Your lasting impression of Jodhpur will be of the impressive Mehrangarh Fort, whose ramparts rise from a sheer-sided sandstone outcrop. As you enter the crenelated walls of the fort through its arched gates, it is like stepping into the medieval period.
The second-largest city of Rajasthan, Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodhaji, chief of the Rathore Rajputs who were the rulers of Marwar, the largest princely state in Rajputana.
Several places of interest close to Jodhpur can be visited in a day. The most famous of them are the Hindu and Jain temples further afield at Osian, an hour's drive away from Jodhpur. Mandor located on the northern outskirts of Jodhpur, can be visited. Mandore was the capital of Marwar before the foundation of Jodhpur.
The quintessential medieval fort of Mehrangarh has been standing tall for centuries in Jodhpur epitomizing Rajput valour, spirit, romance and pride. Built by Rao Jodha in 1459 AD, around Mehrangarh (Majestic) Fort is home to several beautiful palaces and temples. Maharaja's palace, Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Hall), Moti Mahal (Pearl Hall), Phool Mahal (Flower Hall), Zenana Deodi and Chamunda Mataji Temple and a museum are some of the highlights within the fort.
A part of the Umaid Bhawan Palace has been turned into a heritage hotel run by Taj group of hotels. The palace is also the residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur. One of the finest palaces in Rajasthan, Umaid Bhawan Palace plays host to a large number of weddings making it an unmatched romantic palace experience. The palace which took 15 years to complete, is home to an impressive museum.
1km northeast of Mehrangarh Fort, the white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, was built in 1899. Located in a serene environ, the cenotaph is characterized by some intricately carved jalis (marble lattice screens).
While in Jodhpur it is recommended that one should visit the colourful Giridkot and Sardar Market, located near the clock tower . The narrow lanes here are a shopper's paradise. Shop for exquisite Rajasthani handicrafts, textiles, silver jewellery, clay figurines of animals, marble curios with inlay work and colorful lac bangles in the tiny shops dotting these alleys.
Mandore was the capital of Marwar before the foundation of Jodhpur. The place is home to expansive gardens, ruins of a fort dating back to the sixth century AD and a museum.
The picturesque lake of Balsamand offers a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of the jodhpur city. Located 7 km from Jodhour and 1.5km southwest of Mandore, Balsamand Lake was excavated in 1159. On its banks is a beautiful palace now converted into a heritage hotel.
35 km from the centre of the Jodhpur city, the small hamlet of Luni is home to the imposing red-stone haveli of Chanwam built in 1895. Now converted into a Heritage Hotel, the fort makes an excellent excursion from Jodhppur.
40 km south of Jodhour the reputable Rohet Garh heritage hotel is an ideal excursion site from the city. Built in the 17th century AD, this heritage property has a stable of fine Marwari horses. 8 km south of Rohet is the quirky temple Om Bana where the pressing deity is an Enfield Bullet motocycle.
45 km southwest of the Jodhpur city is located the wildlife destination of Dhawa Wildlife Sanctuary which boasts the largest headcount of the Indian antelope. The sanctuary shelters a large array of fauna including partridges and blackbuck.
60 km from Jodhpur is the heritage property of Sardar Samand Palace which commands a breathtaking view of the lake surrounding the palace. The lake is a haven of migratory birds. Sardar Samand is a good place to savour the rich history of the area.
65km north of Jodhpur is situated the desert town of Osian which is home to exquisitely sculptured shrines belonging to the Hindu and Jaina faiths. The most impressive is the 12th century Sacchiya Mata (Mother of Truth) temple and Mahavira Jain temples dating back to between 8th and 10th century AD.
90 km north of Jodhpur, Khimsar’s claim to fame lies in its being the starting point of the Thar Desert. Located in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan, the place is home to a fifteenth century fort which has been now converted into a heritage hotel. Khimsar is famous for sand dunes. Walking on the sand dunes approached through narrow countryside roads as the sun sets will be an unforgettable affair.
135 km from Jodhpur lies the historical town of Nagaur which boasts impressive forts and massive gateways reminding the spirit of the powers that found its fullest expression in the land of Rajasthan in the days of yore. Places of Interest in Nagaur include Ahhichatragarh Fort , Tarkin-ki-Dargah, cenotaph of Nagaur ruler Amar Singh Rathore, Bansiwala Temple and Nath Ji ki Chhatri.
The annual cattle fair held here in January/February offers the visitors the opportunity to enjoy shopping in a unique way.
By Air: Jodhpur is connected by air with different cities in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Udaipur. The airport is 5 km away from the centre of the Jodhpur centre.
By Rail: the railhead at Jodhpur is connected by rail with major cities and places in India
By Road: Jodhpur is connected by motorable roads with different cities and places in India including Ranakpur (175 km ), Ajmer (198 km ), Barmer (220 km ), Bikaner (260 km ), Udaipur (260 km), Mount Abu (280 km ), Jaisalmer (290 km ), Jaipur (343 km ), Ranthambore (481 km), Alwar (483 km), Ahmedabad (516 km ), Agra (577 km) , Delhi (592 km ) and Mumbai (1073 km ).
The accommodation options are plenty in Jodhpur. The visitors to the city can find a great number of hotels in and around the city. Umaid Bhavan Palace, Ajit Bhawan Palace, Bal Samand Palace and Karni Bhawan are some of the heritage hotels in and around Jodhpur. Hotel Abhay Days, Hotel Beniwal Palace, Hotel Ranbanka, Hotel City Palace, Kalinga Hotel, Hotel Chandra Inn and Hotel Ratan Vilas are other popular hotels.