Rajasthan: Places to Explore

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Jodhpur

Jodhpur, Rajasthan's second-largest city, is known as the Blue City because of the azure-painted houses of the Old City, which are especially impressive when viewed from the ramparts of Mehrangarh Fort. The city, at the base of a sandstone ridge, was the capital of the Marwar kingdom for five centuries, and it's encircled by a 9-km (6-mile) wall, which keeps out the desert sands. It was named after its 15th-century founder, Rao Jodha, chief of the Rathore clan of Marwar. The clan traces its lineage to Lord Rama, hero of the ancient Hindu epic The Ramayana.

There isn't that much to do in Jodhpur, aside from a few sites including the incredible Mehrangarh Fort, and many people use the city as a jumping-off point for Jaisalmer, or as a place to overnight on the way to Jaipur or Udaipur.

Getting around Jodhpur is relatively easy. Take an auto-rickshaw up the hillside and walk through the massive, impeccably maintained Mehrangarh Fort, saunter through the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum, and wander through the chaotic and colorful markets full of fruit, textile, and handicraft stalls near the city's clock tower. If you have time, Jodhpur is an especially good place from which to take a camel safari into the desert.

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