A dazzling blaze of blue on the eastern edge of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur is dominated by the imposing fortress that towers above the city on a sandstone ridge.
Jodhpur is famous for the distinctive colour of its buildings, a reminder of the Brahmins, who used to paint their houses blue to deter insects and keep the dwellings cool during the summer. Founded in 1459, the old city is encircled by an imposing wall and accessed through eight magnificent gates. A broad, open street connects Jodhpur’s modern centre with the bustling heart of the old city, the Sardar Market, where a hubbub of bustling bazaars is tucked beneath the landmark clock tower.
Spreading out from the clock tower is a buzzing tangle of ancient alleys where traders barter for traditional handicrafts, from the baggy trousers named after the city to embroidered shoes, tie-dyed textiles and lacquerware. Puppet makers and traditional spice markets jostle for space with the excellent antique reproductions for which the city is famous.
Encircled within the massive city walls, the majestic Mehrangarh Fort keeps watch over a maze of rooftops from its perch on a rocky mountaintop. Bathed in yellow light at night, this imposing stronghold has the reputation of being the best maintained fort in Rajasthan, and the palace complex, with its network of courtyards, is well worth exploring.
Sprawled in the shadow of the mountaintop fort, the Blue City also boasts the Jaswant Thada, a beautiful marble crematorium constructed for the maharajahs in the 19th century.
Part museum, part royal residence and part hotel, the Umaid Bhawan Palace, with its ornate, art deco design, offers fascinating insight into the lives of the royals, with visitors even given the possibility of an enticing glimpse of the current maharaja, who still maintains a home within the palace complex.
Summer (May – September)
Min 25°C/77°F Max 45°C/113°F
Winter (October – April)
Min 5°C/41°F Max 25°C/77°F