10 Travel Tips: Bustling BLUE City of Jodhpur

You have probably scrolled through photos of Jodhpur on Pinterest (ahem… click here to check out my boards) or somewhere else on the web, unknowingly; it’s the Blue City of Jodhpur– all the buildings painted a sky blue, looking incredible in contrast to the dusty desert town.

When you look down from a high vantage point, it’s quite possibly one of the coolest views you’ll see. The best view is from the Mehrangarh Fort.  PS: The Dark Knight Riseswas filmed here!

travel tips jodhpur

travel tips jodhpur

Before You Go to the Blue City of Jodhpur

Jodhpur is the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan and is called the “sun state” because it has fantastic weather year round. Jodhpur is very much so a place of tradition. The people and the home decor are all bright, vivid colors.

The women are draped in gold, with many large jiggling gold anklets and bracelets. Nose piercings in India are the norm, and the chain from nose to ear is one of my favorite accessories on these gorgeous girls.

Jodhpur is a dry desert city and you’ll feel like you are in Aladdin (I know that didn’t take place in India, but it really looks similar). I am super intrigued with the Maharaja times, and recently stayed in a Raj-like dream tenting while glamping in Goa.

travel tips jodhpur

So, the pressing question still lingers: Why is it the blue city of Jodhpur?

It definitely has something to do with the caste system… and the Brahmin having painted their walls blue… but no one knows for sure.

Can’t we just accept that there is a magical blue city in the middle of the desert with a giant fort overlooking it, palaces scattered around, where elephants and camels walk down the street like it’s just no big deal? Moving on…

travel tips jodhpur

Top Tips for Visiting the Blue City of Jodhpur

1. Have your sweets before your Rajasthani thali

My favorite place to eat Indian food, in general, is Rajasthan, so a thali from Hotel Haveli is something you have to try. I got this one for 200 rupees and couldn’t finish it all. The thali has all items tweaked to the traditional Rajasthani way, including some veggies/chiles growing in the Thar desert and nowhere else.

Just make sure you order plain chapatti (with no ghee) because if you eat ghee every day you’re quite possibly going to go back home from India with a considerably larger bum. Indians are used to it, but introducing it into a diet that’s never had it is bound to do some fattening up. But what might actually make you fatter is the tradition in this city of eating your sweets before the meal (called Mithi Manohar).

Jodhpur is most known in the food atmosphere and its delicious treats; make sure to snack on them while shopping. You can buy them safely from street vendors. You should try a lassi here as well, but make sure it isn’t “special” aka filled up with drugs.

travel tips jodhpur india

2. Have dinner overlooking the fort

So many places will have dancers or snake charmers come in and put on a little show for you with traditional dance, flutes, and tambourines. One little girl actually bent over backward and picked up 2 rings with her eyes! It’s great and expected that you can give them a tip at the end as well.

Choose a rooftop place so that you can have a great view of the lit-up fort while you eat. Can it get better than that? actually, YES! Order some ginger honey lemon tea and get up and dance with them when they ask. A benefit of traveling alone- no one has to see that.

travel tips jodhpur

travel tips jodhpur

3. Where to Stay in Jodhpur

OK, I can’t give you a comprehensive review, because I didn’t do all my homework, but I can say where I stayed. Thanks to a recommendation from Lonely Planet, I chose Gouri Heritage Haveli. It has a fan, large bed, attached bathroom, and A/C. I found that in October A/C wasn’t necessary but was just a nice bonus.

This room was nice, large and there was a courtyard in the middle to have tea in the morning. I spent most of my time away from the guesthouse, so it served its purposes but wasn’t such a great place that I wanted to chill there. I did do laundry by hand in my room and hung it to dry, which they didn’t mind. You can book it here.

If you want to check out other places in Jodhpur, I always use Agoda these days to book.

travel tips jodhpur

travel tips jodhpur

4. Orange Sunrise yoga

As with everywhere in India, do some early morning yoga! Rajasthan has a unique orange sunrise that looks incredible with the sandstone buildings in the background. It’s worth waking up early for.

When you come to India and are a little jetlagged, it’ll mean you wake up at ungodly hours of 5 or 6 am. It’s actually the best idea to stay on that schedule throughout your trip and make the most of your days.

I was traveling with a yoga instructor by chance who gave me little private yoga lessons as well!

Loads of people come to India for Yoga Instructor training, so team up with one so they can show you the ropes ;) This is a “quiet little town” as the locals told me, so according to them, this is the best place for yoga. FYI this quiet little town has almost 6 million people in it.

