Jodhpur, India

Monday, 17 April 2017

Jodphur, otherwise known as the "blue city" is one of the most spectacular places I have ever seen. Towering above the cities blue washed walls is the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, which is carved into the rock and completely dominates the skyline of the city. A combination of the blue painted walls and the grandeur of the fort is what draws thousands of people to this city, as it is one of the most unique places in the world as well as in India.

The shades of blue are believed to have represented the homes of Brahmins, India's highest caste, but another theory suggests the blue helped to deter termites. Whatever the original reason behind the blue, the best place to witness the "blue city" is from the top of the Mehrangarh Fort. It is up here that the blue washed walls meld into one big mass of blue, creating a cityscape like no other. 

We arrived in Jodhpur via a private car from Udaipur as unfortunately there is not a train service that runs between these two cities. However, you can reach Jodhpur easily from Jaipur via a 5/6 hour train journey or an overnight train from Delhi.

2 nights was sufficient for our stay in Jodhpur, as once I had witnessed the blue washed walls and visited the Mehrangarh Fort and I was happily satisfied! 

See & Do
The Mehrangarh Fort - Hands down one of my favourite mornings of the trip! The price of the ticket includes an audio tour which was great as it made you notice things you would have easily walked past, as well as gaining a better understanding of the forts history.

It is also the best place to view the old city, making that a good enough reason to visit even if you are not interested in the history of the fort!

Watch the sunset over the Mehrangarh Fort 
We were lucky enough to stay in a homestay which had the most incredible view of the Mehrangarh fort and if you don't stay here I highly recommend you at least visit for a drink, as it was honestly in the most breathtaking location. 

Every evening we sat and watched the setting sun turn the fort a luminous rusty orange. It was also from up here that you could drink a chai and spy on women hanging their saris out to dry, little boys playing cricket behind a blue washed backdrop and watch monkeys hop from rooftop to rooftop.

Brave the craziness of the clock tower and Sardar Market
We decided we had to visit this whilst we were in Jodphur and although I can't say it was a particularly pleasant experience, it was fascinating to see a proper bustling locals market. We opted to walk from our hotel to the market which took about twenty minutes through the winding narrow(ish) streets of the old city. Perhaps it was actually this walk that put me off the whole experience as even though the old city is famed for having no cars, there were plenty of scooters whizzing by and rickshaws causing chaos and giving me slight feelings of vulnerability! Perhaps if you are staying further than 10 minutes from the market, hail a rickshaw to take you there and you can admire the chaos from the safety or your tuk tuk!

Despite the craziness I am so glad we did this because the colours of the market were incredible and if you are in the mood there are some great shops to browse if you know where to find them! Lucky for us we stumbled upon some, but perhaps getting a guide would be a wise idea as we found it slightly hard to navigate.

Hunt for Blue Homes
As simple as it sounds, walk through the old city and search for your favourite blue house because despite what it may seem, not every house in the old city is painted blue!

Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park
Unfortunately we did not visit this park but it does sound amazing as it is full of native plants and wildlife that takes you up to the city walls. On my list for next time! 

Jaswant Thada 
A white marble memorial which I believe was often described as a mini Taj Mahal. 

The Step Well
Unfortunately another place we missed but shouldn't have! Stepwells are common in India's arid regions and were built to ensure water could be accessed and stored all year round. Many are very intricately designed and I would love to come back to Rajasthan and try and seek out some of the best!

Castle View Homestay - This is where we stayed and I would stay again purely and simply for the view of the city and fort! The hotel/homestay is elaborately decorated and our bedroom felt very traditional, albeit a tad small. The restaurant food was nothing special but like I said the view makes up for most of its downfalls! P.s. budget friendly.

Juna Mahal Homestay - Something about this homestay really appeals to me! Another great looking budget friendly homestay with a roof terrace and close proximity to everything.

Kings Retreat - A budget option with an outside seating area and great reviews. 

Raas - For those not on a tight budget this hotel looks absolutely beautiful and luxurious.

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Much love,

Lizzie xx

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