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Which is better Jaipur or Jodhpur?

Discussion in 'Rajasthan' started by Lalit Kochar, May 26, 2017.

  1. Lalit Kochar

    Lalit Kochar New Member

    I am confused to which destination I should choose between Jaipur and Jodhpur. Both of these destinations have a lot to offer, and both are quite different from each other.

    I don't know which places has more to see or would be suitable for both adults and kids, so I need to know which is better Jaipur or Jodhpur?

    It would be good to visit both of the destinations but I only have one week, and I am someone who likes spending at least one week at a destination and seeing it properly, rather than rushing to different destinations in a short span of time.
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Lalit Kochar, welcome to the forum!

    jaipur-vs-jodhpur.
    (Images from Krishan, Antoine, Jparande and Tom)

    Background

    Rajasthan is one of the most visited states in India, owing to its rich history and magnificent architectural past. Its capital, Jaipur, is part of the Golden Triangle Tour, along with Agra and Delhi. Jaipur is actually a newly formed city, just established in the 18th century by Jai Singh II, the ruler of the nearby city of Amer. It is a well-planned city and it shows in the organisation of the streets or various areas. Jaipur is home to several forts and palaces, its grandeur never withering. It has been able to keep up with modern times, with the addition of shopping complexes and other modernities in the city. Still, with its heritage intact, Jaipur stands as one of the best tourist destinations that India has to offer.

    In contrast, Jodhpur has a longer history, having been established by Rao Jodha in the 15th century. It is a city almost stuck in time and a stroll amidst the fortified areas would make you understand about its rich past. It isn't as developed as other metro cities but it's also not that rural. Jodhpur is the perfect balance of tradition and modernity. Life is still slow-paced here, heritage sites were preserved well and you can still find homes built in traditional sandstone. Jodhpur, with its chaotic streets and narrow alleyways, is sure to keep you wanting more. It is an offbeat tourist destination, not as explored as the other popular places in the state.

    So which will it be, the Pink City of Jaipur or the Blue City of Jodhpur? It always, always, comes down to personal preference but if you need a guide to help you decide, look no further. In the following guide, you would be taken through a comparison guide of the two cities, highlighting their differences and similarities in various aspects. This way, you can decide for yourself which is the more suitable destination for you, based on your personal interests and goals.

    Jaipur Versus Jodhpur (A Comparison Guide)

    1. Ease of Access

    Airport-jaipur-jodhpur.
    (Images from Sunnya and Jyoti)
    • Jaipur - Jaipur is just around six hours of driving from the capital of the country, Delhi. It can be easily accessed by various means of transportation. For those who prefer the easiest and fastest way of getting in, you have the Jaipur International Airport, located in Sanganer, about 13 kilometres from the city centre. It mainly has flights from Gulf cities such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Muscat and Sharjah. It also has flights from Asian cities such as Bangkok and Singapore. It is also connected to local cities such as Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and more. From the airport, you have many options for reaching the city centre with the taxi being the most convenient option. There are also some auto rickshaws outside the airport but they can only cover short distances and cannot store much luggage. If you're feeling quite adventurous, you can reach the nearby JCTSL Bus Stand, where there are buses reaching the city centre. As mentioned above, Jaipur is a few hours away from Delhi and there are direct buses that connect both cities operated by the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC). If you're coming from other cities in Rajasthan, the same company operates buses that run between them and Jaipur. The main railway station here is the Jaipur Junction Railway Station which has direct connections to local cities such as Agra, Ajmer, Delhi, Varanasi and more. If you have your own vehicle, you can take the National Highway 8 which connects Jaipur to cities in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi NCR.
    • Jodhpur - Jodhpur is further away from Delhi and takes around 11 hours to reach from there. But don't worry as it is easily connected via public transportation as well. It has its own airport, the Jodhpur Airport, which mainly has domestic flights from cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai. As such, if you're coming from abroad, just reach any of the cities mentioned above which are directly connected to Jodhpur via air. The airport is just a few kilometres from the city centre so it's best to just ride a taxi to reach Jodhpur from it. The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) also operates direct buses from Delhi to Jodhpur. If you're coming from other cities of Rajasthan, there are also buses operated by the same company from such cities to Jodhpur. The main railway station of the city is the Jodhpur Junction Railway Station, which is directly connected to other cities such as Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and more. By road, Jodhpur can be accessed using the National Highway 8 as well which connects it to other cities in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi NCR.
    2. Best Time to Visit
    • Jaipur - Much like other cities of Rajasthan, Jaipur experiences very hot summers, extending from March to June. Temperatures during this time range between 37°C to 40°C. Temperatures can sometimes reach beyond 40°C during this time. This is not the best time for exploring the city as sightseeing can be very uncomfortable. The next season would be monsoon, which aside from the heavy sporadic rainfalls, experiences high humidity as well. The greener side of Jaipur is accentuated during this season and crowds are comparatively less. But sightseeing can still be difficult due to the humid climate. The last season is the winter, which extends from October to February. With temperatures just below 35°C, this is the best time for exploring the city, including its heritage sites.
    • Jodhpur - Jodhpur generally has the same climate patterns. Summers, extending from March to June, are pretty hot, with temperatures averaging around 37°C to 40°C. Jodhpur in fact recorded its highest temperature exceeding 50°C in the year 2010. For sightseeing, you might want to avoid this season as it would be very uncomfortable. Come monsoon season, from July to September, temperatures start to drop but humidity is still high. The rain showers do some comforting to the weary travellers as it refreshes them. Discounted rates on hotels and travel agencies are common during this time though. By the last season, winter, from October to February, temperatures become more bearable and usually remain below 32°C. This is also the best time to explore Jodhpur as the pleasant climate can be feasible for sightseeing or any other activity you might like to do.
    3. Attractions to Cover

