Known as the Blue City, Jodhpur is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is also affectionately known as Sun City due to the extensive heat that penetrates the city year round. This is one of the reasons for the indigo painted homes. The indigo acts as a natural coolant and provides relief for the local residents.
Jodhpur is a beautiful city and the perfect place to get lost amongst its twisting, narrow alleys. With each turn you’ll discover something new and maybe even run into a cow or two!
Jodhpur is easily walkable once you’ve reached the Old City by the clock tower. We found this to be a nice change of pace from many of the other cities in India and we felt ourselves slowing down and enjoying the local way of life.
Included in This Blog Post:
- Top Things to See & Do in Jodhpur
- How to Get to Jodhpur
- Getting Around Jodhpur
- Where to Eat & Stay
- Applying for an eVisa
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The Top Things to See & Do in Jodhpur
› The Stepwell (Toorji Ka Jhalra bavdi)
Built in the 1740’s, this step well was one of the main sources of water during ancient times. Like all of the step wells you will see throughout India, the Toorji Ka Jhalra bavdi has multi-level steps allowing you to reach the water at any level.
The step well is beautifully designed with unique architecture and archways. There is quite a bit of water and often times you will see the locals jumping in for a refreshing dip. I wouldn’t recommend swimming in there if you are visiting as you never know how your body might handle the water.
Unlike the famous step well in Jaipur where the guards will either not let you in or charge you a “fee”, this place is completely free.
› Mehrangarh Fort
As one of the largest forts in India, the Mehrangarh Fort was once a palace and now a museum. It was the most well preserved fort that we visited during our stay in India and the museum was very informative. When you purchase your ticket the cost includes a free audio guide.
Each of the rooms are labeled by a number and it is easy to follow along. Within the museum you will discover many decorative rooms, stunning architecture, beautiful artwork and even the weaponry room!
The Fort itself was built in 1459 and is located up on the hill about 400 feet above the city. Needless to say, the views from up top are worth the visit alone! Give yourself at least 2 hours at the Fort to explore and learn about the history of this place.
The cost to enter is 600 INR (~8.70 USD) for Foreign tourists with an additional fee of 100 INR (~1.45 USD) to use a camera. To reach the Fort you can either walk up from the Old Town or take an UBER or tuk tuk.
› Get Lost Wandering the Blue Streets
Spend the day wandering aimlessly through the azure colored streets and admire all the stunning architecture which dates back to more than 150 years. You can get easily walk from the main clock tower, through the alleys and all the way around to the back side of the Fort.
If you are interested in doing a guided walking tour of Jodhpur, I can highly recommend this one with Jodhpur by Foot.
› Climb Rooftops for the Best Views
There will no doubt be plenty of rooftops where you can capture those stunning shots of the Mehrangarh Fort and the iconic blue houses of Jodhpur. A lot of these views can be found by heading up to one of the many rooftop cafes. And don’t feel like you have to order a full meal. You can easily just get something to drink and enjoy the view.
Stop by the Suraj Haveli, located in the heart of the blue city. When we visited they were doing some renovation work but happily let us up on their rooftop to take in the views. We didn’t have to buy anything or pay so be sure to check around for other places like that!
› Jaswant Thada
Located a short distance from the Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada is a cenotaph built in 1899. This white marble mausoleum serves as the cremation grounds for the royal family of Marwar. The main structure stands in the middle of a beautiful garden surrounded by stunning views of Jodhpur.
Located at the foothills of the Fort, Jaswant Thada is a peaceful place to visit and there is only a small donation fee of 20 INR to enter. The mausoleum is open from 9AM to 5PM.
› Pachetia Hill Viewpoint
The absolute best place to get those epic sunset shots is at the Pachetia Hill Viewpoint. To get there, hire an inexpensive tuk tuk to take you to this exact GPS coordinate: 26.294710, 73.017635.
From here you will walk straight up the hill until you reach the set of stairs. Continue all the way up the stairs, there aren’t that many! Once you reach the top of the stairs follow the sign and go left towards the Jwala Mata Jika Temple. Continue walking all the way to the end, stopping to take pictures along the way of course!
This spot offers incredible birds-eye views over both sides of the city and is the perfect place to enjoy witnessing the end to the day.
There is no fee to enter the Pachetia Hill Viewpoint and if you are staying closer in town you could easily walk to the starting point instead of taking a tuk tuk.
