Jodhpur with Kids
After Mihir Garh we drove a couple of hours to Johdpur: The second largest city in Rajasthan, its referred to as the Blue City because of the characteristic indigo paint the houses are all painted.
We stayed in the Raas, a boutique hotel directly under the shadow of the fort that dominates the city. The hotel is within the old city walls, and a couple of streets from the clock tower. We had two adjoining rooms in the old part of the hotel that have been modernised beautifully. The hotel has a gorgeous pool in the courtyard, which is a haven of tranquility – the perfect place to retreat after the chaos and bustle in the old streets of Jodhpur. We stayed in Jodhpur for 3 nights.
On our first afternoon, we went to explore the area around the Chat Ghar clock tower.
We stumbled upon the government shop and indulged in a bit of retail therapy.
Initailly we were shown around twenty different types of textile (with printed or embroidered). If we showed any interest in an item, every colour variation was dragged out.
Surprisingly we honestly didn’t feel too much pressure to purchase.
Despite some steely reserve however, we ended up buying half a dozen bedspreads / blankets and pashminas.
The stuff we bought was all shipped home, and arrived a few days after we arrived back in Blighty. We spent so long in the shop however that we didn’t want to have to fend off other shop keepers, so we headed out of the clock tower area and up some of the back streets. The people we saw were so friendly, especially when I got my camera out.
Boys are the same the world over.
This boy kept on grabbing little kids and thrusting them in front of me to photograph. I was expecting to be hassled for money, but we weren’t. As you can see we started to draw a crowd.
Our kids started to get uncomfortable with the attention they were getting, even though it was very friendly, so we headed back to the main square.
Flying Fox Zipwire
Our main activity in Jodhpur was the fantastic Flying Fox zipwire. Its 6 separate zips, covering 1.8km over lakes, and around the far perimeter of the fort. You get an unparalleled view of the Blue City.
It was loads of fun, though not very scary. We “zipped” in a group of about 15 people – so it took us about 2 hours. It meant more time waiting for everyone to have their turn – but that meant plenty of time to take in the view. the group coming behind us were only 4, and they sped round in half that time.
While we were zipping, the heavens opened, as you can see in my slightly bedraggled photos!
Partly because of the rain, but also party my limited photography skills, it was quite difficult to get decent pictures that show the scale of the zip wire. If you look closely on this one, you can see Jamie zipping along the wire about half way across the last line.
All I can say, is if you are in Jodhpur you HAVE to do this.
The blue city is a huge hodge podge of streets where the houses are all painted an amazing indigo colour. Nobody knows why this practice started, but its thought that the Brahmin (Priest caste) started it to differentiate their houses. Its now mandatory for all houses in this area to be painted blue. We took a stroll though the streets before stoping for a drink in the cosy cafe.
The cosy cafe has the steepest stairs ever up to a small roof terrace / viewing platform.
They also have a unique guard dog.
The blue city is quant and charming, but there is also vast piles of rubbish left lying around on the street. Theres not a lot to see here, and I know its possible to do formal walking tours that can include a meal at the house of a local, but we felt a quick 30-45 minute saunter was enough.
The Mehrangah Fort
The Fort in Jodhpur dominates the city. Its easily walkable from the old city, or a couple of pounds for a tuk tuk. We took the audio tour round, which takes around and hour and a half. The fort is spectacular, and had the right level of detail for the kids. They could skip past the elements of the audio tour they weren’t interested in (the collection of elephant saddles for example).
Jaswant Thada Mausoleum
A few minutes walk down the hill from the fort is this pretty marble mausoleum. It claims to be the Taj Mahal of Jodhpur. If you are doing the fort its worth popping in for look, but not worth a separate trip.
Its a memorial for the royal family, and is a nice quiet cool place to visit. Locals tie scarves or pieces of cloth on this rope for good luck.
We have loved our time in Jodhpur and are leaving here to head towards Jaipur – approximately 6 hours away. I think this has been our favourite place so far.