    jaipur-forts-vs-jodhpur-forts.
    (Images from Jon and Honza)
    • Jaipur - At the top of every traveller's list is the Amer Fort & Palace, a magnificent fort palace built over a hillock, about 14 kilometres away from the centre of Jaipur. This fortress was built by Raja Man Singh I during the 17th century and is comprised of various structures inside it. The intricate wall decors, the ravishing lattice works and brilliant architectural styles are sure to entice the onlooker. It is also filled with many interesting stories which add to its grandeur and mystery. There are two nearby forts from this fort, which served as its protection from invaders. First is the Jaigarh Fort, built during the 18th century by Sawai Jai Singh III. Since this fort was mainly used as a protection, it doesn't have any ornate palaces or structures. It does have the world's largest cannon on wheels, named the Jaivana. The second is the Nahargarh Fort, also built during the 18th century by Sawai Jai Singh II. This fort provides for a panoramic view of the surrounding cities of Amer and Jaipur. Onto the city itself, you can't miss the City Palace of Jaipur. This amalgamation of various architectural styles of different former rulers of the city stands as the main landmark. From the unique silver urns in the Sarvato Bhadra, to the royal costumes of the Maharajas in the Mubarak Mahal, you can get that glimpse of the opulent lifestyle of the rulers from the bygone era. Also worth visiting is the Hawa Mahal, an 18th century palace built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh for the royal women. With its hundreds of lattice windows, the royal women can enjoy watching the street-side festivities without being seen by the public. Jaipur is also home to some religious attractions like the Birla Mandir, Moti Dungari Temple and Galta Ji Temple. The Jantar Mantar, an ancient astrological and astronomical site with various instruments for predicting time, weather and celestial bodies movements, is sure to fascinate the science lovers. Other places worth exploring are the Albert Hall Museum, where artefacts from the past era are displayed, and the Anokhi Hand Museum, where the ancient practice of hand-printed textile making is showcased.
    • Jodhpur - The main attraction of Jodhpur is the Mehrangarh Fort, built around the 14th by Rao Jodha. From the outside, the fort is of an almost camouflaging hue of brown. The structures inside are definitely more ornate and lavish but the walls themselves speak of many stories. From the entrance, two memorials would greet you, one for Kirat Singh Soda and another for Raja Ram Meghwal, both men sacrificed their lives for the fort. That's not all though, there's one wall here where you can spot the handprints of the women who committed sati in the fort. Do visit the Daulat Khana, which showcases the ancient palanquins and hookahs of the royals. Also not missing are the lavish Sheesh Mahal, the palace of mirrors, and the Phool Mahal, the palace of flowers. Also worth visiting outside the fort is the Toorji Ka Jhalra, an 18th century stepwell, filled with ornate carvings of animals and deities. The Jaswant Thada is an 18th century cenotaph built by Maharaja Sardar Singh. The cenotaph was made using white marble, so thinly polished that it is illuminated during daylight by sunlight. On the other hand, you have the heritage property Umaid Bhawan Palace, which has been converted into a hotel now. One part of it though remains open for tourism, the museum, which showcases the royal costumes, vintage cars collection and photographs of the former royal family of Jodhpur. Religious attractions such as the Sachiya Mata Temple and Jain Mahavira Temple are also worth visiting here.
    4. Activities to Enjoy