How to Get to Jodhpur
As Jodhpur is located in the state of Rajasthan, most visitors will typically start in either Udaipur or Jaipur before continuing onwards to Jodhpur. There are multiple ways to reach Jodhpur from anywhere in Rajasthan, all ranging in costs.
The easiest, most stress free way is to hire a personal driver. There are many companies which will provide these services and typically you will pay a fee per kilometer.
You can also take a bus or the train. This usually involves a bit more steps (and stress) than a private driver but is significantly cheaper. There are different buses available, some with a/c and some without. The buses without a/c will be less expensive but it is not advisable during the middle of summer. To book a train you can use the RedBus app or go online to book. The app wouldn’t accept my credit card but it worked through a computer.
We did the a/c bus option and it cost 420 INR per person (~6 USD) with the journey lasting about 4.5 hours. Our bus started in Ajmer since we were in Pushkar prior to going to Jodhpur. If you also want to visit Pushkar then you will need to take a taxi or UBER from Pushkar to Ajmer first.
There are no direct options from Pushkar for either the bus or the train. The taxi from Pushkar to Ajmer cost 500 INR (~7.25 USD) and we set it up through our hostel.
The other option is to take the train. We heard that the trains get booked up well in advance so it’s best to reserve early. During low season you may be able to show up at the train station when you arrive in a city and book your onward journey.
There is also the option of Taktal. This is where they reserve a certain number of seats that you can purchase the same day. These tickets will be more expensive but at least you’ll be able to get a seat.
You could also check flights to Jodhpur as India has some very low cost airlines. We used IndiGo Air a few times while in India. The flights were inexpensive and also include a checked bag!
Getting Around Jodhpur
By far the easiest way to get around Jodhpur and all of India is to use UBER. You can also download and use OLA, which is India’s local version of UBER. We made some new friends in Udaipur and saw how the OLA app works.
It is similar to UBER but slower and requires more information. Honestly, either is probably a good enough option and they are around the same price.
One of the things we loved the most about using UBER (or OLA) is that there is no haggling and you don’t have to give the driver directions. The app sets a rate, which is significantly cheaper than a tuk tuk, and the driver has google maps connected to the app. All you have to do is sit back and relax in the a/c!
You can also easily grab a tuk tuk or rickshaw anywhere in the city. There will always be someone offering you a ride but be aware that they will definitely increase the price. So be willing to haggle. The key is to drop the price to what you want to pay (within reason), say its your final offer and walk away. We have found that this works about 99% of the time.
Where to Eat & Stay
› Where to Eat
During our time in Jodhpur we mostly ate at our Luxury Homestay: The Almond Tree. Their food was incredibly tasty, we knew it was fresh and the prices were the same as in the city.
Another great place to eat is at a new and trendy restaurant/bar called The Liquor Industry. They have an extensive food and drink menu, serving up mouthwatering local and international cuisines. This is the best place to come if you want to get a cocktail, chill out for a while or watch a cricket match!
› Where to Stay
We stayed in Jodhpur a total of 5 nights with 4 of those being at The Almond Tree: A Luxury Guesthouse. We loved every second of our stay here and would highly recommend to anyone traveling to Jodhpur. Located in a quiet neighborhood just on the outskirts of the Old City, this homestay was the perfect retreat.
They have spacious, comfortable and uniquely designed luxury rooms with all the amenities you could need. There is also a rooftop terrace with outdoor seating, a relaxing jacuzzi and a pergola that is perfect for early morning yoga!
Our last night in Jodhpur we stayed at the Park Plaza Hotel Jodhpur. This is a larger hotel with great amenities such as a swimming pool, gym, restaurant and on-site pool. The rooms are comfortable and bright and the staff is warm and welcoming.
Another great option and one of our favorites is AirBnB. Here you’ll find private rooms, entire homes or apartments and unique places to stay in most cities around the world.
Applying for an eVisa
An eVisa to India is required for almost all international travelers. You can apply online for the eVisa prior to your arrival in India and it is a relatively easy process. I did my application through ivisa.com which is slightly more expensive (by about $30) due to processing fees but is completely stress free and worth it.
I initially did it through the government site but it was a bit complicated and they require tons of details so I went through the other site. To apply online, you will upload a picture of your passport and a passport sized photo. You can easily take a photo of yourself against a white wall and crop it to the correct size.
Make sure you apply about 7-10 days prior to your arrival in India. Sometimes the processing time could take a few days!
For even more information on visiting India including: how to get around, phones & SIMS, vaccination requirements and more check out the post below.
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