Mighty Mehrangarh, the muscular fort that towers over the Blue City of Jodhpur, is a magnificent spectacle and an architectural masterpiece. Around Mehrangarh’s base, the old city, a jumble of Brahmin-blue cubes, stretches out to the 10km-long, 16th-century city wall. The Blue City really is blue! Inside is a tangle of winding, glittering, medieval streets, which never seem to lead where you expect them to, scented by incense, roses and sewers, with shops and bazaars selling everything from trumpets and temple decorations to snuff and saris.
Modern Jodhpur stretches well beyond the city walls, but it’s the immediacy and buzz of the old Blue City and the larger-than-life fort that capture travellers’ imaginations. This crowded, hectic zone is also Jodhpur’s main tourist area. Areas of the old city further west, such as Navchokiya, are just as atmospheric, with far less hustling.