Built of red sandstone, and with richly decorated interiors, the fort in Jodhpur sits on top of platform of sheer cliffs, paid for from taxes on the desert trade route through Rajasthan from north India to the Gujarat coast. From Mehrangarh's ramparts there are great views of the blue painted city below. Known as a city of enlightened maharajas you can now zoom on a zipline over the forts ravines and water tanks, or enjoy a private viewing of its museum with the curator in addition to the more usual sightseeing options.
Umaid Bhawan is another royal creation that can be seen from miles around. Construction of this English designed palace began in the 1920’s to create employment for the maharaja’s drought and famine struck subjects. 15 years and 347 rooms later it is the last of the great Indian palaces and remains the principal residence of the Jodhpur royal family. There’s still plenty of space for guests - most is now a luxury hotel, or tea served, of course, by staff in jodhpurs.
The fort is the main reason to visit Jodhpur but the town itself has a relaxed atmosphere conducive to exploring, the old city is painted the most gloriously photogenic blue and the traditional, colourful market is also very worthy of a visit.