Saturday, July 5, 2014

India Day Six: A Day in the Blue City of Jodhpur

After completing the Golden Triangle tour of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur we headed to Jodhpur, the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan. Jodhpur is accessible via plane or train but we traveled by car and had to cover a distance of 330km.

Scenes from the drive:



After almost 6 hours on the road, we reached Jodhpur and our first stop was the popular garden restaurant On The Rocks.

Kudos to Ranjeet, our tour driver, for bringing us to On the Rocks because food was good and cheap. I also appreciated the leisurely country ambiance of the restaurant.
on the rocks

After lunch, we stopped at our Jodhpur hotel, Indana Palace to deposit our bags. Indana Palace is a fairly new establishment with architecture and interiors inspired by the majestic palaces found all over India.  

Our room was spacious and comfortable but the best thing about staying at Indana Palace was the free Wi-Fi! 
Standard Room

After resting for a few minutes, it was time to hit the attractions of Jodhpur. We first visited Jaswant Thada, a mausaleum built in 1899 by Maharaja Singh II in memory of his father.
Jaswant Thada

Jaswant Thada is made entirely of white marble and it's truly a mesmerizing sight that's best appreciated up close.



We then went to Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India, situated 400 feet above the city.



We took an elevator to reach the top of the fort to save time. Here's the view from the highest point of the city:

Jodphur, is actually called the Blue City, because many houses are painted different shades of blue. 
Blue City from Mehrangarh Fort

At Mehrangarh Fort, there are a few notable rooms that were built by the different kings over a period of time:
Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace

Phool Mahal or Flower Palace: Exclusive Chamber of the Royals

Moti Mahal or Pearl Palace: Meeting Room of the King and His Ministers

It has been said that Mehrangarh Fort is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan. We did see a lot of royal items that were on display but my favorite were the different types of carriages the royals used to travel. They looked so grand:


Here are some other points at Mehrangarh Fort that caught my eye: 




We finished touring Mehrangarh Fort at dusk.

Our final stop at Jodhpur was Sardar Market, one of the oldest markets in Jodhpur because we were in search of spices.

The clock tower is the most famous landmark in the market and it was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh. 

It was chaotic so it's best to go to Sardar Market with a local guide. There are around 7,000 shops that one needs to navigate so it's very easy to get lost or be taken advantage of by unscrupulous people.

A day in the life at Sandar Market:



We eventually bought our spices at Maharani Spices which was located along a main street at Sandar Market. The store sells spices, teas, coffees, oil extracts, and even the much coveted kitchen ingredient, saffron. The store owner was friendly and prices were reasonable.
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We ended our Jodhpur experience with dinner at McDonald's to sample menu items that are only available in India. I personally didn't enjoy my non-beef burger... perhaps my palate was longing for the Western flavors I'm accustomed to. 

We visited Jodhpur as a side trip en route to our last destination, Udaipur. Jodhpur certainly had its charms but it turned out to be the least memorable city we visited in India for me. 

On the Rocks  is located at Ajit Bhawan Near Circuit House, National Highway 65, Ajit Colony, Jodhpur, RJ 342006, India. For more information, call +(91)-(291)-5102701. 
Indana Palace is located Opposite Military Officer Quarters, Benayakiya Road, Shikargadh, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001, India. For more information, call +91 291 515 8888 or click here.
Maharani Spices is located at 113-115, Nai Sadak, Near Clock Tower, Jodhpur Rajasthan, (INDIA) 342001. For more information, call +91-291-2556084 or click here.
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