    • Jaipur - Jaipur has many activities in offer for tourists. First is the fun elephant ride to reach the Amer Fort and Palace. However, you need to queue early on the day as this activity is popular amongst tourists. Wildlife spotting can be enjoyed in the Jaipur Zoo, where animals like deers, barasinghas, panthers and tigers can be seen on enclosures. Want something more thrilling? You can opt for a jeep safari in the Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary, just on the outskirts of the fort. The possibility of spotting animals is less but once you do, it's more satisfying since it's on a lush jungle area. You can even sample the authentic local cuisine from the Chokhi Dhani, a restaurant slash cultural centre. Most tourist circuits include this attraction because it exposes one into the rich culture of the region while also enjoying the delicious local cuisine. For the thrill seekers, activities such as hot air balloon riding, paragliding and paramotoring can also be done here through valid agency operators. Want to interact with the majestic elephants? Then you must visit the Elefantastic Elephant Farm, where you can get closer to these animals, feed them, bathe them and more.
    • Jodhpur - Situated close to the Thar Desert, the most popular activity in Jodhpur is a desert safari. You can choose from the usual camel safari or even a thrilling jeep safari. You can even spend a night or two in the desert, through one of the many desert camps around it. For something within the budget, you can opt for home stays instead. Within the Mehrangarh Fort itself, you can try out zip lining, operated by the Flying Fox. You can enjoy the views of the fort itself and the surrounding villages while on a zip line. Do venture into the village of Agolai, where you can enjoy paragliding or tandem paragliding, an activity which lets you experience flying amongst the skies. You can also visit the nearby rural villages like Bishnoi where you can take a glimpse of the rural life of Jodhpur.
    5. Hotels and Other Properties
    • Jaipur - Jaipur has many properties and staying options ranging from budget ones to luxury ones. For budget properties, you can try out highly rated ones such as Hotel Sugandh Retreat, Royal Aashiyana Palace and Hotel Classic Inn. For these budget properties, you won't need to spend more than Rs. 1,000 per night. If your budget is slightly higher, good mid-range options are the Golden Hotel, Dodas Palace and Welcom Heritage Traditional Haveli Hotel. For these properties, you won't need to spend more than Rs. 2,500 per night. Jaipur also has its shares of luxury properties such as Hilton Hotel, Marriott Hotel, Trident and The Lalit. Room rates for these higher end properties range between Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 5,000 per night. Of course, guest houses, where you won't need to spend more than Rs. 500 per night, are also available for those who can't afford the above rates.
    • Jodhpur - The same goes with Jodhpur, where you can find an assortment of hotels and other staying options. As compared to Jaipur though, the options here are lesser though still varied. For budget stays, you can try properties like the Govind Hotel, JS Regency Hotel and Hotel AR Excellency. Rates for these properties though are slightly higher, around Rs. 700 to Rs. 1,600 per night. For mid-range options, you have the Shanti Bhawan Heritage Hotel, Leela Villas and Marwar Hotel & Gardens. Rates for these properties are around Rs. 2,500 and below. For five-star properties, you have The Ummed Jodhpur, Vivanta By Taj and the aforementioned Umaid Bhawan Palace. The former two has rates under Rs. 6,000 per night while the latter has rates above Rs. 20,000 per night. Guest houses such as the Royal Heritage and Gopal won't cost you more than Rs. 500 per night.
    6. Getting Around

