DISCOVER THE BLUE CITY OF JODHPUR, INDIA
What motivates an entire town to paint their homes, streets, and buildings blue? Ask a local and they don’t really know! I asked every second person to try and get to the bottom of such a mystery and they all just said it was history or tradition. So I had to dig a little deeper! In this post, I will look into why Jodhpur is blue, discover how blue the city actually is and how to visit the ‘bluest’ areas of the city when you visit.
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Book a tour in Jodhpur
I’ve found that when I only have 1-2 days in a city, the best way to see many attractions in just one or two days is to book a tour. There is one awesome tour offered online that takes you on a day tour of Jodhpur City to the best sites. Your tour includes Jaswant Thada, Mehrangarh Fort complex, Umaid Bhawan Palace, the Clock Tower, and the Sadar Market. The day tour isn’t too expensive when you consider the entry fees and taxi fees to visit all of these places would add up quite quickly if you do it by yourself.
- Explore the historic sites of Jodphur, including the majestic 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort complex
- Visit the Jaswant Thada shrine and its stunning gardens, learning of its history and origins
- Marvel at the elegant Umaid Bhawan Palace, now a luxury hotel, and see its incredible design
- See the Clock Tower, a landmark through all Rajasthan, and shop at the colorful Sadar Market
- Get priceless insight into local culture and customs, seeing the locals go about their everyday lives
Book a tour: Full-day tour of Jodhpur City
Why are the houses blue in Jodhpur?
There are a number of valid theories that would explain the blue paint but they are all speculation.
- Lord Shiva is a holy god associated with the color blue. There were many Brahmin followers of Shiva in Jodhpur throughout history who believed the color blue was sacred. I believe this is the most likely reasoning for the blue color.
- Blue reflects heat, and Rajasthan is in the desert often reaching mid to high 40’s in the summer. It is possible that houses were painted blue to help keep them cooler in the summer.
- Blue paint is a mixture of limestone and copper sulfate. Limestone is a common construction material in Jodhpur and has been used in many of the palaces and homes. There are also many indigo plantations in and near Jodhpur throughout history, which could have been capable of creating the blue color to the paint.
So with a few possible explanations as to why Jodhpur is blue, you can do your own investigation and draw your own conclusion.
Is the ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur actually Blue?
There are a lot of stories and articles online talking about how the city of Jodhpur isn’t actually very blue anymore. These claims likely come from sources who were a little disappointed by the scattered blue when they were maybe expecting a sea of blue houses. Many of the homes in Jodhpur are white, or off white color. There is definitely a strong blue theme but as a percentage homes that are entirely blue would be about 20-30% of the city.
Sometimes as you walk along the streets you cannot see any blue at all. However, from the fort or from a drone shot you can clearly see the constant theme of blue. There are areas of Jodhpur that are bluer than others. I will detail where the best spots are to see the ‘blueness’ of the city.
Where are the blue houses in the ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur
From the Mehrangarh Fort, you get a clear idea of how blue the city is. I visited the Fort and then after surveying the city decided that the suburb of Chandpole would be a good area to explore on the fort in search of some local street life with shades of blue. I had a relaxing afternoon wandering the alleys, getting slightly lost in Chandpole. I concluded that finding an entire street covered in blue was either impossible or a local secret. I did, however, find blue spatterings throughout Chandpole. Often several houses in a row, an alley or a large building were painted a light shade of blue.
Near Chandpole you can also enter the Mehrangarh Fort from the back side. I didn’t want to enter or pay again so I just climbed up towards the entrance and managed to sneak up a wall for a better view of Chandpole from above. I can personally guarantee Chandpole as a good spot for blue street photography in the blue city of Jodhpur.