The Blue City of Jodhpur, India (with Map & Photos)

There are cities, towns, or landscapes that have always been associated with a certain color. There is talk of the green fields of Scotland, the green of Asturias, the white of the houses of Santorini, or the route of the white villages of the Cadiz region of La Sierra. They talk about the caramel color of Old Havana and the multi-colored faces of cities like Copenhagen, Sighisoara, the Romanian, the French Menton, and the Mexican Guanajuato. In India, there is also a city associated with a color. The color is blue and the city is Jodhpur.

Located in Rajasthan, in northwestern India, Jodhpur (जोधपुर) is known as the blue city. That is the color with which the facades of their houses are painted.

Jodhpur Blue City India
Jodhpur Blue City India

Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha on the strategic road linking Delhi to Gujarat, Jodhpur quickly became an economically flourishing city that benefited from the trade in opium, copper, silk, dates, and coffee.

The Mehrangarh fort presides from the height of a hill over this city whose most traditional houses are painted in a shade of blue known as Brahmin blue because that was the color that traditionally distinguished the house of the Brahmins. Thanks to this blue color, the houses of the Brahmins of Jodhpur could be distinguished from those of the rest of the inhabitants of the city. Blue, in Hindu culture, symbolizes spiritual peace, healing, and truth. That is why it was reserved, for a long time, for the priestly caste.

What finally led non-Brahmins in Jodhpur to join the custom of painting Brahmin houses blue? Fundamentally one thing: it was understood that the blue color serves to scare off mosquito pests that, due to the city's weather conditions, commonly ravage the city. It is also believed that this blue color, Brahmin blue or indigo blue, prevents heat from entering the houses.

Jodhpur Blue City India
Jodhpur Blue City India

That Jodhpur is not among the most popular Indian cities does not mean that it lacks tourist attractions that go beyond the peculiar and highly personal color of its traditional houses. On the contrary. Jodhpur is a city full of temples, castles, and palaces where Hindu and Muslim cultures converge.

Strolling through the intricate labyrinth of Jodhpur's alleys you can find a wonderful display of haveli architecture and a fantastic stepped cistern, the Toor Ji Ka Jhalra. This, along with other boards and large pools such as the Gulab Sagar Taleb and the Fateh Sagar, introduces a point of coolness and humidity in a city that during most of the year presents an arid aspect.

Of all the existing monuments in Jodhpur, the most important of them all is undoubtedly the Mehrangarh Fort.

Mehrangarh Fort

The first of these, fundamental, is the Mehrangarh fort or Fort of the Sun. This imposing castle rises more than 150 meters above Jodhpur, which makes it an excellent viewpoint. But Jodhpur's Mehrangarh Fort is more than just an excellent vantage point - it is a veritable architectural gem.

To get to the fortress of the Sun you have to ascend a winding road. Built by the founder of the city, the walls of this fort are 36 meters high and 21 meters wide. Inside the Mehrangarh fort, the traveler who goes to Jodhpur can find a museum, one of the best assortments in Rajasthan, which exhibits a rich collection of musical instruments, weapons, paintings, typical costumes of the region, turbans, palanquins, furniture, and miniatures. In addition, some of its original cannons can be seen on the fort's walls.

Jodhpur Blue City India
Jodhpur Blue City India

The Mehrangarh Fort can be entered by seven gates. Among all of them, the most famous are the Jai Pol, the Fateh Pol, and the Loha Pol. Once inside the fortress, you can see several palaces: the Moti Mahal, or Pearl Palace, the Phool Mahal, or Flower Palace, the Sheesha Mahal, or Palace of the Mirror, the Sileh Khana, and the Daulat Khana. The Daulat Khana houses one of the best-preserved collections of art from the Mughal period.

Other charms of Jodhpur

Beyond the wonders contained in the spectacular Mehrangarh fort, the favorite setting for many Bollywood productions, in Jodhpur we can find Buddhist wonders such as the Chamunda Mata, one of the many temples that are spread around the city which is located at the extreme south of the ramparts, or the Jaswant Thaba.

The Jaswant Thaba, for its part, is a mausoleum that, built in marble in memory of a local Maharaja, is known, for its beauty and spectacularity, as the Taj Mahal of Jodhpur.

Jodhpur Blue City India
Jodhpur Blue City India

How to get to Jodhpur?

The best means of transportation to get to Jodhpur, like so many places in India, is the train. Five hours is enough to get to Jodhpur from Jaipur. From New Delhi, on the other hand, it takes between 10 and 12 hours. If it is done from New Delhi, it is best to travel at night. The overnight trip allows you to rest and reach Jodhpur in the morning, with the whole day ahead to visit the city.

Jodhpur offers the possibility of staying in havelis, that is, in the traditional houses of the old town that, converted into small hotels or guesthouses, offer good services at an excellent price.

Jodhpur Blue City Map