    jaipur-or-jodhpur.
    (Images from Rajasthan Patrika and Daniel)
    • Jaipur - Jaipur's transportation system is more extensive as compared to Jodhpur. For instance, they have the local buses called the Jaipur City Transport Services Limited (JCTSL) buses. These buses run all throughout the city, from its commercial areas up to its suburban areas. These buses are a subdivision of the previously mentioned RSRTC. For a more convenient way of transportation, you can opt for taxis which are abundant in Jaipur. Taxis are usually metered so you won't need to negotiate for prices or fares. Auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are also plenty here but not all run by the metre so do negotiate a price before riding any of them. For long-distance travels, opt for the local buses which are very cheap. For short distances, opt for either taxis or rickshaws which can be found anywhere in the city.
    • Jodhpur - Jodhpur has a lesser developed transportation system and even roads. You would find that within the Old City, you need to either walk or utilise auto rickshaws to get around. Since this area has narrow alleyways, taxis and cars can find it hard to manoeuvre around it. Do negotiate for a price beforehand since the auto rickshaws here rarely use the metre. If you're planning to reach outside the walled city, then you can opt for taxis, which can be a bit more expensive. Another alternative is the local buses, though their schedules aren't fixed and their number isn't as high. For a unique Jodhpur experience, you can also opt to ride the tonga, or their horse-driven carriage but it's getting harder to find them nowadays.
    7. Stay Duration
    • Jaipur - Jaipur can be fully explored within three to four days. Within such time frame, you can cover almost all of the attractions mentioned above. But even with just two to three days on hand, you can cover the important attractions as well. Thus, you won't really need much time to explore Jaipur. This is especially true if you utilise the help of a travel agency which can provide for all the vehicle and transfers during your trip. If you intend to indulge in some activities that were mentioned above, then allot another day or two for your trip. But in your case, a week would be enough to cover the Pink City without any issues at all.
    • Jodhpur - Jodhpur can be fully explored within three to four days as well. The Mehrangarh Fort requires at least a day and for all the other attractions, you can allot two days or less for them. For the other attractions, you can allot another day or two for them. Then for the activities, allot another day for them. If you want to indulge in a camel safari or overnight desert camping, then add another day accordingly. Again, in your case, a week would be more than enough to cover the Blue City.
    8. Excursions to Take
    • Jaipur - Usually, Jaipur is combined with Delhi and Agra for the Golden Triangle Tour. Delhi, being the capital, has its assortment of modern attractions along with heritage sites. Agra, on the other hand, is known for the Taj Mahal and so a can't be missed destination as well. About six hours away from Jaipur is Udaipur, the so-called City of Lakes. Here, you have an assortment of beautiful manmade lakes along with heritage sites such as palaces. You can also visit the nearby Ajmer, just three hours away from the city. It is home to the majestic Chittorgarh Fort along with plenty of heritage and religious sites. For the wildlife lovers, there are plenty of wildlife getaways near Jaipur like the Sariska National Park (3 Hours) and Ranthambore National Park (4 Hours). Jaipur is in such a location that excursions away from it can be easily accessed.
    • Jodhpur - A favourite excursion out of Jodhpur is the village of Osian, under two hours of driving away. Osian has a number of temples that one can explore like the Sachiya Mata Temple, a 10th century temple from the Jain religion. Barely five hours of driving away is the Kumbhalgarh Fort, the birthplace of Maharana Pratap. It also has a number of temples worth exploring if you have spare time. It is worth the detour because this is one of the forts designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary is also just under five hours of driving from Jodhpur. This is a lesser known wildlife sanctuary boasting of teeming green landscapes and bountiful wildlife. Excursions from Jodhpur are quite further so you need to allot some time to reach them.
    Conclusion

    Now that we have completed the guide, have you decided which destination best fits you? Jaipur is a commercialised tourist destination, almost always on the tourist circuit of first-time travellers of Rajasthan or even India. That doesn't mean that it won't satisfy the wanderlust in you because it will, with its collection of great forts, palaces and other heritage sites. The best feature of Jaipur is its modernity, because amidst all the historical attractions are evidences of the present times. You won't truly get lost in the past, you can enjoy the luxury of the present still without any worries. If you're just dipping your feet for the first time in the state, Jaipur is a good start.

    Jodhpur has this slower pace of life, not as rural but also not as modern. Its heritage sites are truly immersive because they aren't as touched by commercialisation yet. If you want something different from the usual, a place where you can get lost amidst the sands and stones, Jodhpur fits that category. Just a stay in one of its rural villages can give you that glimpse of the past. It's where you can imagine eras that are way beyond our reach just because you still have that sense of tranquility to the destination. If you don't mind being away from most comforts of life, then Jodhpur would fascinate you to the core.

    I hope this helps you!:)
     

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