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36 Hours in Jodhpur, India

| Words by Rachel McCombie |

The evocatively-named Jodhpur in India is known by many epithets. Decide which you think suits it best with a 36-hour stay in this fascinating city.

Founded in 1459, Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan, and it’s known by a number of epithets. To some, it is the Sun City, so-called for its bright, year-round sunshine. Others see it as the Gateway to the nearby Thar Desert, while still others think of it as the Blue City on account of the many blue houses that characterise its historic heart. You’ll have to decide which of these epithets you think suits it best - or perhaps you’ll even come up with one of your own. Here are our suggestions to help you get to know this magical Indian city in just 36 hours.

Morning

Start the day by exploring the Sardar Market in the Nai Sadak area of the city. Not only is this busy market an excellent place for procuring souvenirs such as wooden crafts, spices and textiles, but it’s also a great place to meet the locals. You’ll be amazed at the local hospitality; it’s quite common for shop owners to invite you in for a cup of chai and a natter, so allow the whole morning for this unique experience.

View of Jodhpur from fortView of Jodhpur from the fort

Lunch

Lunch is a good opportunity to sample traditional street food, such as tasty samosas, as there aren’t many western-style restaurants in Jodhpur. Wash your samosa down with a delicious lassi - a cardamom-flavoured yogurt drink - at Mishrilal, which can be found by the Clock Tower that dominates the Sardar Market.

AFTERNOON

After lunch, have a wander around the Mehrangarh Fort (the entry fee is Rs400, or about US$6.45). You can’t miss this imposing structure, as it’s a prominent landmark occupying a hill around which the rest of the city has been constructed. The fort has been there for 500 years, its vast ramparts running for a whopping 3km around the perimeter. Within the Fort lies a number of buildings worth seeing, including the Maharaja’s palace, the lovely Chokelao Gardens and several temples. It’s worth visiting in the afternoon for the spectacle of the eagles being fed, which happens everyday at around 3.30pm.

Jodhpur fortJodhpur fort

Evening

Enjoy a candlelit dinner with magnificent city views at the Mehran Terrace restaurant, at Mehrangarh Fort. It gets busy, so booking in advance is recommended.

Local enjoyinh Shisha in Jodhpur

Next morning

Spend your last few hours in Jodhpur at Jaswant Thada (entry fee: Rs30 or US$0.48, plus an extra Rs25 or US$0.40 if you want to take photos). It’s an easy walk from Mehrangarh Fort. This architectural gem is a marble cenotaph built in 1899 by Maharaja Sardar Singh to commemorate his father. The surrounding gardens are beautiful, featuring a small lake and numerous gazebos, so it’s the perfect place for a final stroll.

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