5. Tour the Mehrangarh Fort

Honestly, I’ve seen a boatload of forts, castles, temples, etc. and this one was in the top of the list for sure. The information from the headset was incredibly boring and sloooowww (sorry), plus you can read the same information on the signs around the Fort.

travel tips jodhpur

travel tips jodhpur

travel tips jodhpur

One thing I’ll never be able to forget is that when this fort was doing its best to protect the city, the attackers were using elephants as their weapon. The elephants would charge the doors to knock them down, so the people of Jodhpur put spikes on the doors. I just wanted to barf after knowing that…

Another weird thing- the Maharaja had as many wives as one could wish for over the years, and they were all hand printed for a “wall of fame” so to speak. Their hands were like baby hands.

There is a museum you can shop at, but I hope all my readers know better than that.

There are no extra charges for headsets, but there is a charge for your camera, guide services, and the elevator (seriously). Call 91 291 254 8790 for more information.

travel tips jodhpurthe runway for the elephants leading to a spiked door… who could do that!?

travel tips jodhpur

travel tips jodhpur

travel tips jodhpurone of the elephant carriages & the many wives hands

travel tips jodhpurview from the back of the fort… read on to hear about that palace!

6. Shop in the Sadar market near the clock tower

There are loads of shawls here as well as silky scarves.  The silk ones are great because I still needed to be covered and modest. I ended up with a silky pashmina mixture scarf that I actually wore all throughout my trip. I got 2 pairs of comfortable ali baba pants that I somewhat regretted the whole trip when I would see ones that were much cuter! Luckily backpackers are always up for trading.

The prices here were much cheaper than Pushkar and Udaipur (where I also did a lot of shopping). Basically, shopping in India is the BEST, and you’re just going to have to give in and buy another bag to carry. Luckily, they have these striped duffel bags everywhere that are sturdy and have a seemingly bottomless pit.

travel tips jodhpur

travel tips jodhpur

What is “the thing to buy” in the Jodhpur bazaars? Antique artifacts, wooden furniture (the best here! Hotel staff can help you ship home your bigger items) silver, gold, carpets, scarves, puppets, dyes textiles, and leather shoes and bags.

If you’re SERIOUS about shopping and shipping home decor out of India, check out one of the many export warehouses in the city, and go directly to the source instead of paying tourist prices near the Sojati Gate or clock tower area. One day when I get a permanent home that is where I’ll shop!

travel tips jodhpur

travel tips jodhpur

7. Don’t stay too long

I only mean this if you have time restraints (tourists visas are typically only 6 months). While a great city with loads of history and fun alleyways to walk and shop through, they didn’t have a lot in terms of activities, like Udaipur did. It got boring here after two days. I couldn’t find a cooking class anywhere, and they wanted 1000 rupees to take a traditional dancing class.

I knew I had camels in Jaisalmer waiting for me, so I set off. Be sure to go “on season” which is around December to March. I got there at the end of October and I actually preferred that because the tourists hadn’t come pouring in and the weather was really nice. The only negative is a lot of classes for tourists hadn’t started yet.

travel tips jodhpur

travel tips jodhpur

8. Try not to kill a rickshaw driver

Just kidding… Jodhpur was the place I had so much trouble with rickshaws! Like many cities, they won’t use their meter; something that you will have to come to expect. Be ready to haggle with the drivers, but also be ready to be tossed around and lied to about your destination.

I had a horrible time trying to get to the bus stop. I had it written in Hindi with instructions from my hotel, who even talked to the guy. He 100% knew where to take me. He instead drove me around in circles for ages, before finally plopping me down at the wrong one. With only 10 minutes to spare for my bus departure, I told him it was wrong. He said “Okay I’ll take you to the real one for 300 rupees… or you’ll miss your bus.” This was clearly his plan all along.

It’s frustrating, and I didn’t take his rickshaw to the bus stop out of spite; I would have rather missed my bus than give him a penny more. Plus, my bus was barely more than the amount he wanted! That mean old butt-head…

I got another driver who was kind and speedy and made it just in time to sit down and write a 4 page rant in my journal. My new yoga and meditation patience practices hadn’t kicked in yet.

travel tips jodhpur

9. There are other attractions than the fort & they’re GOOD

Jaswant Thada is a palace (technically a memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singhji) about half a kilometer from the fort by rickshaw. From far away it might not make your jaw drop, but as you get closer and see the detail of the white marble that they ENTIRE palace is made of. It’s like a mini Taj Mahal.

travel tips jodhpur

The Umaid Bhawan Palace (aka the Taj Hotel) is just stunning. It’ll cost you a pretty penny to stay there, so start saving. Only part of it is the Taj Hotel (which has branches scattered all over India), while others are preserved… thank Shiva, considering this place took 15 years to build!

