JODHPUR CITY

Life in Jodhpur focuses vastly around the fort, which governs the walled old city. The blue wash applied to many of the houses clustered like a Cubist painting underneath it initially denoted high caste Brahmin house, and resulted from the addition to their lime based trouncing of indigo, thought to guard buildings from insect pests, and to keep them cool in summer. Over time the distinct colour caught on – there’s now even a blue-wash mosque on the road from the Jalori Gate, west of the fort.

The bazaars of the old city, with different areas dispensed to different trades, exude out from the 1910 Sardar Market with its tall clock tower, a distinctive local landmark marking the centre of town. Most of the fortifications on the south side of the old city have been dismantled, leaving Jalori Gate and Sojati Gate looking rather dejected as gates without a wall. South of the old city, the train station was constructed in 1880 as part of Marwar’s own Jodhpur Railway.

Jodhpur has plenty of lovely places to stay in all brackets, but auto riksha wallahs will always find ways to avoid taking you to hotels in Jodhpur that doesn’t give them commission. If you phone ahead and book a room, some guesthouses will pick you up from your arrival point, or you take an auto to a point nearby, such as the clock tower if your hotel is in the old city. If looking for a particular hotel, watch out for imitators - whenever one place gets popular, five more appear on the same block with nearly identical names, and obviously those are the ones your auto riksha wallah will want to take you to, swearing blind that they are the place you asked for. Some of the prime attractions of the Sun City Jodhpur include :

Meherangarh Fort

Jodhpur’s Meherangarh Fort presents a taste of the war, honour and profligacy that characterized Rajputanas. Unlike the fort in Jaisalmer it is abandoned, its paths firmed only by visitors.

Jaswant Thada
Some 450m north of the fort, and connected to it by road, Jaswant Thanda is a pillared marble memorial to the popular ruler Jaswant Singh II (1878–95), who purged Jodhpur of bandits, commenced irrigation systems and enhanced the economy.

Umaid Bhawan Palace
Dominating the city’s southeast horizon is the Umaid Bhawan Palace, a massive Indo-Saracenic heap specially made by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1929 as a famine relief project. Umaid Singh unfortunately had little time to enjoy his new home; only three years after it was finished he died. The present incumbent, Maharaja Gaj Singh, occupies one-third of the palace; the rest is given over to a luxury hotel and a museum.