Old City of Jodhpur
Address: Clock Tower Rd, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Ticket price: Free
Visit duration: People typically spend 1 to 2 hours here
The second largest city of the royal state of Rajasthan, Jodhpur represents a perfect marriage between the old and the new. While the newer and more modern side of Jodhpur is that of bustling city life, the old lanes of the city are where you find history and the blueness that gives the city its second name "Blue City" of India.
Not all of Jodhpur is blue. Though there is a certain blue hue in the whole of the city, it is far from being Morocco's Chefchaouen. The most blue that you can spot in Jodhpur is in the older parts of the city that lies on the south-western edge of the famous Mehrangarh Fort. With walls of houses and temples painted in different shades of blue belonging to the different time periods, you will understand why the city has been given this eloquent nickname once you watch the old city from the Mehrangarh Fort View Point.
The old blue city houses different architectural wonders like beautiful palaces, temples, and forts. The most iconic is the Clock Tower of Rajasthan which is regionally called Ghanta Ghar. It is a famous landmark in Jodhpur and also has a market with the same name. The two gates in between which the Clock Tower stands tall, are also decorated with typical Rajasthani architecture.
Known as Marwar when founded in the 15th century, Jodhpur had been the capital of the Rajput rulers for quite some time. The most striking feature of the city is how it has preserved the ancient traditions like men wearing colourful turbans and females wearing equally vibrant wide skirts. It is said that for centuries, the people of Jodhpur have been adding varying colours to their appearance to break the monotony of miles and miles of pale sand-covered desert.
The Clock Tower after which this market is named was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh between 1880 and 1911. Besides being quite a famous landmark by locals, this tower is also an architectural delight. You can notice a mix of Indian and British styles of architecture in this tower. You can climb up to the top of the tower and watch how busy the surrounding area is.
The Clock Tower Market will perhaps not give you a fairy-tale shopping experience but it will show you a slice of how busy life is in the otherwise laidback charm that shrouds old Jodhpur. With small vehicles honking as loudly as they can to scare away a lazy cow seated in the middle of the road, the Clock Tower Market is a place where you can appreciate life in its full swing.
The market is in the form of an enclosed square, as you can view it from the top of the tower, with different kinds of shops around you. There are carts as well where you can find things like spices and vegetables being sold, some that you might not have even seen before. You can spot many friendly shopkeepers who try to explain the use of certain things that are completely new to you.
There are a few Kashmiri shops in the outer square of the market where you can watch carpets after carpets being unfurled before you even if you are clear about your intention of not buying anything. You can also find beautiful shawls which shopkeepers claim to be Pashmina but you can do your own homework before buying one.
From handmade soaps to almost blindingly gorgeous attires, you can find everything under the colourful umbrellas in the Clock Tower Market.
Irrespective of your nationality, entry to the clock tower is free for all. You can visit the market and take leisurely strolls in the blue lanes of old Jodhpur without a ticket.
The tower remains open all days of the week from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. You can spend well-around 1 to 2 hours exploring the tower and the shops nearby.
The Old Blue City and the Clock Tower are the heart of Jaipur city.
You can look for shops that sell Mojaris, a traditional Rajasthani shoe. You can also buy Bandhani cloth which is a typical dress material used by Rajasthani women in their daily lives and also on special occasions. Other than that, spices are also good in Jodhpur. However, their shelf life is not too long if not stored properly.
You can but then you won't be able to see how the walls are painted in different shades of blue and how unique it appears.
Yes, it is safe for everyone. You can, however, take care of any valuables like mobile phones and cameras that you carry at the market.
Though there is no restriction on clicking photos or shooting videos, it is always nice to take permission from someone you want to capture in your frames. The same for shops in the market. You can ask the owner if you can. Most of the time, you will be greeted with a smile and a nod which is a sign of consent to being clicked.