ZeeZest App

Add ZeeZest App for better experience

Explore Jodhpur Like Never Before With This Nifty Guide

The celeb desert town of Jodhpur brings in more than just palaces, havelis and royal tastes.

Shilpi Madan

“Did you know that Jodhpur was Ravana, the king of Lanka’s in-laws' home? Our blue city was the maika of his wife, Mandodari,” said the guide, enjoying my look of amazement as my eyebrows shot up to touch the stunning roof of the Umaid Bhavan Palace—one of the largest, most lavish private residences in the entire world, spread across 26 acres of bewitching Rajput architecture and richly textured art deco expressions. 

Blog Detail Images
Umaid Bhawan Palace

I blinked, looking at the gigantic murals with the eye-popping ochres and limpid blues all around me. For me, this was the best-kept secret of the museum here— the Oriental rendition of scenes from the treasured epic Ramayana. Life-sized yet genteel, in exotic and powerful forms: the lithe and lanky Lord Rama and Sita’s slender facial features with almond eyes and arresting beatific aura, as the duo reclined by the river with a bridge in the background, and the towering inferno in the sheer scale and expression of Ravana’s statue, complete with his gold scabbard and weaponry. The ribbed horses with their swaying manes, as they pulled his magnificent carriage across the skies to combat the gods. Dip into this prized reserve to savour the artworks of Polish artist (who fled the German onslaught during World War II) Stefan Norblin—the hands commissioned by Maharaja Umaid Singh to create his own European interpretation of the epic, between 1941-46, at this location.

Blog Detail Images
Umaid Bhawan Palace

Jodhpur brings in a slice of slow travel, unfurling in delicate layers with quiet poise. No, there is not much blue about the city as I discovered by the time I reached the second most important touchpoint at Mehrangarh Fort. From the ramparts, the bird’s eye view of the old part of the city is visible, speckled with a few blue roofs. The blue-throated Lord Shiva (Ravana was a Shiva devotee too!) is deeply venerated here. The desert climate demands a touch of cool to bring physical relief from the burning heat as the summer sets in. Also, the leaves of the locally available indigo plant are a rich source of colour. Perhaps all this contributes to the reasons why Jodhpur was dubbed the blue city. Nevertheless, once you are done trekking the magnificent ramparts of the fort, clicking pictures with the caparisoned jumbos, observing the racy zipline that swings into your horizon, as you take in the goosebump-inducing views of the lake and the battlement area, sit up and soak in the surroundings of this magical place. 

 

Blog Detail Images
Mehrangarh Fort

In the far distance, you can spot a Taj Mahal spin-off. Flummoxed? It is the distant view of the rear of the Umaid Bhawan Palace that you can see through the sandy air. That is what I mean when I say: Jodhpur unfurls quietly in tiny, intricate layers. You need to pause a while to absorb it.

Delicate fingers of dusk touch the sky as we move towards the rooftop restaurant Indique, which brings in unending sweeping views of the glimmering city in the evening. Located inside Pal Haveli behind the iconic Ghanta Ghar (no cabs go beyond this point!), this breeze-whipped location virtually hugs Mehrangarh fort and serves up the best laal maas in the city—a fiery rendition, almost falling off the bone in a swirl of ghee-laced curry. No, you don’t need a fire extinguisher to survive the flavoursome preparation.

Blog Detail Images

Many hotels, restaurants, and shops are named after Baba Ramdev in Jodhpur. No, not the one behind Patanjali yoga—but the local deity Ramdev Pir. But let’s get back to the food. You will love the vegetarian fare in Jodhpur: the local, seasonal ker sangri ki sabzi, masala kadhi served with soft, fresh-off-the-tandoor bajra rotis with sizzling globules of ghee working delicious magic as they shimmy into nothingness, warming your heart as the melee of gatte ki sabzi, complete with a small portion of malai ghewar and chaach arrives with the big steel thali on your table. Enjoy garam masala chai with the famous mirch pakora at Janta Sweets (the mawa version is a tad too gooey and syrupy!), the pyaz kachori at Pokar Sweets, and the rabri ke laddu at Jodhpur Sweets. And if you can gain entry at the 100-year-old Umed Club to sip gently amidst the lush lawns, go for it.

Blog Detail Images

Everyone touts Jodhpur as the romantic Rajasthan location where Priyanka Chopra, Elizabeth Hurley, or whoever else got married. But there is a hidden Jodhpur for you to discover and savour at your own pace when you come to this old city—wrapped up in all its weathered glory and warm people. 

Where to eat in Jodhpur 

Blog Detail Images

1. Mohanji Rabri Laddoo

Ada Bazaar Road, Bhistiyon Ka Bas, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001

One of the oldest sweet shops. Come here for the best rabri laddoo and rabri ghewar.

2. Janta Sweet Home

3, Nai Sarak, opposite Priya Hotel, Chauraha, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001

Quite an iconic landmark with its own brand of namkeen, when at Janta Sweet Home don’t forget to savour the mirch pakoda.

Pokar Sweets

High Ct Rd, Suraj Market, Ajit Colony, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001

Come here for the best pyaz kachori.

Jodhpur Sweets

9th C Rd, Sardarpura, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342003

Besan chakki, ghewar, gujiya, and rabri laddoo are their bestsellers. 

Flame Restaurant 

Kiran Vilas, Veer Durgadas Colony, Paota C Rd, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001

Brilliant outdoor seating, superb thalis and laal maas

Chimney RJ19 

48 Rai Ka Bagh Umaid Club Road Near Hotel Mohan Villas, Jodhpur 342001 India

Eat here for the best Rajasthani thali

Indique Restaurant and Bar

Pal Haveli, near Clock Tower Road, Pal Haveli, Ghantaghar, Gulab Sagar, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001

Fab vibe, fab views, and fab food—but eating here can be a little expensive though.

 

Where To Stay in Jodhpur 

1. Pal Haveli

Pal Haveli, near Clock Tower Road, Pal Haveli, Ghantaghar, Gulab Sagar, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001

Located behind the ghanta ghar, you get a great view and fab food at Indique here.

2. Khaas Bagh Heritage Boutique Hotel

A stay worth the experience, especially if you can’t afford the cheapest room at Umaid Bhawan Palace that goes for Rs 40000 + a night! There is a superb lineup of vintage cars here (Rolls Royce, Plymouth, Ford and Chevrolet), owned by the royal family. 

3. Umed Club

The 100-year-old club comes strapped with stunning lawns and evening lights. Centrally located—you need to be a member to get in though.

 

 

0 Comments

RELATED STORIES

To feed your hunger for more