Jodhpur : The Blue City

Few cities evoke a colour in mind, like Blue for Jodhpur (the other one which does is Pink for Jaipur, or this awesome pink village in Maharashtra). Jodhpur, a walled city, was the capital of the kingdom of Marwar. The city was built circling the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, built by the King Rao Jodha in around 1460 AD. For some reason, a whole lot of houses in this walled city have been painted blue. Some say it’s because the colour keeps the homes cool in the long hot summers. Some say the founder King Rao Jodha had asked for the houses to be painted blue. Perhaps we will never know.

Nevertheless, it’s a gorgeous city full of architectural joy in its narrow lanes.

When to visit: Summers are killing in their heat, so a good time to visit is the winters. If you are a music buff, tie your visit around end October when the summers are just receding and Fort Mehrangarh becomes host to one of India’s best folk music festivals, the Jodhpur RIFF (Rajasthan International Folk Festival).

Where to stay: When in Jodhpur do try and stay close to the Mehrangarh Fort, inside the Jodhpur Blue City. That’s when you can really soak in the city and all it has to offer. There are plenty of stay options at various price points, and we chose Shahi Guest House.

Where to shop: Sadar Bazaar near Ghanta Ghar or Clock Tower is the market area. You can get your textiles, souvenirs, arty stuff, veggies… just about anything.

How to reach: Jodhpur has an airport so you can fly in. It’s also well connected by train and chair cars leave from Jaipur every morning (apart from many other trains). You can also reach Jodhpur by road.

What to eat: Do try the Rajasthani Thali (meal) at Gypsy restaurant, Sardarpura. For a fine dining experience, do have a meal at the Hanwant Mahal Restaurant in the Umaid Bhavan Palace hills. Also try the local Pyaaz Ki Kachauri, Chaach, Lassi, Gatte Ki Subzi, Kadi, Ker Sangri etc. Jodhpur, like most of Rajasthan, is great for food.

Jodhpur Station 2
The Jodhpur Station has a beautiful old world charm.
Jodhpur Station
A clock tower and red sandstone structures at Jodhpur Station prepare you for a town steeped in heritage.

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Jodhpur RIFF: The Songs Of The Desert

October breeze. Full moon nights. And the songs of the desert! These words may portray a festive mood but the actual experience is truly beyond words.

Jodhpur RIFF (Rajasthan International Folk Festival) has been our musical retreat for the last two years. This is really a soulful music festival away from run of the mill electronica, rock-metal clones, or mainstream tunes. The curator tastefully brings the best of folk musicians from across the world and into a unique fusion with the traditional artists of Rajastjani folk, the Langas and the Manganiyars. You can imagine a beautiful confluence of west and the east , the Sarangis and the Guitars, Rabab and Jazz, Morchang and Violins! Different artists, languages, instruments and music genres meet and jam on the main stage.

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