The (ex) Mahajara, still called the Royal Family, still lives here. This place was built mainly to give the town residents a job to do during a famine. That’s a nice Royal Family!

travel tips jodhpur

travel tips jodhpur

10. Eat an omelet

Just outside the bazaar, near the clock tower is the most famous omelet place maybe in all of India. Don’t even think about leaving without eating some eggs from these people! It’ll cost under 50 rupees for two eggs and loads of bread.

11. Getting to the Blue City of Jodhpur

You can take a sleeper bus from Udaipur easily for about 600 rupees. Onward from Jodhpur, my itinerary led me to Jaisalmer, also by sleeper bus. I find buses in India to be safe even traveling solo as a female. Bring your sleeping bag!

The photo is hard to tell. To the left of my coffin is the window. The right aisle has a lovely curtain pulled closed to help suffocate me. You can try to straighten your legs on this bus, if you’re 5 foot tall.

travel tips jodhpur

More Information on Visiting Jodhpur

Pin “The Blue City of Jodhpur” for later!

2017-08-10T13:22:27+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing to live on the beaches of Goa, India almost four years ago where she is now a travel writer. Her website gives advice on the 35+ countries she's been to but has become the go-to site for India travel, focusing on offbeat places & “glamorous travel”. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE magazine, Tripadvisor, and Thomas Cook. Her blog is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world based on traffic. She also enjoys writing for BravoTV.

23 Comments

  1. Mateen April 22, 2014 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Great aricle, but if you would have told us how to not get fat after eating too much ghee that would be super (I’m from Pakistan, and we have the same kind of food but we use ghee so much that there is less food and more ghee :P )

    • Rachel Jones April 24, 2014 at 10:30 am - Reply

      haha wow I didn’t know that about Pakistan! I think maybe each extra chapati means 10 more sit-ups (more like 100!)

  2. Karyn @ Not Done Travelling April 22, 2014 at 5:56 am - Reply

    I am down with any place that let’s you eat dessert before dinner!

    Those spikes on the doors, and the wives hands though…yikes. I know it was a different time, but they are still both such difficult things to think about.

    • Rachel Jones April 24, 2014 at 10:28 am - Reply

      The spikes were hard to see, but I guess since it’s part of their culture, it’s the same as other places using horses? I think?

  3. Shaun @ Shaun's Cracked Compass April 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Pretty cool looking city. It’s great to get the practical advice of not staying too long. The fort does look amazing though. Will be using the sleeper buses during my time there as well!

    • Rachel Jones April 24, 2014 at 11:02 am - Reply

      Enjoy the sleeper buses :p they are SO fun (not!) haha

  4. Renuka April 23, 2014 at 4:10 am - Reply

    So many memories refreshed! I think I also stayed in the same hotel. I can recognise the folk dancers faces and the roof. :)

  5. Corinne April 23, 2014 at 4:38 am - Reply

    I loved Jodhpur when I visited. I was told the blue was partially to get rid of mosquitoes…who knew?

    • Rachel Jones April 24, 2014 at 10:56 am - Reply

      I heard that too! But I’m not sure if it’s true. There are lots of reasons floating around!

  6. Divya April 25, 2014 at 1:12 am - Reply

    Enjoying rediscovering India through your blogs, photos, and even tips. Just fyi, the hand prints are not the literal prints, and not of all the wives of a king. These represent the women who committed ‘jauhar’ (that down the line turned into the horrendous tradition of Sati, where widows were forced to kill themselves and/or burnt with the dead husband). Jauhar refers to mass self-immolation (among Rajputs for most part) by women to avoid being taken as spoils of war. In many instances, women would kill themselves even before men went to war as their defeat or death was a forgone conclusion.

    • Rachel Jones April 25, 2014 at 1:36 am - Reply

      wow what interesting information, thank you! I need to hire you to help me with my posts :-) . I wondered why the hands were so smalL! And I’ve heard a lot about Sati, so it’s very interesting to hear more about that.

