go inside the monument, you must take off your shoes, so you may want to bring some socks you can slip on if you don’t want to walk barefoot.
The grounds surrounding Jaswant Thada feature carved gazebos, a tiered garden, and a small lake, as well as monuments for other members of the royal family.
The gardens are a quiet spot to walk around, explore, and admire the incredible stonework.
You can also see memorials to other members of the royal family on the property.
Best Things To Do In Jodhpur #2:
Take a short hike for an incredible view of Jodhpur
This very short hike starts at the entrance of Jaswant Thada. It only takes about 15 minutes and is mostly flat. When you get to the end you’ll have an amazing view of Jaswant Thada and Mehrangarh Fort overlooking Jodhpur.
To do the hike you must buy a ticket for the Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park Walking Trail and the required naturalist (guide) to accompany you.
You can buy the ticket from the same ticket office where you buy the ticket for Jaswant Thada, which is right at the entrance.
The total price for the hike and guide is 300 rupees ($4.06 US).
Best Things To Do In Jodhpur #3:
Explore Mehrangarh Fort
Built in the mid-1400s, Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India. Surrounded by thick, imposing walls, the fort towers 400 feet above the city.
Inside the fortress walls are several ancient palaces with intricate architecture and expansive courtyards.
When Rudyard Kipling first saw this fort, he said it must’ve been “the work of giants and magicians.”
Discover the Best View of Jodhpur
From Mehrangarh Fort you have the best views of the Blue City of Jodhpur.
Here’s a view of the famous clock tower and the bustling Sardar Market. See all the tiny people at the market around the clock tower?
Check Out the Unique Exhibits Inside Mehrangarh Fort
Many of the palace rooms now function as a museum. There is a room entirely dedicated to ancient seats for riding elephants!
Another room is full of ancient cradles for royal babies.
There are so many other interesting collections in the fort, including ancient turbans, swords, and even coins from the East India Trading Company.
See the Ancient Palace Rooms inside Mehrangarh Fort
There are many palace rooms that have been preserved to look like they did when they were in use by the royalty of Jodhpur. Below are pictures and descriptions of the rooms you can see.
Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace)
Built in the early 1600s, this room is where the king would meet with his ministers to discuss important matters related to daily governmental activities and war strategies. This palace has many hidden balconies where the women would often try to overhear these important conversations. When you’re in this room, don’t forget to look up! Gold filigree and mirrors cover the entire ceiling.
Phool Mahal (Flower Palace)
Only members of the royal family could enter this room. If you look closely you’ll see gold flower creepers painted on the walls and ceiling.
Takhat Vilas (Place of Strength)
The last ruler to reside in Mehrangarh Fort built this room. It features both modern and traditional styles.
Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace)
Large mirrors and plaster work makes this hall colorful and bright.
There are so many intricate details to admire everywhere you turn inside the fort.
This is one of the seven gates to the fort. The spikes on the bottom were to keep out wild elephants!
Keep an eye out for the monkeys!
There are monkeys running all over the palace, especially along the outer walls.
Best Things To Do In Jodhpur #4:
Wander Through The Blue City of Jodhpur
One of the best things to do in Jodhpur is wander through the “old city.” Many of the houses in this area are painted blue.
Where is the Blue City of Jodhpur?
Jodhpur is a big city, and the blue houses are mostly located in a small, historic part of town. If you’re not familiar with the city, it can be a bit difficult to know where to find them. If you want to find the area with the most beautiful blue houses, start at the back gate of Mehrangarh Fort (here is the exact GPS Location) and use the map above to explore the yellow highlighted streets.
Why are the houses blue in Jodhpur?
Why are the houses in Jodhpur blue? The truth is no one really knows for sure! Everyone we asked just said history or tradition. Many believe the color blue deters mosquitoes and helps keep the house cool. Keep reading below for more reasons why the houses might be painted blue in Jodhpur.
In India the color blue is associated with Lord Shiva. Many of his followers in Jodhpur believed the color blue was sacred. This could be one possibility for the blue houses.
Jodhpur is located in the desert, and temperatures often reach well over 100 degrees fahrenheit in the summer. Why are the houses blue? Some theories suggest that the blue color reflects heat during the summer months.
There are many indigo plantations near Jodhpur, which means there would have been plenty of blue dye available. This could be one of the reasons why there was an abundance of blue paint!
When we were wandering through the blue houses we saw someone who was repainting their house to get ready for a wedding!
When you are at Mehrangarh Fort you can catch a great view of all the blue houses in Jodhpur.
Best Things To Do In Jodhpur #5:
See the Jodhpur Stepwell (Toorji-Ka-Jhalara)
The Jodhpur Stepwell was probably built in 600 AD, but the exact date is unknown. It was originally a drinking source for the city.
The Stepwell doesn’t appear on Google maps, so if you want to visit, here is a link to the exact GPS location.
Best Things To Do In Jodhpur #6:
Watch the Sunset from Pachatiya Hills
If you are looking for the exact view above, unfortunately it might be a bit difficult to access now. We visited in November 2019 and the path had been closed off with a gate. If that has changed, please leave a comment below and let me know!
For now, the closest you can get is the view from this colorful temple, right behind the fort.
How to get to Pachatiya Hills viewpoint in Jodhpur:
Start outside the fort with your back to the Back Gate of Mehrangarh Fort (click link for exact GPS location). Turn left and the path will switch back so you are walking with the wall of the fort on your left. Follow the wall through the narrow streets until you get to the colorful Maa Jwalamukhi Devi Temple pictured above.
From the temple you can see if the path to Pachatiya Hills is open, or if the gate is locked. However you still have a very nice view of Jodhpur from the temple even if the gate is closed.
Best Things To Do In Jodhpur #7:
See The Clock Tower and Shop in the Sardar Market
One of the most popular landmarks in the old city is the Clock Tower. It is right near the Sardar Market which has a bazaar selling all kinds of goods including fruits, vegetables, bread, sweets, textiles and crafts. It is a great place to take a leisurely stroll and soak in the culture.
Plan to be there after sunset as you will want to see the Clock Tower at night when it lights up and changes colors.
What’s the best way to get around Jodhpur?
When I only have 1-2 days in a city, I have found the best way to see and do the most things is to book a tour. GetsHolidays took us on an amazing one-day tour of Jodhpur to see all of the best sites.
Our tour with GetsHolidays included, Jaswant Thada, Mehrangarh Fort, a walk through the Blue City, the Stepwell, the Clock Tower, Sardar Market, and sunset at Pachatiya Hills. The tour really isn’t too expensive once you add up all the entry fees and taxi fees if you were to visit these places on your own! Plus you will have your own private driver and guide with you the entire time.
Questions About Jodhpur?
Do you have any questions about visiting Jodhpur? Ask me anything in the comment section below. We’ll do our best to help!