Jodhpur, is also known as the Blue city of India, but for me, it’s not that blue anymore.
For me, it’s an amazing city to visit again & again, and I did spend a total of 4 nights here, twice as a solo traveler and again after 11 months, with family. For me, Jodhpur is an amazing city to visit because of three main reasons.
First, it is tout free (almost), which means that you will not be surrounded by tour guides outside Jodhpur tourist attractions & markets forcing you to buy some Jodhpuri handicrafts.
Second, the food here is amazing, especially the Marwari thali at Gypsy restaurants (my 2nd best thali place, 1st being the Ahmedabad thali at Atithi Dining Hall)
And third, its boutique hotels. Do you know that the first boutique hotel opened in India was Ajit Bhawan in Jodhpur and there are many amazing Havelis, and palaces that turned into star hotels here like Umaid Bhawan Palace, Balsamand Lake Palace, etc?
Let me share my 2 days in Jodhpur, where I first traveled by road from Jaipur, with Rajputana Cabs Jodhpur and second by Mandore Express train from Old Delhi railway station. These include some of the best places to visit in Jodhpur in 2 days, making it the perfect guide for your Jodhpur itinerary.
- 1 What to see in Jodhpur? | Best places to visit in Jodhpur in 2 days
- 2 Where to stay in Jodhpur?
- 3 What to eat in Jodhpur?
- 4 What to buy in Jodhpur?
What to see in Jodhpur? | Best places to visit in Jodhpur in 2 days
Fort, Palace, Park and Market, and yes a desert which is 67 km northwest to city. It might seem like a small list of places to visit in Jodhpur. However, each of these need a fair bit of time to explore and enjoy. The magnitude of these palaces, museum and even the heritage park can easily take up 2 – 3 hours and yet, you will feel you have barely scratched the surface. Let’s take at look.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Umaid Bhawan Palace is what I will say is a British architecture-inspired, Rajputana-style palace, but has a heart-touching story behind its construction.
Umaid Bhawan Palace construction started in 1929 when Jodhpur Riyasat (Jodhpur Kingdom) was facing one of the worst famine conditions. Locals were being forced to migrate to other cities of Rajasthan & Delhi, and to stop this migration, the then Maharaja of Jodhpur, Umaid Singh, started the project of constructing the massive palace, which employed 2000-3000 men, to work on this project for around 14 years. More like the MANREGA Yojana of modern India.
It is said that the construction of the palace could have been finished in just 4-5 years but was prolonged for around 14 years just to provide employment to the locals so that they don’t migrate to foreign lands. Today 2/3 of the palace is given as a lease to Taj Hotels by the royal family of Jodhpur, and the rest 1/3 is a museum, sharing some amazing insights into the peak time of Jodhpur monarchy, and their lifestyle, even after independence.
If you are here, don’t skip the awesome collection of vintage cars, just opposite to palace, next to the front garden.
Mehrangarh Fort – a key place in your Jodhpur itinerary
Seeing Mehrangarh Fort for the first time is akin to seeing a giant in front of you. What is more is that the second time is no different, either. The history of Mehrangarh Fort is just as exciting as its architecture. Rao Jodha, who built this fort in 1459 had to remove a local hermit named Cheeria Nathji so that he could build this fort. Even when the fort was built, Rao Jodha buried a man alive in the fort, and this he did to remove a curse of Cheeria Nath.
I was stunned to see cannonball marks on the walls of Mehrangarh fort. The marks of cannon balls were proof of the fort’s violent history. Former kings of Jodhpur built seven gates to celebrate their victories over armies they fought with, even with Jaipur. The palaces inside the fort are just as beautiful. Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, & Moti Mahal are all gorgeous mansions with incredible decoration and vintage artifacts.
I also could not help but admire the ancient Rajasthani relics in Mehrangarh Museum. You should visit this museum to have a glimpse of swords, royal armors, paintings, palanquins, turbans, elephant howdahs used during ceremonies, etc. As a bonus, you should try the fun zipline that goes over the walls of this palace.
As soon as you come out of the Mehrangarh Fort, you will notice a statue of Rao Jodha which is quite a marvel, and just behind it is a white marble mausoleum. Called the Taj Mahal of Marwar, this is Jaswant Thada.
Jaswant Thada is a cenotaph, which is the burial ground for members of the royal family of Jodhpur. Jaswant Thada is so beautiful, it will remind you of the Taj Mahal of Agra, especially when you see it from a distance, it will simply dazzle you with its architectural beauty.
I will put a special mention to the carvings that I found on the pillars, ceilings, and inside walls. Every inch of Jaswant Thada has such wonderful carvings, and also the paintings of former Jodhpur maharajas, who ruled over Jodhpur. And one more interesting thing is the gardens and small ponds. A few Rajasthan folk musicians were playing their bows and strings. When I inquired about the name of the instrument, one of those musicians told me that it was called Ravanahatta.
Mandore Gardens – a key attraction to visit over 2 days in Jodhpur
It is very ironic and sad that such a wonderful place like Mandore Gardens in Jodhpur had such a terrible past. So when my tour guide told me a bit of history about Mandore Gardens I was shocked to see such beautiful monuments with such a tragic tale.
Mandore Gardens & its nearby area were the former capital of Rao Jodha’s kingdom. He captured Mandore from Rana Kumbha for 15 years. When I visited Mandore Gardens for the first time, what struck me was the wonderful carvings and sculptures. Like me, they will also remind you of Khajuraho Temples or Ajanta Ellora caves.
