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An oasis in the arid Thar Desert, Jodhpur is the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan. The city is popularly is called the Blue City as the houses here are indigo dyed. Jodhpur has a history that is rich and a present that beckons strongly to the discerning tourist. Forts and palaces, temples and havelis, culture and tradition, spices and fabrics, colour and texture, Jodhpur has them all and in plenty. Situated in Western Rajasthan, Jodhpur has long attracted both the domestic and foreign tourist. It not only offers tangibles, in terms of what you can see and buy but also fills one with a sense of history and the splendours of an era gone by. The hospitality of the locals, the demure women, and the colourful turbans -all set against the beloved desert (Marwar) is something to feel, not just see. Every pore of Jodhpur tells its own tales of heroic deeds that made legends out of kings and soldiers, romances that continue to warm the heart and a time when epics were lived out on the streets by everyday man.

Places to visit include the invincible Meherangarh Fort, situated on a low sandstone hill. The palace apartments like Sukh Mahal, Phool Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal etc are beautifully decorated and house Jewellery, costumes, armoury, palanquins, howdahs and other remnants of the past. The Jaswant Thada, an imposing marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II built in 1899 is close to the Fort. The royal crematorium and three other cenotaphs were also built here. The popular markets are the Sardar Bazaar and Clock Tower markets where you can see the vegetable, spice, Indian sweets, and textile and silver markets. These colourful markets with tiny shops dot the narrow lanes replete with woodcarvings, wrought iron, lacquer work, silver and ivory ornamentation and leather handicrafts. Add to your shopping list a lovely pastel-coloured patterned durry (rug) from a weavers’ village called Salawas near here.

Jodhpur is most famous for its sweets and the delicious “Mirchi Bada”, which is a large green chilli stuffed with potato stuffing and deep fried after being dipped in a spicy batter. One must not skip the mawa kachori and the pyaz kachori too. Laal Maans, a mutton preparation is on the menu of every festive feast.

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