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Vibrant Jodhpur, in India's northwest state of Rajasthan, is known as the Blue City because its walls are awash with bright colour. Filled with temples, bazaars and sweet scents, Jodhpur is a fascinating place to stroll round. It has a rich arts scene and is home to 20,000 music performers. Bring your shades though, as it's also called Sun City – in fact, the blue paint keeps Jodhpur's buildings cool in the heat.
Hostels in Jodhpur tend to have a creative feel and some come with luxurious touches. Choose an artistic hostel with vibrant private rooms and en-suite bathrooms, alongside a rooftop café with views of an ancient fort. There's also a boutique hostel in Jodhpur with an Art Deco theme, or you can book a room set in a century-old building. Expect a riot of colour in most hostels – in the décor and at dinner – as well as modern touches such as air con and free Wi-Fi.
The intriguing neighbourhood of old Jodhpur is packed with bazaars. In its bustling, fragrant streets – circled by a 10km, 16th-century wall – you can pick up everything from saris to incense. A few kilometres to the north is Mandore, the ancient state capital with incredible monuments such as the cenotaphs of former rulers. A more peaceful area is the birdwatchers' paradise Kaylana Lake: 84 square kilometres of calm water where you can spot rare species.
One of Jodhpur's most awesome attractions is Mehrangarh Fort. Standing proud on a rocky hilltop that rises above the city, it has imposing battlements and large courtyards. Another must-see is Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park – 72 hectares of ecotourism replanted with native species. During a wander, you might spot reptiles, birds and butterflies. For city views, Jaswant Thada, a serene white marble memorial, mixes history with panoramic sights.
Jodhpur Airport is 5km from the city centre. You can fly into Jodhpur from Delhi or Mumbai, as well as a couple of other Indian cities. From Delhi, the flight takes just under 1.5 hours. The easiest way to get into town from the airport is by taxi. If you're arriving to Jodhpur by bus, it takes seven hours from Jaipur to reach the Central Bus Stand (which is opposite Raika Bagh railway station). To get around once you've checked in, look for one of the many taxi companies or use the Meri Cab or Meri Auto apps. There are also auto rickshaws – just remember to agree on a price before your journey begins.