Jodhpur is one of the most photogenic places in India and a tour of Rajasthan isn’t complete without spending a night or two in this magical city. Gazing out from Mehrangarh Fort over the patchwork sea of chalky-blue buildings below, you’ll feel like you’re in a fairy tale. Here´s my guide of what to do in Jodhpur and where to stay…
If you want to be in the thick of the action, stay at the enchanting Jewel haveli, a stone’s throw from the fort. The standard double is pretty dark and dingy so we upgraded to a room with fort views. Situated down a dusty street, watch out for the obstacle course of motorbikes and holy cows!
But if you’re after something a bit more luxurious, the best place to stay in Jodhpur is Devi Bhawan. We were treated like royalty as this intimate heritage hotel, which has a stunning pool and delightful courtyard restaurant. As enchanting as Jodhpur is, it’s also a hectic and busy place to stroll around so it was ideal for us to be able to retreat to this gorgeous hideaway.
This elegant hotel oozes historical charm and is the eighty year old residence of Thakur Ratan Singh and his family. The front desk can organise anything you like from tours to transportation but best of all, the comfortable beds, spacious bathrooms and quiet garden offered us a restful place to retreat to after a long car journey or busy morning sightseeing.
The jewel in Jodhpur’s crown is the Mehrangarh Fort, which will take you several hours to work your way around. I’d highly recommend the audio guide and paying a bit extra to take your camera in – the views are incredible and there are some stunning rooms, we got lost for hours exploring loved the mirrored mosaics, perfectly preserved rooms and hidden courtyards.
Jodhpur is the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan and therefore great for shopping, but you’ll have to have the patience of a saint. If you can persevere, there are bargains to be had in the various handcraft emporiums, Sardar market and around the backstreet boutiques of the old town.
If shopping isn’t your thing, then Jodhpur is also a foodie’s paradise and a visit to the city isn´t complete without sampling it´s vast offerings. From omelette shops around Clock tower to the traditional rajastani sweet shops that line the streets, you can happily spend a day eating your way around the city. Dinner by candlelit at one of the city’s havelis is an unmissable way to view the fort.
The main thing to do in Jodhpur is soak up the ambience and take stunning photographs of the busy street life. I spent hours trawling the meandering alleyways around the fort for the perfect shot of a wizardly old man asleep in his rickshaw or a well-timed snapshot of a couple of women gossiping on their balconies. If you enjoy people-watching and soaking up local flavour, Jodhpur is the place to visit
And at the end of a long day photographing the hypnotic blue city, it was pure bliss to have our haven at the Devi Bhawan to retreat back to. The crystal-clear pool was the perfect anecdote to this dusty, dry desert city.
Many thanks to the charming manager, Rakesh Singh for hosting us and arranging our complimentary stay at the Devi Bhawan heritage hotel. As always, my views are impartial regardless of any complimentary visits or excursions I’m given. If you’d like to invite me on a press trip or visit to your hotel, please get in touch.