Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »

Jodhpur, India

The Blue City of Jodhpur

Once an indicator of social class, the color blue has come to define this city on the edge of the Thar Desert. 

The second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, this “Blue City” is a mesmerizing collection of azure abodes that soothes and delights anyone that beholds it.

In the city of Jodhpur, a sea of boxy indigo houses stretches for more than 10 kilometers along the walls of the historic walled old city. A blue pigment coating on a house used to indicate that a Brahmin—the priests of the Indian caste system—dwelled there, but over time the color became a badge of identity for non-Brahmins, too. It’s also said to have insect-repelling abilities.

Situated on the edge of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur is also called the “Sun City,” named for the overwhelming amount of bright and sunny days it experiences. It is home to famed forts, palaces, mausoleums, gardens, lakes, and towers, making it a hotspot for tourist activity. Since its founding more than 500 years ago, the city has earned renown for its textile industry, exquisite furniture shops, delectable cuisine, and bustling bazaars, among many other attractions.

But above all, visitors aren’t likely to forget the eye-catching color coating the houses, creating a luscious blue sea in the arid Indian landscape. A view from the top of the looming Mehrangarh Fort, one of India’s largest forts from the 15th century, lets visitors overlook the bountiful, striking blue for which the city is known.

Contributed by
daviddoochin
Edited by