For many Westerners, travelling around India is a fairly cheap ordeal. I managed to cut costs down dramatically by partnering up with Zostel, the first and largest branded hostel chain in the country. In addition, getting clued up on apps such as Ola Cabs and Jugnoo, and travelling groups have helped, too.
My trip to the Blue City of Jodhpur proved to be one of my cheapest days of travelling to date, actually. Suffering from an art comedown after visiting Udaipur, I spent my first day in Jodhpur getting my bearings and doing the less glamorous bit of travelling: washing clothes and booking transport. Zostel Jodhpur was not as conveniently located as it could be be (about a couple of kms from the main drag), but having a travel companion and discovering Jugnoo (and good public transport links!) made the distance a non-issue.
After spending the previous evening drinking Kingfishers and chatting with Rickshaw Run participants, another girl from the hostel, Ann, and I set off to see what the Blue City has to offer.
The first stop was the Mehrangarh Fort. The extortionate 600 rupee entrance fee charge put me off checking out what a friend said is supposed to be one of Rajasthan’s better forts. At this point, I realised I had enough of paying fees for an attraction I knew little about/care little for. I thoroughly enjoy cultural activities, but having scoured Jaipur’s many forts a week or so beforehand, it made little sense (and seemed very superficial) to pay entrance fees for a fort “just so I can tick it off the list.”
We took a wander around the fort, and we walked to the nearby Jaswant Thada. The majestic marble building was surrounded by a lake and a small wildlife sanctuary. The gardens were quite spectacular, which seemed to be the setting of choice for many group photoshoots.
Once we finally managed to hail a tuktuk (hard to come-by in the area), Ann and I took a break from all the sight-seeing in the Sardar Market, where the infamous Clock Tower is; I sipped on a saffron lassi at a highly-recommended spot, bought a pair of cheap anklets and a couple of brown henna pens.
As it was nearing lunchtime, we made our way to nearby Priya Restaurant, a local favourite. We shared a thali between the two of us – very good value at 160 R/ thali. To my surprise, this down-to-earth joint quite possibly served me one of the best thalis I have had in India. The selection of curries provided, and the other accompaniments present tasted so good.
Umaid Bhawan Palace was our last destination of the day. The grandeur and ostentatiousness of the home was evident, yet the museum housed inside gave a humble outlook on the maharaja’s lifestyle. The family’s vintage car collection was far from humble, however. There were also plenty of paintings and photos capturing the polo-playing clan (Jodhpur City… as in the jodhpurs used in horse-riding).
Admittedly, Jodphur remains to be my least favourite city in India so far. I found it a little less interesting than others. Apart from Jaswant Thada, I was not in awe of much of the city’s offerings, leading me to make a swift exit to Jaisalmer that evening.
Rickshaw to the fort from Zostel (between 2): 52 R
Jaswant Thada entrance and camera fee: 55 R
Rickshaw to the clock tower (between 2): 50 R
Lassi: 40 R
Henna pen: 10 R
Anklets: 40 R
Thali (between 2) at Priya restaurant: 160 R
Rickshaw to the Umaid Bhawan (between 2): 70 R
Umaid Bhawan entrance fee: 100 R
Rickshaw back to the Zostel (between 2): 20 R
I always think it is super useful to find out costs in places when backpacking/travelling on a budget – hope this has helped anyone travelling to Jodhpur!
This post was created in partnership with Zostel. I’d like to thank Zostel Jodhpur for their hospitality and kindness during my stay in the city. All pictures and opinions are my own, as always.