From Udaipur (via Ranakpur and Kumbahlgarh) we visited the large Rajasthan city of Jodhpur, about 198 miles (319 km) distant. For a map of locations visited in India, click here.
One of the main sites in Jodhpur is the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, sitting on a prominent hill dominating the sprawling city which has seen tremendous growth in the last decade. The fort was built around 1460. The thick, high walls (over 100 feet) of the fort make it an imposing structure and it must have been a very intimidating sight for potential invading armies 500 years ago. There are miles of old walls extending around the area in every direction.
The fort dates from the 16th century, and contains palace rooms with numerous intricate lattice stone carvings; ladies of the court could view the activities of the fort’s daily life without being seen.
The fort is now a museum containing various displays in the rooms (such as a collection of highly decorated palanquins and paintings as well as a collection of arms) and period furniture.
An audio guide provides a good overview of the fort. On the north side, just outside the main gate are some beautiful gardens that are worth a vist. Jodhpur is known as the blue city. The city’s founder decreed that the homes surrounding the fortress be painted blue, but no one seems to know why blue was chosen. A number of homes near the fort still retain the blue hue.
Other Sights in Jodhpur
Jaswant Thada. Close to Mehrangarh fort is the beautiful Jaswant Thada, a white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. There are nice views of the fort from this location. It was built in 1899.
Mandore. This area was the original capital of the local Marwar Kingdom until the 1400’s. This small city contains beautiful temples, tombs, and gardens. It is an area that does not see a lot of tourists, but we found it quite fascinating.
Clock Tower. This is a landmark in the older part of the city. During the day there are numerous market stalls selling all kinds of food and other goods.
Our hotel (above) was in an excellent location, in the heart of the old city next to the Clock Tower and square. From the peaceful courtyard of our hotel you are immediately plunged into this market area and feel the ‘real’ India. The hotel had a rooftop restaurant that overlooked the fort for a lovely night view.