Jodhpur Attractions

Jodhpur Attractions

The Blue City, Jodhpur, is a feast for the eyes. From the bustling alleyways to age-old forts and palaces towering over every day public life, there’s something magical to see with every corner you turn. Ratan Vilas has endeavoured to arrange a list of must-see places so that you don’t miss out on any attractions in the vicinity while sightseeing at a particular spot.

In and around the Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh fort and the Museum

Jodhpur is an ancient fortified city which stands at the gateway to the Thar Desert. It was once part of an important trade route.

Only a 20-minute drive from Ratan Vilas, the imposing Mehrangarh Fort, is the most iconic building in the town, rising as it does to 125m into Jodhpur’s skyline, it is said to be the most impressive, and best preserved of all the forts of Rajasthan.

There’s a historical tale hidden in every archway and stone of this incredible monument. An audio-guided tour at the fort can reveal these stories to you. Within its walls are palaces and temples, shrines and, from its ramparts, replete with customary cannons, are impressive views over the city, famed for its blue houses which have a mesmerising effect against the stark brown of the desert.

In addition, there are seven gates, including the Jayapol (meaning ‘victory gate’), which was built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victory over the combined armies of some of the cities which you may be visiting on your trip – Jaipur and Bikaner.

The museum in the Mehrangarh Fort sets it apart, being one of the best curated in the country. We recommend a visit to discover exactly why!

Zip Lining

For adrenalin junkies, it is possible to zip line over the outer ramparts of the Mehrangarh Fort, which definitely gives you a unique view of this incredible piece of architecture and a sense of how it must have looked, looming high above the landscape for both the nomadic herders and the marauding soldiers alike. There is a circuit of six lines which between them give you the opportunity to see the fort as well as two unexpected desert lakes. We recommend booking in advance.

“Shall I tell you the best thing about Jodhpur? It’s the zip wires that send you like Batman around the moats and the crenulations. It’s stunning” – Boris Johnson, Former Mayor of London.

Jaswant Thada

This beautiful white marble memorial was built in 1899 by Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur State in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and ever since it has been the cremation ground for the royal family of Jodhpur. Its design, being intricately carved out of highly-polished sheets of marble, as befitting the royal family, ensures that they emit a certain glow when illuminated by the sun’s rays. Just 1km northeast of the Mehrangarh Fort and surrounded by a pleasant, tiered garden on one side and a small lake which attracts migratory birds in the winter on the other, this monument is a serene place to visit. The views over Jodhpur from here are also spectacular. The original cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh contains portraits of the rulers and Maharajas of Jodhpur. There are other royal cenotaphs in the grounds, not including the memorial to a peacock that flew into a funeral pyre!

Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park

An example of a highly-successful eco project, the Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park was built in an attempt to restore to its former glory a rugged wilderness next to Mehrangarh Fort.

The Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park is one of the latest additions to the list of ‘places to visit’ in Jodhpur and is a rather wonderful and successful eco project. It was created in 2006 in an attempt to restore the natural ecology of a large, rocky wasteland next to Jodhpur’s most famous landmark, The Meherangarh Fort. The land had suffered years of neglect and had become overrun by Baavlia / Babul (Vachellia Nilotica), an invasive, thorny shrub which had killed most of the indigenous plants of the region. Working together with environmentalist, Mr Pradip Krishen, the idea was to eradicate all of the baavlia and re-introduce native plants. This has not only been successful, but it has also resulted in the re-population by some of the region’s small animal, birds and reptiles. There are various walkways meandering through the park, some leading up to the fort walls and others around Devkund Lake, another desert surprise! Naturalists are available if you would like someone to explain the plants, butterflies and birds of the region to you. This is an often-overlooked part of Jodhpur but we think it is a dark horse and definitely worth a visit!

The Old City and Clock Tower Market

It is quite fun, having visited the fort and gazed over the blue city from its ramparts, to saunter down from the rear entrance, through the narrow and winding alleys of the ancient town and soak up the atmosphere, meet the locals, try some of the street food, shop for local souvenirs and take some great photos. Another place to visit is Ghanta Ghar or the Clock Tower the most distinctive feature of the Sadar Bazaar which overlooks the market and its milieu of shops which sell everything from fruit and vegetables, clothing, bangles, and spices to electrical items. Marvel at the profusion of colours and sights, tastes and smells (!) as well as watch the vendors hawking their wares and bargaining with the shoppers – a true Indian experience. Climb up the tower if you fancy a bird’s eye view of the market and the rest of the city- it’s only 3km away from Hotel Ratan Vilas.

