The second largest city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur is every traveller’s delight offering a glimpse of the state’s rich cultural heritage and the legacy left by Marwar rulers. Founded by Rao Jodha of the Rathore clan in 1459 AD, this city has many captivating forts, palaces, lakes, and other architectural wonders to explore. A highlight of Jodhpur is its houses, built in vivid shades of blue, which paint a magical picture on the canvas of Thar Desert – something you would not want to miss. Consider yourself spoilt for choices when it comes to the Blue City, so to make it easier, here is a list of popular attractions that must be a part of your Jodhpur itinerary.
List of top 12 places to visit in Jodhpur:
1. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Sitting atop a 400-feet-high hill, the beautiful Mehrangarh Fort commands the landscape of Jodhpur with its architectural brilliance and grandeur. The foundation stone of this majestic fort was laid by Rao Jodha in the mid-15th century. Built over a period of 500 years, the fort bears testimony to the glorious era of the erstwhile ruling dynasty, and houses possibly the best museum in Rajasthan displaying paintings, arms and armoury, textiles, decorative arts and other prized exhibits. Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal and Moti Mahal are some prominent palaces inside the fort, which would transport you into a different era altogether.
- Timings: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Entry Fee: ₹ 50 – ₹ 100 for Indians, ₹ 600 for Foreign Tourists
- Travel Tip: Try zip-lining at the fort to enjoy the most enchanting views of the Blue City!
2. Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur
Another brilliant example of India’s architectural wonders, Jaswant Thada sits beside a lake just a little away from the Mehrangarh Fort. This white marble monument, built in the 19th century, commemorates the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II who once ruled the city. You must visit this place in Jodhpur for its enchanting beauty, peaceful surroundings, scenic vistas, and for its extensive collection of paintings and portraits of Jodhpur rulers.
- Timings: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Entry Fee: ₹ 30 for Indians, ₹ 50 for Foreign Tourists
3. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Your trip to Jodhpur would be incomplete without visiting the grand Umaid Bhawan Palace. Built in 1929 by Maharaja Umaid Singh, this palace is one of the largest private residences in the world. It currently houses the royal residence, a luxury hotel and a family museum – the only part of the palace accessible to general public. The extensive collection of memorabilia at the museum will take you through the fascinating 20th century history of Jodhpur kings.
- Timings: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Closed on Sundays
- Entry Fee: ₹ 30 per Adult and ₹ 10 per Child for Indians, ₹ 100 for Foreign Tourists
4. Balsamand Lake, Jodhpur
Situated on the Jodhpur-Mandore Road, Balsamand Lake is yet another popular attraction in the city. Built in 1159 AD to serve as a water reservoir, this artificial lake is visited by tourists and locals alike for its lush green surroundings and charming natural beauty, which makes a perfect setting for picnics. If you are lucky, you might even spot a peacock here!
5. Kailana Lake, Jodhpur
Another great spot to enjoy picnics, Kailana Lake was constructed in 1872 by Pratap Singh to serve as a water source for Jodhpur and its surrounding areas. Owing to its scenic beauty, a number of people come to this artificial lake to seek respite from the hubbub of the city. It is also a popular place for birdwatching, boating, and for viewing the most ethereal sunsets.
6. Machiya Safari Park, Jodhpur
Not very far from Kailana Lake is the Machiya Safari Park, a must-visit place for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. You can spot several animals in their natural habitat here including desert fox, wild cat, deer, monitor lizard and blue bull. There is also an assigned point where many exotic birds can be spotted, especially during winters. This is not all! The views of the sunset and sunrise from atop the fort inside the park are not to be missed.
- Timings: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm (October-March); 8:00 am – 6:00 pm (April-September); Closed on Tuesdays
- Entry Fee: ₹ 15 – ₹ 30 for Indians, ₹ 300 for Foreign Tourists
7. Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, Jodhpur
A walking trail through the Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park will give you an insight into the plant life of the rocky trails of Rajasthan. Spread over 170-acre area, this park was built in 2006 in an effort to restore the ecology of the wetland surrounding the iconic Mehrangarh Fort. You can spot some unique forms of cactus here along with several other floral species.
- Timings: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm (October-March); 7:00 am – 6:30 pm (April-September)
- Entry Fee: ₹ 100
8. Chamunda Mata Temple, Jodhpur
Located on the southern edge of Jodhpur’s landmark fort, Chamunda Mata Temple is one of the most popular places of worship in the city. In its sanctum sanctorum is a black stone idol of Mother Chamunda, which was brought here from Mandore in 1460 by Rao Jodha. People of all castes and creeds visit this temple to offer prayers to their guarding deity and the Isht Devi of Jodhpur royals. Navaratri celebrations at this temple are quite a spectacle.
- Timings: 5:00 am – 10:00 pm
9. Jodhpur Government Museum, Jodhpur
The Government Museum of Jodhpur is yet another great place to discover the glorious past of Jodhpur city. Situated in the heart of Umaid Garden, the museum showcases an extensive collection of miniature paintings and portraits of rulers, textiles, weapons, and local art and crafts along with the manuscripts and images of the Jain Tirthankaras and other relics.
- Timings: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Closed on Fridays
- Entry Fee: ₹ 5 for Indians, ₹ 50 for Foreign Tourists
- Travel Tip: If you’re travelling with children, spend some time at the zoo located close by.
10. Mahamandir Temple, Jodhpur
Located in the outskirts of the city, the Mahamandir Temple is a sanctified spot dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built in 1812, this ancient shrine is supported by 84 intricately carved pillars that feature detailed designs and figures depicting different Yoga postures. It might be a tedious experience to climb the winding alleys leading up to this temple, but the beauty of the place and its quaint ambience is bound to soothe your nerves.
- Timings: 5:00 am – 12:00 pm, 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
11. Mandore Gardens, Jodhpur
Mandore served as the capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Marwar, until it was abandoned in 1459 CE. However, Mandore Gardens have fought the trials of time and still stand strong to tell the tales of the town’s glorious past. An ideal place to click Instagram-worthy photos, this garden houses an ancient temple, cenotaphs of Maharajas of Jodhpur, a Hall of Heroes and a government museum; all depicting the rich cultural heritage of the princely state.
- Timings: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Entry Fee: ₹ 50
12. Bishnoi Village, Jodhpur
If you have some time after exploring the best in the city, the Bishnoi Village close by is an ideal spot to unwind. You can indulge in a variety of cultural activities at this small village, including camel treks, desert excursions, arts and handicrafts and more. At Guda, you can set out on a safari to discover the exotic wildlife and nature of the region. Antelope, black buck and Demoiselle crane can be spotted here, besides thousands of migratory birds.=
With so much to see and do at Jodhpur, you are sure to come back from the city with some wonderful memories that you can cherish for life.