Founded as the First City of the erstwhile princely state of Marwar, Jodhpur, from its beautiful setting on the outskirts of the great Thar Desert, brings to bear all the evocative nuances of an ancient outpost on the trade routes from Central Asia. It’s easy to summon up visuals of the laden caravans which would offload some of their goods in the bustling market of the Old Quarter.
There’s a siren-like quality that brings travellers back time and again to this iconic ‘Blue City’ of old Rajputana, now the state of Rajasthan. This slow paced tour of the city will have you in thrall for its beautiful experiences it offers to all age groups, culture buffs and history and heritage aficionados.
So set your sights on enjoying that melange of thrilling experiences, now more easily accessible for seniors, people with different challenges, as well as wheelchair travellers, visually impaired or those with limited mobility.
This atmospheric First City of the princely state of Marwar was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, after whom it takes its name. He was chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who moved out of Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh. The second largest city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur grabs your attention with its stunning 15th century Meharangarh Fort and the quaint impress of the Old Quarter where the houses are still painted blue, by design, which is why it’s also called the “Blue City’.
The Fortress City is a delight to explore with its historic grandeur ornamented by its vibrant bazaars, its iconic structures and friendly people. Umaid Bhawan Palace–one of the world’s largest private residences was a work in progress commissioned by the maharaja Umaid Singh to give his subjects work during a big famine in the 1920s which lasted over three consecutive years. He was the 37th Rathore ruler of Marwar. Almost 2500-3000 people were employed for its construction.
Nestling by a small lake, Jaswant Thada, near Mehrangarh, hosts an elegant memorial cenotaph to the 19th-century ruler Jaswant Singh II. Mandore, which is about 9km away from the city is popular for its lavish landscaped garden, but also plays host to several memorial cenotaphs to various rulers of Marwar.
Jodhpur is a shopping paradise with a fabulous array of crafts, textiles and leather goods to keep you enthralled. The busy Giridkot and Sardar markets are a magnet for handicrafts and sampling street food.
Why you will love it
- Partial wheelchair access to the spectacular Mehrangarh Fort, dominating the skyline of Jodhpur
- Outside viewings of Umaid Bhawan Palace, a fabulous luxury hotel, part of which still a residence for the Jodhpur royals. However, the thrilling car museum here is accessible by wheelchair
- Distance viewings of Jaswant Thada, the memorial conceived in pristine white marble to the 19th-century ruler Jaswant Singh
- Wheelchair access to gardens of Mandore dotted with several cenotaphs of Jodhpur’s rulers.
- Explorations of the atmospheric local market around Clock tower.
What you will experience
Rearing high into the city skyline of the 15th century Mehrangarh Fort, also the base of the Jodhpur royals, is the city’s most iconic structure. This evocative fortress brings to mind the tales of valour and chivalry that are intrinsic to the history of India’s Rajput community.
This slow travel full- day tour touches upon the most popular attractions of Jodhpur. An immersive, insider view makes the experience all the richer as it’s really wonderful that now many of these places have facilities in place to support the explorations of seniors, people with different challenges, as well as wheelchair travellers, visually impaired or those with limited mobility. Lunch can be arranged on a fixed menu basis in wheelchair accessible restaurant equipped with accessible toilets.
On your wanderings in the Old Quarter, chit-chat with the local community will reveal several reasons why Jodhpur is also known as the “Blue City’. You will love the bustling bazaars; the serene shrines and warm hospitality of the locals as you sample the sensory delights of the past and present that have shaped its cultural richness.
At the Umaid Bhawan Palace, partially run as a hotel and partially still the residence of the Jodhpur royals, you can dip into Jodhpur’s legendary past in the small museum here. Jaswant Thada is a serene spot which is dotted with a collection of elegant cenotaphs. A quick trip to Mandore introduces you to a lovely landscaped garden which plays host to several royal cenotaphs.
Shopping can be arranged according to your special needs and mobility challenges. The bazaars here are a riot of colour and thrilling allurements of crafts and costumes. From turbans to jewellery, from hand-woven dhurries to hand-block printed fabric, from leather goods to beautiful pottery work, there are souvenirs aplenty to pick up in the shops.
Services of a knowledgeable English-speaking local guide for a full day will be arranged for your convenience. The guide will meet you at your hotel and will drop you back after the tour. Local guides speaking French, Spanish, Italian and German etc can be arranged at an extra cost and can be booked depending on their availability. This service is best booked in advance. Our guide will travel in your car from your hotel; in case there is no space for him, arrangements for his transport can be made at extra cost.
The trip, a beautifully curated slow travel experience, is lots of fun, as there’s a great deal of flexibility to customize the tour according to your special needs and mobility challenges. You can choose the monuments you wish to visit and directly pay the entry fee at the ticket counter. This gives you the liberty to choose monuments as per your interest and accessibility. Arrangements are made for one standard wheelchair for the tour along with one assistant to push your wheelchair if need be. You will use your own vehicle for this tour. If you are looking to hire a wheelchair accessible van with a ramp, this can be arranged from Delhi and can accompany you for the entire tour. This van is equipped with a manually foldable ramp needing manual assistance to push the wheelchair in and out of the vehicle.