Jodhpur is known as the blue city because many of the houses in the city are painted Brahmin-blue although these days you don’t need to be Brahmin to paint your house blue here. The main attraction here is the outstanding Meherangarh Fort that sits atop a 125m tall hill in the old city. Included in the 250 rupee admission fee is an excellent audio guide that with superb historical narrative as well as some commentary from the current maharaja of Jodhpur who runs the fort through a trust. I easily spent somewhere between 2 and 3 hours exploring the fort and all its various rooms and corridors. If you go, be sure to go into the “Audio Lounge”, a sort of VIP room for people who are using the audio tour (ie foreigners). The best part of the lounge is the balcony which has great views of the old city and the comfortable nap-inducing couches which are strategically placed right under the ceiling fans. There’s also an unmarked filtered cold water machine between points 8 and 9 on the audio tour, perfect for beating the heat and saving some rupees.
While I did this the following day because it was late it makes sense to walk from the fort to the Jaswant Thada, a white marble memorial to a maharaja. In addition to having a great view of the fort it also is surprisingly quiet and is a great place to escape the hustle of the city below. From here, I walked back to the fort and then over to the clock tower (there’s only one) and explored the busy Sardar market surrounding it. The market radiates westward and is the commercial heart of the city. On the way back to the Cosy Guesthouse it started raining softly but quickly turned into a monsoon downpour. Luckily I was in a nice store (Vodafone) at the time with seats because the street turned into a river. I ended up sitting in the store for over an hour reading a book till the rains let up and the street river disappeared. Unfortunately for me the next street I had to walk on was still a river (I couldn’t see it from the Vodafone store otherwise I would’ve kept on reading) but I sucked it up and walked through anyhow.
I should mention also that while I was there the doctors at the local hospital were on strike (Rhiannon found out the hard way). I’m not sure if the strike is still on, but if you’re headed to Jodhpur soon and need to see a doctor you should make sure the strike is over.