When in these parts experience the various culinary delights on offer; we recommend Baradari at The Raas and Indique at the Pal Haveli for dinner with
amazing views of the beautifully lit up Mehrangarh Fort. The Stepwell Café is ideal for snacks and Shri Mishrilal Hotel for amazing lassi. Janta Sweet Home Pvt Ltd., Shri Arora Namkeen and Sweets, Mohanji Mithaiwala and Pokar Sweets are iconic landmarks frequented by visitors as well as the residents for hot samosas, pyaaz ki kachoris, saffron jalebis, kalakand, rabdi, and mawa kachoris. Chaturbhuj Rameshchandra, a tiny 100-year-old establishment is well-known for fabulous Gulab Jamuns.
While you’re at it, buy some bangles at one of the many bangle sellers past the clock tower- you’ll find none like them anywhere else.
We also recommend Blue City Heritage walking tours which include curated experiences like – Brahmins & the Blue City, Bustling Bazaars of Jodhpur, Stepwells and Temples of Jodhpur. Food Walks and Cooking Workshops are a culinary experience; the former in tasting traditional delicacies and the latter in making some yourself. A piping hot mug of chai on the terrace of a 450-year old blue house brings the 3-4-hour adventure to a satisfying close.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

The Umaid Bhawan Palace is the other notable building in Jodhpur, though that may be an understatement! It was constructed between 1929 and 1943 as a palace for the Maharajah using Chittar sandstone from Jodhpur and the same palm court marble as the iconic Taj Mahal. Comprising 347 rooms, it was, at one time, the largest private residence in the world. It was built to provide employment for the local community during a time of excessive drought and it is said that between 2000-3000 people were employed in its construction. A section of it is still home to the Royal Family, whilst a portion of it is now part of the Taj Hotel’s Palace Collection.

As an essential part of Jodhpur sightseeing, we recommend a visit to see the palace and the palace museum housing collections including a flag gifted to Maharaja Jaswant Singh by Queen Victoria in 1877. For car enthusiasts, the vintage cars, mostly custom made for the Royal Family are on display.

Day Trips from Jodhpur

Bishnoi Village Tour : Sign up for the Bishnoi Village Tour if you are a nature-lover. Lying within a radius of 30 kilometres outside of Jodhpur city, the excursions comprise a visit to a group of villages where you can experience the traditional tribal lifestyle in all its rustic beauty.

Khejarli : This village has an ancient history of its own which dates back in time to 1730. It was in this village that 363 Bishnoi villagers gave their lives to save the trees which were being cut down by an army. The people of this village believe in peaceful co-living and share their crops with the surrounding wildlife even to this day. Gazelles and black bucks roam around freely, so keep your camera ready for all the wildlife you might spot here including hundreds of peacocks.

Guda : Scattered with Khejri trees, this village is a beauty to behold. Sit by the pond where you can sight antelopes – blackbuck, chinkara and blue bull along with the presence of migratory birds like the Demoiselle Crane. Guda Village is the perfect place to experience tribal life and customs in the lap of nature.

Singhasni : This village is your dream destination if pottery inspires or awes you. As you pass through the village, you will see people engaging in traditional pottery making, giving life to objects made out of mere clay. You can indulge in your own pottery making session here or encourage the photography buff in you as you spot beauty amidst the piles of pots left in the open to dry.


This ancient town around Jodhpur is one of the hidden gems in Rajasthan. Located at a distance of only 70 km from Jodhpur and also known as the “Khajuraho of Rajasthan”, it is a gem in the middle of the Thar Desert. The greatest attractions of this ancient town are the magnificent temples which are gorgeously complemented by the surrounding natural beauty of sand dunes.

The hospitable team at Hotel Ratan Vilas is ever-ready to assist you in planning an excursion in advance or answering your questions-write in at