I will also specially mention the chhatris of the former maharajas of Mandore. They are so well preserved even after so many years. Everywhere you look in Mandore Gardens, you will be surrounded by these red sandstone monuments. Each monument has a signboard that shows in whose memory was it built. These memorials will be more like a temple than a memorial.
On the road that leads to Mandore Gardens, there is lush greenery. There are small ponds also, and many langur monkeys frolicking around. You can take so many selfies here and pose in the background of one of these temples. It will make your Instagram profile extremely photogenic.
Clock Tower area – Ghanta Ghar
The Clock Tower of Jodhpur is also called Ghanta Ghar, which is quite famous in Jodhpur. The Clock Tower is the first monument that I also visited on my 2 days Jodhpur sightseeing tour and even today this clock shows the correct time.
It is said that the Clock Tower was made in London and installed here on the orders of a maharaja. The architecture of the Clock Tower is what is most interesting. It looks like some French or Paris monument. I was thrilled to go up this Clock Tower and see the entire area from the top. The topmost floor has the actual clock with all its machinery. You can see the entire clock and the man who operates it also sits by the clock.
But what I liked about this place is the very busy market area around it. You could also see Mehrangarh Fort from here. It was quite a pleasant experience to wander and roam through this market. You can also buy something if you wish & you must try the local street food, that is so delicious like lassi, samosa and onion kachori at Janta Sweets.
Like I mentioned before, the list might look small but each of these places to include in your Jodhpur itinerary will take a substantial amount of time. Hence, do start your day early.
Where to stay in Jodhpur?
So far, I have stayed in Ajit Bhawan, at a very discounted price of Rs 3,500 for 1 guest, and my 2nd stay was at Indana Hotel at Jodhpur Cantt, which also offers an amazing view of fighter jets flying above, & that too from quite a close distance.
However, if your budget allows, even for 1 night, try to stay at Umaid Bhawan Palace. From check-in to departure, everything makes you feel like royalty. You receive a grand welcome that consists of musical drums, singers, and dancers welcoming you with a Rajasthani-style welcome. You dine in the most delicious meals and stay in suites that were once used by the maharajas of Jodhpur. You can live like a king during the time you stay at Umaid Bhawan Palace.
Another name that I can recommend to you is Balsamand Lake Palace. This also is a heritage hotel in Jodhpur, and it is near the beautiful Balsamand Lake. It has a classic red sandstone palace with Rajasthani architecture & offers various activities like horse riding, which is quite popular in Jodhpur, as I saw many horse riding clubs in the city outskirts.
However, to get a feel of real Jodhpur, I will recommend you stay in the Havelis.
The Haveli Hotels in Jodhpur are palatial-type mansions with traditional Rajasthani décor and very old vintage furniture. They might look old, but inside there are every amenities and facility for guests. I can suggest to you some of these Havelis for a grand stay in Jodhpur.
You can check out Krishna Prakash Heritage Haveli, Kuchaman Haveli which is also a heritage haveli now turned into a heritage hotel. Jodhpur Heritage Haveli is also highly popular with tourists.
What to eat in Jodhpur?
If anybody asks me about what to eat in Jodhpur, then my answer would be only to try traditional Rajasthani cuisine, because as I am from Delhi Punjabi area, and burgers, sandwiches, pizza, momo’s or pasta are like our everyday snacks.
So, I would highly suggest you to try having mava kachori, Mirchi bada, samosa, or ghevar in Jodhpur, as without trying these awesome local delicious, your 2 days in Jodhpur would be incomplete. You will get these items at many sweet shops in Jodhpur and the one I would suggest would be Janta Sweets. Which is one such sweet shop where you can have freshly made namkeens like Mirchi bada or mava kachori.
Jodhpur Sweets is also one shop that has many street food options which you can try. But if you want have the real deal, skip lunch and head for a dinner at Gypsy Restaurant, and only try their Marwari Thali. This is a very authentic dish with 31 items alone in just one thali, and its unlimited. FYI, its still my 2nd favourite thali place, as the best one I have ever had is in Ahmedabad (Atithi Dining Hall).
For our friends who want to eat like a Maharaja, search nothing on google and book a table at Umaid Bhawan Palace. Here you can either book a seat at “Risala restaurant” which is a continental dining place or try “Trophy Bar” which is the perfect place for bar, and also offer Cuban cigar (not a big fan).
What to buy in Jodhpur?
The Clock Tower Market definitely would be my top choice. It is a huge market, where you can easily spend 2 hours. Here, you can buy Hing. Hing or asafoetida is quite famous in Jodhpur and is a must-buy item. You will get it in many spice shops in Jodhpur, and I bought 4 boxes of hing just below the clock tower, from my 1st trip which as per my mother will be enough for 200 years for us.
I would suggest you try handmade bangles made from lac. They are very popular with women and go with almost any outfit. They are quite popular in Jodhpur as are wooden handicrafts. The artisans make toys, decorative pieces, furniture, key hangers, boxes, etc. I also suggest you explore Sarafa Bazaar or Nai Sadak for antique and wooden handicrafts.
I am sure that by now you have enough to plan a Jodhpur itinerary for 2 days – that includes the best places to see in Jodhpur, a shopping list and what you must taste while here.
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This post has been written by my guest author – Jatin Chhabra. Jatin is a Delhi-based travel blogger, hospitality marketer and proud dad. He is in love with the state of Rajasthan, its stepwells, desert and you can view more of his work at jatinchhabra.com