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The Blue City Jodhpur and the Mehrangarh Fort


The Blue City Jodhpur is owned its nickname because of the blue roofs of many houses. Many travelers skip Jodhpur as there is "only a fort to see and I have already seen the Amber Fort in Jaipur". Therefore it is not as popular as it should be.

View on the Blue City Jodhpur from the fort

View on the Blue City Jodhpur from the fort

Jodhpur is located in Rajasthan, it's the second largest city in the state and like other cities in Rajasthan very old, Jodhpur was founded in the middle of the 15th century but the area was already part of the Gurjara - Pratihara empire and till 1100 CE was ruled by a powerful Bargujar King.

Views over the Blue City Jodhpur
Views over the Blue City Jodhpur

The reason for me to visit Jodhpur was the Mehrangarh Fort. The fort is located just outside the city center and is considered to be the most beautiful, largest and majestic of all forts in India. I can only say I was more then impressed and went twice up.

The majestic Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur

The majestic Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur

You can take a rickshaw to go to the gate but it was nicer just to walk up. The road is quite steep and the top of the fort is at 125 meters!

Mehrangarh Forts Jodhpur View on the Blue City Jodhpur from the fort

Although the building started in the mid 15th century, most of the fort dates from a century later. The walls were build up to 36 meters! and at some points 21 meters wide.

Inside the fort you will breath the atmosphere of the days of the maharajas. Much of the fort is beautiful preserved and conserved.

There's a museum which is worth the visit to understand more about the Blue City Jodhpur and the Mehrangarh Forts history

. Local toursist at the Jodhpurfort walls Streets of the Mehrangarh Fort
Left: Local Indian tourist the blue city Jodhpur fort walls
Right: Streets of the Mehrangarh Fort

In a way the fort is a city within a city. It's hard to explain how extensive the Mehrangarh Forts really is. You will find shops, eateries, museum, heck even sadhus (mystic, ascetic, practitioners of yoga (yogi) and/or wandering monks).

Standing on the walls you have some amazing and breathtaking views over Jodhpur. If there is one fort you want to visit to breath the atmosphere of the Indian maharajas, it's the Mehrangarh Fort.

Although Jodhpur has more to offer I visited only the fort and the Umaid Bhawan Palace.

If the fort is majestic and overwhelming, the palace is similar although it is not as old as the fort. The building started in 1929. A special type of sandstone, called Chittar sandstone, has been used in constructing the palace and this gives it a special effect. For this reason, it is also referred to as Chittar Palace by the locals.

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

In 1977, the palace was segmented into the royal residence, the Heritage Hotel and a museum. It has total 347 rooms. It is the biggest private residence in the world, out of which 98 air-conditioned rooms are elegantly decorated with antique furniture as well as all the other amenities for a five star hotel. If there is one place to have a splurge, you should try the Umaid Bhawan Palace, you will be treated like a maharaja.

Getting to the Blue City Jodhpur and stay

Owners of the guesthouse in JodhpurJodhpur is located 325 km from Jaipur, follow the road to Ajmer (Pushkar), 125 km from Jaipur and then another 200 to Jodhpur. You can stay in Ajmer and Beawar before crossing the plains to Jodhpur.

Many travelers continue to Jaisalmer (265 km), Bikaner (245km) or Udaipur (270km). I did the loop via Udaipur but to avoid doing the same road twice I took a bus from Udaipur to Jodhpur.

The city is very well connected with Road, Rail and Air. It is mostly connected with railways to major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and other cities.

Jodhpur has a wide range of hotels and cheap guesthouses. I stayed in a small local family run guesthouse where the owners (see the photo) introduced me into a typical Indian local breakfast of sweet rice flour (kind of apom). As I was totally used to Indian food (and Indian breakfast, I loved it.

More hotels, hostels and guesthouses:

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