Travel postcard: 48 hours in Jodhpur, India

Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:42am EDT
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By Barbara Lewis

JODHPUR, India (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to explore Jodhpur, the second largest city in the north Indian state of Rajasthan?

Internationally known for polo matches and the traditional riding trousers worn by its players, one of Jodhpur's greatest attractions is a fairytale fort.

Perched on a hill-top, on the edge of the Thar Desert, the fort looms over the indigo walls of the chaotic old town that have earned Jodhpur the nickname of the blue city -- as opposed to Jaipur, the pink city and Rajasthan's capital. Reuters correspondents with local knowledge give you some tips on how to spend 48 hours there:

Saturday 8 a.m. If full authenticity is your aim, breakfast from the hot snack and chai sellers that greet every arriving train.

Drop off your bags wherever you're staying. Options range from cheap and noisy hotels among the blue buildings of the old town to the hushed, five-star Umaid Bhawan, which is also home to the maharajah.

Somewhere in between, you could try the Devi Bhawan -- a roughly 100 rupee ($3.54) ride, or less if you're game for some aggressive haggling, in an auto rickshaw from the station.

Jodhpur's rickshaws stand apart from the more utilitarian models of say Delhi. They are bigger and decorated with mirrors and pictures, according to the tastes of drivers who know the width of their vehicles to the millimeter -- most of the time.

10 a.m. From your hotel, a short rickshaw drive takes you up to the Mehrangarh fort.   Continued...

<p>A view of a market at night in downtown Jodhpur in India's desert state of Rajasthan June 25, 2009. REUTERS/Jorge Silva</p>