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At the entrance to the Thar desert stands the bustling city of Jodhpur, which owes its prosperity and great wealth in medieval times to its strategic location on the Silk Road. The massive Mehrangarh Fort looms over the city and the red sandstone palaces it contains form one of the most impressive complexes in Rajasthan. The Brahmins’ blue-washed houses that lie in the fort’s shadow give the city its distinctive colour and lend the city its epithet, the ‘Blue City’. In Jodhpur, life revolves around the colourful bazaars near the clock tower, where you can shop for everything from leather mojaris (shoes) and dentures to ornamental swords based on designs seen in the fort. The 1920s maharaja’s palace – the Umaid Bhawan, now a hotel – is a more recent icon of grandeur.

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