We drove to Jodhpur from Delhi. A long but rather scenic and traffic free drive albeit a little long thou. Jodhpur is an interesting city of a million people in Rajasthan. It's called the Blue City because of its indigo painted houses. This is done because there is something in the paint that repels insects.
I found the city to be a really fascinating mix of old and new. A relatively modern new city borders the labyrinthine alleyways of the old city, which surrounds the mountain on which the magnificent Meherangarh is built. The fort itself is made up of delicately ornamented sandstone palaces in a stunning state of preservation crowning the huge towering walls. The views of the city below are extremely impressive. Musicians playing traditional instruments positioned in key locations throughout the fortress enrich the atmosphere, and great audio guide comes with the admission ticket. Meherangarh is a big exception, when it comes to cleanliness and being tourist friendly and is certainly the most polished operation of any site we have come across in India barring the Taj Mahal.
It is in immaculate condition, very well sign posted, and there are 3 cafes scattered throughout the fort (one even has internet!). But, the most amazing thing is the very professional audio tour. You also have your usual guided tours which are good too, but if you want your privacy then the MP3 audio tour is the thing for you, with perfect English pronunciations and fabulous folk music in the background, its surely the right thing to do. Right at the end of the tour, there is a strategically placed gift shop that iss so well decorated and laid out and yes a little expensive too as compared to the local markets. But you pretty much enjoy the shopping there and eventually land up buying a lot of stuff.
The high point of our trip was certainly the Thar Desert. Osian Sand Dunes Resort and Camp is located in the heart of the Thar desert near the ancient and picturesque desert town of the Osian on the Jodhpur - Jaisalmer Highway. The Osian Dunes, its about 60 kms / an hours drive from Jodhpur. A camel safari and especially during sunset is surely fun and exciting. You also have the options of staying at the camps there. But we preferred an evening visit to the desert. The Regies Camel Camp Osian is the most recommended resort there and most luxurious too. The evening was a lot of fun with traditional Rajasthani folk dances and music playing alongside the bonfire, especially if your in a group it can be an extremely memorable and enjoyable evening.
We did go to the Umaid Bhawan palace, althou very grand in structure I found it rather boring and not much to care for.
A definite must visit restaurant in Jodhpur would be On The Rocks Bar & Lounge, its located on the Raika Bagh Singh Area, its certainly worth a visit in the evenings. Entirely candle lit, it has indian cuisine and barbeque options too. But the ambiance is certainly worth a mention, its dimlite, cozy and super romantic! They have a bar named Rocktails with a dance floor for couples only. Not to expect much of Rocktails but for a place like Jodhpur its certainly Rocking !
Enjoyed Jodhpur and wouldn’t mind coming back some day !