Jodhpur is the second largest desert city of Rajasthan after Jaipur. This city has got two nicknames, ‘Sun City’ and ‘Blue City’ for its unique characteristics. The name 'Sun City' is given after the bright, sunny weather of Jodhpur whereas, the name ‘blue city’ is derived from the blue painted houses located in the surroundings of the Mehrangarh Fort. Jodhpur is also referred to as the ‘gateway to Thar’ since the city is located on the border of the Thar Desert. This city was founded by Rao Jodha, the leader of the Rathore family, in the year 1459. Earlier, the city was known as ‘Marwar’; the current name was given after the city's founder, Rao Jodha, a Rajput chieftain.
Tourists visiting Jodhpur can taste the scrumptious ethnic dishes like Makhaniya Lassi, which is made with curd and sugar. Moreover, dishes including Mawa Kachori, Pyaaz Ki Kachori and Mirchi Bada also entice food lovers with their aroma and taste. In addition to indulging in ethnic Rajasthani cuisines, tourists can also go for shopping for ethnic handicrafts, embroidered shoes, and gifts in the colourful markets of Sojati Gate, Station Road, Tripolia Bazar, Mochi Bazar, Nai Sarak, and Clock Tower in the desert city. The city is famous for having the largest market of red chillies in India.
Fun, Fairs and Festivals
Jodhpur is famous for various festivals, which are held throughout the year. The International Desert Kite Festival is held on the 14th day of January every year at the Polo Ground of the city. During this three day festival, kite flying competition is held in which kite flyers from all over the globe compete for the top slots. Moreover, during the occasion, the sky is dotted with colourful kites released by helicopters of the air force. Tourists can also enjoy the Marwar festival which is held in the month of Ashwin (September-October). This two day festival gives an opportunity to enjoy the folk music and dance of Rajasthan. Additionally, the Nagaur Fair of Jodhpur is the second biggest cattle festival in Rajasthan.
It is held annually during the months of January and February. Popularly known as ‘Cattle fair of Nagaur’, around 70,000 bullocks, camels and horses are traded in the fair. The animals are lavishly decorated for the occasion. Camel race, bullock race, jugglers, puppeteers, and storytellers are the popular attractions of this festival.
A mix of Architectural Ethnicity
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Apart from ethnic dishes, Shopping and festivals, Jodhpur is also renowned for old royal forts, beautiful palaces, gardens, temples, and heritage hotels. Among these tourist attractions, Umaid Bhawan Palace is a worth-mentioning monument. This beautiful palace is a perfect example of Indo-colonial and art deco architectural style. The chiselled sandstones give an elegant look to the building. Tourists can see model aeroplanes, weapons, antique clocks, bob watches, crockery, cutlery, rocks, photographs and hunting trophies in the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum which is a part of the Umaid Bhawan Palace.
Mehrangarh Fort is one of the most popular forts of Jodhpur. This fort is famous for housing beautiful palaces like Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesha Mahal, and Jhanki Mahal. The fort has seven gates, which have historical importance. There is a museum inside the fort which exhibits a huge collection of royal palanquins. The 14 display rooms of the museum are decorated with royal weapons, ornaments, and costumes.
Tourists planning a holiday trip to Jodhpur can see the beautiful Mandore Garden which has cenotaphs of the kings of Jodhpur. These are different from common chhatra shaped cenotaphs. The two nearby halls, the Shrine of the Three Hundred Million and Hall of Heroes add to the attraction quotient of the Garden.
Balsamand Lake is a beautiful water body surrounded by a verdant garden. Tourists can see the Balsamand Lake Palace which overlooks the lake. This palace has now been converted into a famous heritage hotel which exhibits traditional Rajputana architectural style. Another artificial water body, Kailana Lake is famous for its natural beauty. Further, travellers can enjoy boating on the lake as well as go for a picnic on the lake shores.
Guda Bishnoi Village attracts tourists from across the country to visit Jodhpur. This is a unique hamlet where the tribal natives worship gazelles and Chinkara deer. Avid wildlife lovers can see here peacocks, black bucks, antelopes, cranes and migratory birds. While visiting Jodhpur, animal lovers can spot monitor lizards, desert foxes, blue bulls, mongoose, rabbits, wild cats, and monkeys in Machiya Safari Park. This park is located on the Jodhpur-Jaisalmer Route at a distance of 9 km from the Jodhpur city.
Travellers can relax in the beautiful Chokelao Bagh laid out by the King Abhai Singh. There are three terrace areas inside this garden and each area has been designed using a unique theme. Besides, Jaswant Thada is also a significant tourist hotspot to mention. This building is known as ‘Taj Mahal of Marwar’ as it is decorated with intricate marble carvings. Other tourist attractions of the city are Zenana Mahal, Loha Pol,Government Museum, Ghanta Ghar, Jaswant Sagar Dam, Rai Ka Bag Palace, and Umed Gardens.
The city of Jodhpur has its own airport and railway station which are well connected to major Indian cities. The Indira Gandhi International Airport of New Delhi is the nearest international airbase. Tourists can also reach the destination by availing buses from Jaipur, Delhi, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Agra, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Udaipur, and Agra.
The region experiences a hot and dry climate around the year. Summer, monsoon and winter are the primary seasons here. The best period to visit Jodhpur starts from the month of October and lasts till February.