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Tourist Places To Visit In Jodhpur
Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan. It flourished quickly, fuelled by profits from opium, sandalwood, dates, and copper trade. The city has a charming blue tinge to it when viewed from above or from a distance, and makes a pretty mean picture. With its imposing Mehrangarh fort dominating the skyline, Jodhpur is hard to not be impressed by. The new city is definitely chaotic, but foray into the narrow lanes of the old city, and you'll find pots, pans, idols, bejewelled fabrics, sensual spices, traditional clothes, ornaments and metalware all jammed between rows of shops, tinsel, stalls and hoards of haggling women! A shopper's paradise, Jodhpur is famous for its metal arts, richly carved furniture, leheriya bandhini fabrics and ethnic footwear. Here are the top tourist places to visit in Jodhpur for your itinerary.
Take a trip back in time at the most magnificent fort in Jodhpur - Mehrangarh - that was constructed in the year 1459 and stands 150 meters above mean sea level. There are a number of things to see within the fort complex - several palaces, courtyards, gardens, galleries, a museum, temples and so on. Mehrangarh is a captivating experience. As you approach, its scarred walls loom overhead transporting you back in time. It's a real treat to wander around at your leisure, taking a fix of information when you feel like it. Personal guides are available for around $3.
Umaid Bhavan Palace
One of the most fascinating tourist attractions in Jodhpur is the Umaid Bhavan palace. It was constructed by Maharaja Umaid Singh, back in the 20th century. The palace has partially been converted into a hotel and a museum. The Umaid Bhawan Palace building stands out for its impressive size and glorious pink and white exteriors. Having taken over 3000 workers 15 years to create, it is a vibrant example of what hard work can accomplish. The palace museum has some fantastic collections of rare clocks, exotic furniture, stuffed leopards and amazing trophies. Wandering through the history laden corridors of this palace, you are sure to be amazed. Part of the palace is still occupied by the royal family of Jodhpur.
Jaswant Thada Mausoleum
The Jaswant Thada Mausoleum lays to the left of the Mehrangarh Fort. This beautiful monument is built of intricately carved marble. The slabs are thin and highly polished and emit a warm glow when the sun's rays hit them in the morning and evening. There is also some delicate marble cobweb work on the cenotaph. Within this cenotaph there are two more tombs, as this mausoleum is a cremation ground of Jodhpur royals. The grounds are filled with a beautiful multi-tiered garden, carved gazebos and a small lake. The main memorial has been built like a temple. To visit the mausoleum, you have to go through some rocky hillocks which lend a mystical aura to the whole visit.
Mandore was the former capital of the formidable Marwar kingdom. At Mandore Gardens, you will find the brooding cenotaphs of Jodhpur's former rulers. The beautiful cenotaphs at Mandore Gardens are set amidst the rolling greenery of a well landscaped rock garden. There is a hall of heroes, dedicated to various deities and Rajput heroes from popular folklore, whose statues are carved out of rock and painted in bright colours. As you climb up the hill, you will come across the relics of Mandore, including its old palace. The queens cenotaphs stand still on a rocky outcrop and are a ten-minute walk over the hill. This attraction is visited by thousands of visitors every month and it is definitely a haven for photographers with a love for historical design.
Osian is famously popular due to its oasis-like appearance. This ancient desert township is a tribute to the glorious past of Rajasthan. The showstopper's here are fifteen beautifully preserved temples. Carved out from stone, they were sculpted between 8th and 9th centuries. The oldest and most popular of the structures is the Sun Temple, that has one of the most finely constructed gateways you will ever come across. The astounding fact is that no two temples in this group are alike. Considering that each temple is so intricately carved signifies a lot of design, creativity and skill that was used to build them!
Literally translating to ‘the clock tower,’ — Ghanta Ghar is a significant place and landmark in Jodhpur. It’s used by one and all to find places, meet under and use as a guide. It was built back in the 1800s by Maharaja Sardar Singh and stands in the populous Sardar market. Sightseeing of this tower is usually coupled with some roadside shopping in the market and trying out street food like mirchi vade and kachori.
Balsamand Lake is 5 km from the city centre of Jodhpur, and a lovely place to spend an idle picnic. It is a manmade lake dug out during the rule of Balak Rao Parihar back in 1159, mainly to create a water source for the people of Mandore village. There is rich lushness around this lake most months of the year, bringing much needed cool to parched eyes of the locals. The waterfront pathway is a great place to spend your evening taking a stroll.
