Jodhpur is the second largest city in the Thar Desert of India’s north-western state of Rajasthan. It is called the “Gateway to Thar” because it is on the edge of the Thar Desert. It is also known as the Blue City for its many buildings painted in the city’s picturesque shade of blue which is particularly noticeable on the north side of the town in an area called “Brahmpuri” after the many Brahmins that live there.
Jodhpur is home to the magnificent 15th century Mehrangarh Fort, the Maharaja’s palace and several temples. Built around 1460 by Rao Jodha who established Jodhpur, the Fort is located 125 metres from the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Around its base is the old city stretching over 10 kilometres and housing an exotic mix of bazaars and shops selling everything from incense and spices to saris and flowers. The Palace houses treasures like the Phool Mahal, the Flower Hall “Moti Mahal”, the Pearl Hall decorated in pearl and coloured glass windows where meetings took place between the Maharaja and his staff. Another of the city’s attractions is the Chamunda Mataji Temple, hidden away at the southern end of the Fort. The on-site museum is home to fine arts, weaponry, elephant-mounted seats and detailed sedan chairs.
Jodhpur is well connected, with daily flights serviced from Delhi and Mumbai. The airport is five kilometres from the city and served by plentiful taxis and auto-rickshaws. There are direct trains available from all major cities, with taxi and auto-rickshaw stands located near the station exit. Chauffeured car-taxi services offer another choice for sightseeing and getting around the city.
The city is named after the word “jodhpurs”, riding breeches that were created in 1890 and worn while playing polo. They originate from an ancient style of Indian trouser called the Churidar, which is tight around the calf and baggy at the hips and still worn at traditional Jodhpuri weddings.