The bustling city of Jodhpur, {or the ‘Blue City’ or ‘Sun City’}, has such a rich history and beauty that makes it a favourite for many travellers. You may have missed Christian Bale shooting here for Dark Knight Rises, but there are plenty of other reasons for you to visit this beloved city.

Mehrangarh Fort

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You can’t go to Jodhpur and not visit Mehrangarh Fort, which is one of the largest forts in India. The construction of this massive fort began in the mid-15th century and continued for the next 500 years; that’s why you’ll find a variation in styles here, each representing the different period it was built in. Get hold of an audio guide that tells you colourful stories from the past, as you walk around taking in the grandness of the architecture and the sea of blue houses below you.

Mirchi vadas and pyaaz ke kachori

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There’s just something about gorging on authentic street food that nothing else can quite match. And when in Jodhpur, Janta Sweet Home is where you should head. Try the famous Jodhpuri Mirchi Vadas, Pyaaz ki Kachoris, and Mawe ki Kachoris. While you’re at it, don’t miss Mishrilal Hotel for its superb lassis, which are more like desserts than drinks.

The Rajasthani Royal Feast

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After you’re done with all the street food, your luxury food fix awaits you at WelcomHotel Jodhpur in the form of an elaborate six-course Rajasthani Royal Feast. Here’s what you can try at this royal feast: Chakki (flour cubes) with garlic chutney pearls, mutton kebabs served in an adorable little Indian pressure cooker, Dal Baati combo, laal maas (spicy meat curry), and ker sangri (local berries and dry beans cooked in Indian spices). This then is finished off with a luscious little rose pudding. {We hope your tummy can handle the sheer volume of food}.

Trinkets and textiles

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For your souvenir shopping, Sardar Market and Nai Sarak should provide plenty of options, from colourful bandhini sarees to embroidered mojris & juttis, to pretty silver jewellery. And here’s a tip: Don’t shy away from bargaining; you could get some good deals if you don’t give in too easily.

If you want to bring back more than just the typical stuff, you should visit M. Tayeb Khan’s shop {who’s a Padma Shri awardee, btw} which is famous for its hand-crafted chiffon sarees with possibly the best badla work in the whole of Rajasthan.

Antique shops & Pichwai paintings

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Jodhpur is home to some great antique shops that sell beautiful old furniture, chests, doors and windows, and even hard-to-find first-edition books! You can find shops like these all over Jodhpur, but there’s a whole cluster of such shops at the foot of Umaid Bhawan.

You can even bring back Pichwai paintings, {a traditional art form that centres around Lord Krishna}. The work and the contrasting colours on these paintings are exceptional, so choosing just one to bring back home may prove to be a task.

Luxe living

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You can shop and eat all you want, but at the end of the day, if you don’t have a good place to crash, it could leave a little something to be desired. We think the villas at WelcomHotel Jodhpur have everything you can ask for in terms of luxury—rooms with great interiors, your very own private pool {hell yeah!}, and a nice, lush garden. Need a bit more pampering? Get some awesome massages & treatments at WelcomWellness Spa.

PS: If you’re on your honeymoon, they even have a special treatment room just for couples!

Festivals & folklore

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With the rich and royal heritage of Jodhpur comes it share of fables and folklore, most of which, thankfully, have been kept alive through festivals that are celebrated around the year. The Rajasthan International Folk Festival is one such event that provides an open stage to folk artists & musicians from India and across the world. February is reserved for the World Sufi Spirit Festival, where you can listen to artists from India, the Orient, the Middle East, and Africa playing music that’s been influenced by the history of nomads. There’s the Flamenco & Gypsy Festival {in March}, Jodhpur Polo Season {in December}, and many other interesting festivals that Jodhpur has to offer. Just take your pick and plan your trip around it.

Vintage car display

Professional photography by Indian photographer Naina Redhu

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Car enthusiasts are in for a treat. Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum hosts a rally of classic cars that were once driven by the Maharajas. You’ll find vintage Rolls-Royce’s, Jaguars, Mercedes’, Hummers, and so many other cars, which are in mint condition.

Safari rides

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If you’re into safari rides, there are plenty of options for you in Jodhpur. And if you consider your safari rides incomplete without a side of wildlife, the Chinkara Sightseeing in 4X4 Wheel Drive at WelcomHotel Jodhpur is particularly good. It will require you to get up in the wee hours of the morning, but it’ll be so worth it.

For a taste of the village life, there are safaris that drive you deep into the rural areas of Jodhpur, where you can step off your ride to join the villagers for a nice cuppa chai and conversation.

Glamping in the desert

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Set up in the midst of sand dunes and wilderness, these camping trips are something else altogether. Multiple colourful, safari-style deluxe tents are pitched right in the dunes, which house within them teak furniture, jute rugs, and even tiled bathrooms! As the sun sets, the camping area turns into a rustic lounge of sorts, with low candle-lit tables and mattresses laid out beautifully for an evening accompanied by a three-course dinner, a bit of light chatter, and lots of calm.

This story is in association with ITC Hotels. To book your luxury getaway to Jodhpur, click here.

Feature image courtesy davidwithacamera