Blue City of Jodhpur, a dream destination
The Blue City of Jodhpur in India is the second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur. It is characterized by the peculiar blue facades of the houses of the old town and by its gigantic fortress, the fort of Mehrangarh.
The blue city has gained worldwide fame in recent years and has become one of the most visited sites in India.
The first time I heard about this city was when I saw the film The Fall (2006), by Indian director Tarsem Singh. From that moment on, I had a crush and I promised myself that one day I would go and see it with my own eyes. Life is full of small dreams and few things satisfy more than fulfilling them.
If you’re a cinephile, you’ll be interested to know that you can also see Jodhpur’s fort, only for a second, in the movie The Dark Night Rises (2012), in a scene where Bruce Wayne escapes from a prison.
What to see in the Blue City of Jodhpur?
The fort of Mehrangarh
The fort of Mehrangarh (Sun Fort) is located on a hill of 125 meters and is solemnly imposed on Jodhpur. Construction began in 1459, during the reign of Rao Jodha (the founder of the city of Jodhpur) and later expanded. Today, most of the remaining structure dates back to the 17th century.
The Sun Fort is one of the largest and best preserved forts in India. It extends over an area of 5km and has the privilege of never having been conquered.
Without a doubt, 36-metre high walls are to blame. In addition, the ramp up to the main entrance, just before reaching the gate, makes a 90° curve specially designed so that enemy elephants could not pick up momentum and knock down the entrance.
From the Blue City of Jodhpur, almost from anywhere, you can enjoy the image of the imposing fort on the hill guarding the city. And from the fort of Mehrangarh, you can gawk at the blue city.
Visit to Mehrangarh Fort
As of today, the fort remains the property of the present marajá. The fort is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance costs 600 rupees with audio guide included. The audio guide is ideal to follow the route you are marked and learn about the history of each of the places you visit.
A small deposit must be paid as a deposit for the audio guide that will be returned to you when you leave. They also ask you to pay 200 rupees more to take pictures. If you don’t pay, and you get caught taking pictures you could get a fine.
Inside there are several palaces, inner courtyards and rooms full of palanquins and royal cots. Weapons, coats of arms and armour from the period of the Mughal Empire and a large number of paintings and royal portraits are also present. Get ready to spend two or three hours at the fort and let them fly by.
The Jaswant Thada mausoleum
The Jaswant Thada mausoleum is right next to the Mehrangarh fort. It was built in 1899 with the same white marble that can be found in the Taj Mahal. In it is the tomb of the one who is considered the best ruler ever in Jodhpur, the marajah Jaswant Singh II (1878-1895).
Part of the enclosure is surrounded by a small lake. In the surroundings of the main building one can find several tombs and the Pond of the Gods, where the royal families of Jodhpur incinerate their relatives. Also, in front of the mausoleum, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Mehrangarh fort.
Entry to the mausoleum costs only 30 rupees. From Jodhpur city you can negotiate with a tuk-tuk driver to take you to Jaswant Thada and then go to Mehrangarh Fort.
Ghanta Ghar Tower
The Ghanta Ghar Tower, or Clock Tower, is located right in the centre of the city. More than the tower itself, the place deserves a visit for the atmosphere.
It’s a very lively area. There are people everywhere, street markets (Sardar Market) and narrow, colorful streets.
The area between Ghanta Ghar Tower and Mehrangarh Fort is undoubtedly the best place to stay in Jodhpur.
The Blue City of Jodhpur: the old town
Last but not least, it is advisable to reserve a couple of hours to get lost in the blue alleys of the old town of Jodhpur.
Although I’m not going to deny that I thought it was much prettier from above than at street level, a walk through this labyrinth doesn’t leave anyone indifferent either. And if you like to take pictures, be careful not to get stuck there all day.
Initially, the houses were painted blue to indicate that they were houses of Brahmins, Hindu priests belonging to the high caste. Over time, it has become a tradition of the city, but already with a purely tourist motivation.
From Jodhpur to Pushkar
If you have made a route similar to ours, and from Jaisalmer you arrived at the Blue City of Jodhpur, it is advisable to go to another of the most famous cities of Rajasthan: Udaipur, “the Venice of India”. Unfortunately, we were running out of time so we had no choice but to jump Udaipur and go directly to Pushkar. In my next post I’ll tell you about Pushkar, one of those places where you go because everyone talks to you well and then you might be disappointed.
To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim.
– Martin Luther King Jr.-