Mostly everyone studied about the Bishnoi Village back in their school days. It is a community equated with environmental awareness and fierce determination. Hence, it’s a no-brainer that you would visit this village where Rajasthan’s culture, tribal life and art thrives. You get to enjoy desert safaris, excursions, village walks and cane spotting. And even amid all the rustic village charm you can live in luxury at the resorts and guest houses.
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park
If you visit the Mehrangharh Fort and have time to spare then do check out the Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park. This garden was created in 2006 in order to preserve rocky trails that run around the fort of Jodhpur. Exotic Thar flora has been preserved in this park. The Rao Jodha Desert Park is a beautiful place to visit and registers very high footfalls, so late afternoon or evening hikes are just perfect to relax you and take you away from the din of the town.
In the midst of culture, heritage and deserts of Rajasthan there is an adventure park. Did anyone even expect that?
Well, Flying Fox is a pleasant surprise for tourists. From rock-climbing to zipping to rope walking, the Flying Fox Adventure Park offers you a thrilling experience. It is the thrill of heights that you enjoy around here, and also get a panoramic view of the whole of Jodhpur. Do visit with your friends, to break the monotony of all that sightseeing.
Toorji ka Jhalra
Toorji ka Jhalra is a step well in Gulab Sagar. The royal charm of this step well oozes from every stone of its structure, transporting you back to the time of ruling Rajputs. Gangaur, a Rajasthani festival of fertility and good married life was celebrated on the banks of Toorji ka Jhalra by women every year. Nowadays, the excavation of the step well has developed this area into a tourist haunt, with cafes and restaurants and shops cropping up around it. People visit here to chill or cool down by jumping into the well during summers. So get a doze of the ancient and the modern here.
Now for some good ol’ shopping — Jodhpur is renowned for its wood crafts, handiworks, antiques and metal knick-knacks. And Tripolia is one of the best markets to shop for these little delights for your home decor and souvenirs. From marble statues to gemstones, textiles and jootis to metal furniture, Tripolia Market suffices all your TLC dreams the Indian way. And what’s more is that many shopkeepers are happy to bargain, giving you the best prices!
Adventure ticked? Shopping ticked? Now it’s time for food on your checklist. And when food is mentioned, how can you not mention Raas Haveli of Jodhpur?
It is a boutique hotel and a great place to eat in the city, serving you a choice of Thai, Mediterranean as well as local Marwari. The views from its Baradari restaurant are also delightful, affording you the sight of Mehrangarh Fort. It is open all day everyday, so even if you are dragging your feet from your latest sightseeing late at night, this restaurant will be ready to welcome you!
Machiya Safari Park
Machiya Safari Park is another popular tourist and local haunt for nature lovers. You get to see tons of exotic wild animals here, from desert fox to Blue bulls, rabbits to deer to wild cats. Even mongooses scuttle across your car like a zooming arrow on the ground. Bird watching is also a good sport to indulge in here, along with a hike to the fort in the middle of the park. The park is located in Basni area of Jodhpur and best visited through winters.
A lake dating back to the 15th Century CE, Ranisar Lake was another attempt of the smart curious minds of Jodhpur to conserve water. And the best part? This lake seldom runs out of water, even in summers! The wife of Rao Jodha — Rani Jasmade Hadi ordered the construction of this lake, and that is why the name. Sunrises and sunsets are coveted on its bank by tourists so choose a time of dawn or dusk to visit. Mehrangarh is also visible from here, so you are guaranteed a splendid skyline. Photographers, take note and don’t miss this place!
Sardar Samand Lake
Another lake, another great attempt, another charm of Jodhpur — the Sardar Samand Lake is tranquility redefined here. Migratory birds choose to land at its banks and hence make your visit a colourful delight. Bird watching enthusiasts and photographers flock here just as the birds do. From time to time, black buck chinakaras and neelgai also wander to the banks of this lake. So be prepared for a calm, peaceful sit-down here and enjoy as nature comes to you.
On the Rocks
Literally on the rocks, as the name suggests, this is a cool lounge restaurant in Jodhpur that reminds you of the best places you may have visited in Mumbai or Delhi. The menu of this place is mostly Indian and Pan Asian with a touch of Continental. So basically a little of everything. The cocktails and drinks though, impart it the name! It’s an opulent place and expensive than most others around, but definitely worth a visit if you so wish. Royalty, tradition, new world charm and great food… what’s not to like?