If you are going to take a tour of Rajasthan, there are a number of cities that you should aim to include on your itinerary. With its striking blue buildings and impressive fort, Jodhpur is definitely among the places that should top your list - but what should you see while you are there?
Among the best spots to visit is Jaswant Thada, which dates back to 1899. Built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, this marble memorial also marks the site of the royal crematorium. What's more, from here you can enjoy some excellent views across to the city's most famous attraction - Mehrangarh Fort.
Situated at the top of a steep cliff, Mehrangarh Fort looks out over the city and is, in fact, the best place for viewing Jodhpur's famous blue buildings. Many of the homes in the city are decorated with a bright cobalt blue wash, which some people believe was used to mark out the dwellings of those of the priestly caste. However, others suggest the colour is down to a chemical used to deter termites, so there is still a little mystery surrounding it! Whatever the truth is, the result is really striking, and you won't find a finer vantage point from which to admire it than the Mehrangarh Fort.
However, this is by no means the only reason to visit the attraction. Comprising gardens, temples and a palace, the fort is a vast and incredibly impressive site that it's easy to spend hours at. Since there is so much to see, it is well worth taking the audio tour, which is full of great anecdotes and interesting facts.
The site includes the Umaid Bhawan Palace - also known as the Chittar Palace - which the Maharaja of Jodhpur still lives in today. Renowned for its Art Deco architecture, it is made of vast sandstone blocks that are secured together through a clever interlocking pattern, rather than using the normal method of securing bricks with mortar. In recent years, parts of the palace have been made into a hotel and museum, which is open to the public.
The museum opened in 1991 and houses a wide range of artefacts, including antique clocks, carved idols, hunting trophies and watches. As well as visiting the museum, make sure you explore the period rooms of the fort. Phool Mahal is among the most impressive, featuring lavish decoration - such as gold filigree on the ceiling - and royal paintings. Among the other rooms to look out for are Sheesh Mahal - or Mirror Hall - and Zenana Deodi.
Giridkot and Sardar Market
Visiting Jodhpur's top sights is not all about exploring historical buildings and monuments. It is also well worth experiencing some of its colourful, lively bazaars to get a taste of local life, and the Giridkot and Sardar Market should rank among your top choices.
Comprising tiny, narrow lanes, this market is full of charming little shops selling all sorts of local goods, including clay figures, Rajasthani textiles and splendid silver jewellery. So, if you want to pick up a souvenir that will bring all the colour of India back to you whenever you see it, this is the ideal place to do so.