      • Divya April 25, 2014 at 9:13 am - Reply

        You’re welcome! I’m myself learning so much from your blogs, and tempted to relocate to India :)

  7. divya April 25, 2014 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Wow…this took me back to jodhpur..!!! i was fascinated by mehrangarh fort more than any other fort in Rajasthan..!!! But we missed umaid bhavan..and saw JAswant thada frm far…due to rime restraints..we just had 3 hours in jodhpur..!! but i took it as an excuse to go to Jodhpur again !!! :))

    http://www.dwindowseat.wordpress.com

    • Rachel Jones April 26, 2014 at 1:38 am - Reply

      Yeah that is a great reason to go back! 3 hours isn’t enough at all, but 3 days was far too long in my opinion

  8. mehamoodbeli February 9, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Great Blog!! Jodhpur popularly known as ‘the Sun City’ is second most popular tourist destinations of Rajasthan visited by many of tourists round the year.Meharangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace are two most famous attractions of Jodhpur City, which are visited by scores of tourists throughout the year.
    Visit Our Site link: http://trip-rajasthan.com

  9. Ben April 5, 2015 at 2:48 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    This is the first time I’ve commented, but since my girlfriend and I are headed to India next year I’ve been reading your excellent blog for advice. I have a rough itinerary planned for about 18 days; this is our very first trip to India! So I’m in that spot where I was the first time I went to Italy, France, Spain…what to do and what to leave out. Sometimes I wish the “best of the best” was universally agreed upon, though I guess that would be a bit boring!

    So I’m asking your opinion on this… I won’t lie, I’m LEANING toward Jodhpur (after Delhi and Agra + Fatehpur Sikri) over Jaipur and Jaisalmer. Seems like you would agree it’s ok to skip the former, but you positively gushed about Jaisalmer so I’m in a pickle again… My itinerary in India thus far includes crazy/hectic (Delhi, Agra, Mumbai), but also more “romantic” spots like Shimla (actually Wildflower Hall hotel nearby) and Udaipur. I think I’m interested in less crazy for this stop, hence my lack of interest in Jaipur.

    The pics I’ve seen of Jodhpur look stunning. I realize it’s not all blue, I might have to seek those streets out amid plain looking buildings and rubbish. But that fort just looks amazing from the city, reminds me of the Parthenon as it looks from the streets and rooftops of Athens… And the city looks so amazing from the fort! We would spend two nights either here or Jaisalmer, and at Jodhpur I imagine we would have dinners on a rooftop, time wandering the streets, visiting the market, and of course a visit to the fort with a sunset, perhaps.

    Shall we do Jaisalmer instead? You speak of it as being “magical” and I do like the idea of a living fort where you can actually stay. And again with the rooftop restaurants, not to mention camel rides. I’m not as transfixed by the photos I’ve seen of Jaisalmer , but I’ve traveled enough to know that photographs don’t tell the whole story! And in fact they can “lie” a bit, which may be the case with Jodhpur.

    Can you give me your two cents on this, if I can only pick one? Lastly, I know you’re not a big city person (I think I read that in your Jaipur post), but Delhi we can’t miss. Is Mumbai the same way? I have three nights planned there. IF we got rid of Mumbai we could have more time elsewhere but somehow I feel like a first trip to a India has to include Mumbai!

    • Rachel Jones April 5, 2015 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      hands down, jaisalmer over jodhpur! especially since you are going to Udaipur. If you’re doing Delhi, and want to save time to stay longer somewhere else, then I would also skip mumbai! Thanks for reading the blog and taking the time to comment. enjoy your trip!

  10. Brooke of Passport Couture September 6, 2015 at 7:53 am - Reply

    The palaces and clocktower look incredible! Those are definitely must-see items on my list when I visit.

  11. Jaspreet January 13, 2016 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    Hey! I noticed you’ve been to Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Jaisalmer. I’m planning on going there this Feb, and I only have 5 nights to spend in these 3 cities! Was wondering if it’s doable, and how I should allocate my nights? any tips would be appreciated :)

  12. Katie March 13, 2016 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Recently stayed in CrashPad-Jaipur & Jodhpur. Have to admit that so far they provided me with the best experience. Cool staff, always at your disposal, amazing Indian Food and Village safari was awesome…Super clean and colourful….
    Zostel has become more of a hotel now, they least cared on individual needs. No coordination between their booking and hostel team…had to wait for an hour before getting my bed-Zostel Jodhpur.

    • Rachel Jones March 14, 2016 at 10:39 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your inputs – it’s such a help for other travelers coming through! :)

  13. rani September 6, 2016 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    hi how much and what bus do you use to travel from Jodhpur – jaisalmer?
    also we;re actually from Jodhpur and want to take detour to Ranakpur and Kumblargh Fort… what do you recommend, taxi or bus/train?

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