I have decided to try my hand at a new type of post. I would like to write some posts like travel guides, discussing where I photographed, where I ate and where I stayed. Recently I went to Jodhpur, Rajasthan for two days and I have decided to start with that trip. Keep in mind this is not a full fledge travel blog, so I did not explore multiple hotels, I only stayed at one.
Best Places to make photographs in Jodhpur
Clock Tower at Sardar Market
The Clock Tower area of the Sardar Market is a great place for taking photographs. For me, it has another worldly feeling. The market area is a circular street with the clock tower in the middle. It is completely void of trees. However, the hustle and bustle of activity makes for plenty of interesting photographs.
It is also possible to go up in the top of the clock tower (however, it is closed on Saturdays). It costs 30rs. From the top of the clock tower you can make photographs with a bird’s eye view of the market below. You also get to see the mechanics of the clock. The man who takes you up the clock tower will want to take a photo with you and it is an interesting experience!
Clock Tower built by Maharaja Sardar Singh sometime between 1880 and 1911.
Mehrangangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India and dominates the city below. The Fort and palace within have recently been restored and now it costs 600rs. for foreigners to enter. However, there is nice exterior architecture and some very nice rooms inside the palace. I was also struck by the fact that I could use my flash. Many places do not allow flash. Being able to use the flash insured I got nice photographs of some of the rooms as tripods are not allowed.
The view from the Fort is also amazing. You can see the whole city surrounding the Fort and see why they call Jodhpur the blue city.
Mehrangarh Fort was built around 1460 by Rao Jodha, the fifteenth Rathore ruler of the area.
Chand Pol Area
The Chand Pol area of Jodhpur is on the opposite side of the Fort from Sardar Market. This area is less cluttered by tourist activity and more quiet. The narrow alleys lead to a variety of blue buildings and local markets filled with dogs, cows and rickshaws. If you want to see the ‘real’ India come Chand Pol is the place for you. Meropi and I left the Fort from the opposite side from which we entered. This took us to Chand Pol. We walked from the Chand Pol area back to the clock tower, just ask locals for directions along the way.
In the Chand Pol area of Jodhpur many of the houses are still painted blue.
PHOTO TIP: It was pretty hazy in Jodhpur, so you may want to take a UV/haze filter or neutral density filter with you.
Where We Stayed
Hare Krishna Guesthouse
We stayed at the Hare Krishna Guesthouse. It is a backpacker type of place. The room was clean and warm. The bathroom was simple and clean, however, the toilet seat was not attached to the toilet, so you had to be careful not to fall on the floor. J The rooftop had a nice view of the area, so we snuck some alcohol up one night to watch the sunset. Meropi saw the state of the kitchen and it was not good, so we did not eat there. It was comfortable enough and I would stay there again. We were quoted 1300rs. per night but got him down to 1000rs. per night.
Where to Eat
The day before we headed to Jodhpur there were two travelers in Udai Art Café. They told us they had had good coffee at the Café Royale. So, we headed there first. I do not drink coffee but Meropi said it was good. I had Tulsi Green tea and it was very nice. We also had grill cheese sandwiches which were tasty. We also tried Kachori and Nutella Pav. I liked the Kachori, which is a fried savory pastry filled with lintels. The Nutella Pav was my favorite! It is the Pav bread which is like a roll in the United States. It is buttered and served warm with the Nutella inside. It tasted like a warm chocolate donut. It is one of the best things I have eaten in India and I highly recommend it. We ate here on both days. The prices range from 60rs. for tea to 200rs. for the snacks.
Indique Restaurant is at the Pal Havali Hotel just inside the Sardar Market gate and to the right. The restaurant is a great place to sit and relax with a drink or for dinner. The restaurant is one of the better ones in Jodhpur. Meropi and I had dinner there one night and tried a variety of dishes. We started with some rum and coke as they do not begin dinner service until 6:30. It was a beautiful place to watch the sunset. The clock tower was easily viewable in the foreground with the new palace in the distance. Turn the other direction and the Fort dominates the sky. In the evening, the fort is lit from below and the clock tower is lit by changing multi-colored lights. For a starter, we had Chicken Malai Tikka which is boneless chicken marinated in a white marinade and cooked in the tandoor. For dinner, we had Bagara Baingan, an eggplant dish with tandoor roti (bread) and vegetable fried rice. This place is pricey but good.
Stepwell Café at RAAS
The Stepwell Café sits at the top of a recently restored Stepwell dating to the 1700’s. The RAAS Hotel seems to own all the surrounding property and it is filled with shops and this café. If you want to relax in a place with European flare, this is the place for you. From the ground floor, you can look out at the stepwell. In one corner, there is a cozy couch you can rest on. There is also a rooftop with nice seating and a nice view. I had a bottle of water and a brownie with ice cream. The brownie was 150rs. which I think is a fair price. The menu also included a list of alcoholic beverages and sodas with a range of prices. There was a small variety of foods from snacks to main courses and dessert. The café is a nice place to sit, relax and people watch.
Dagley Restaurant at King’s Retreat
The King’s Retreat is right next to Hare Krishna Guesthouse. We decide to eat here on our last night because there was Mexican food on the menu. As a Texan, I obviously wanted to see how this Mexican food compared to Mexican food in Mexico and Texas. We tried a vegetable burrito, chicken nachos, and chicken enchiladas. The burrito was my favorite and I thought it was the most authentic. I found the salsa on the nachos to be a little sweet so I did not each much of them. I had mixed feelings about the enchiladas. They were prepared correctly but the sauce was a little heavy. They also came with what was supposed to be Mexican rice, however, it was Chinese fried rice. Very funny. In addition to the Mexican food we had a pizza with Indian flavors. The pizza was nice as they have an actual pizza oven. Though I was not thrilled about all the food it was nice to have a change from Indian food. Here they do not serve beer, so we had water.
If you are headed to Jodhpur I hope you have a great time and I hope this information helps! For my next installment, I will be sure to photograph the hotel, restaurants and food. 🙂