I step off the small landing and lean back. I immediately start to glide rapidly forward. Far below me is a lake ending with stepped walls and beyond that a city built of square blue houses. I unintentionally spin around and see a magical golden fort rapidly receding, the crenelated battlements I just set off from getting smaller and smaller as I fly away towards the desert hills opposite.
I am in Jodhpur, the famed Blue City of Rajasthan, India.
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THE INSPIRATION: Zipline Mehrangarh Fort
Towering above the blue city is Mehrangarh Fort, which dominates the city. The Jodhpur fort is dramatic, but it’s only one of the incredible things to see in Jodhpur. I love doing active things when I travel, so as part of my Indian adventure, after learning how to do traditional Indian tie dye in Nawalgarh, and how to do block printing in Jaipur, and my camel safari is Jaisalmer, I was ready for an adventure in Jodhpur.
Enter … the Mehrangarh Fort zipline. The zip line tour in Jodhpur combines the Jodhpur Blue City and the Jodhpur fort in an amazing experience that is possibly the best zipline in India.
Getting to the zipline: Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Mehrangarh, a Jodphur “must see”, is actually impossible to miss. It sits atop a rocky outcrop in the center of Jodhpur, towering over the city, and like most of Rajasthan’s forts, is like something out of a fairy tale. It is easy enough to walk up to the fort with a reasonable level of fitness.
Starting at the clock tower, we wound our way up the hill through a residential area with some hotels, shops and metal and tie dye workshops, then took the stairs up the main road and continued through the gates to the fort. The fort is a top-notch museum with real displays and worth taking several hours to visit.
After wandering through the fort, we headed down to Chokelao Garden, at the back end of Mehrangarh. The lush 18th Century garden is laid out in squares and has wonderful views of the blue city below. The office for the zipline where you check in is tucked away in a corner of the garden.
The zipline, Jodhpur (AKA flying fox, Jodhpur)
After getting fitted for our gear, we got instructions on what to do, and had a short test run, before starting the real zipline tour. There are six ziplines with short 1- to 2-minute walks in between each wire.
Zip 1: Chokelao Challenge (115m/ 377 feet)
The first wire is over Chokelao Garden, so it’s a good way to gain confidence.
Even though I’m not great with heights in general, I actually don’t find flying foxes/ zip lines scary. You are strapped into a harness and let go and just sail through the air.
The trick is to balance your body back enough to maintain the momentum. If you don’t, the you can actually stop a few meters from the end. This happened to Kevin, so he had to rotate around then pull himself hand over hand to the end.
If you have the opposite problem and have lots of momentum, then the gloves you are kitted with can help slow you down at the end. There is someone to help launch you at one end and someone else to grab you at the other, so it all very easy.
Why is Jodhpur called the Blue City?
Jodhpur, which was founded in 1459, is called the Blue City because most of the houses in Jodhpur’s old city are painted blue. Why are the houses in Jodhpur painted blue? They are painted blue because the blue paint helps keep the houses cool in the summer heat.
The absolute best place to see the view of the blue city is from the Mehrangarh Fort’s battlements around Chokelao Garden, so the start of the zipline and the first and second ziplines are really the best viewpoints in the whole city.
Zip 2: Ranisar Rollercoaster (170m/ 558 feet)
This is where the adventure starts to get real. After the first zipline, there is a short walk on the battlements of the fort, a short climb through a “secret” tunnel, then you launch off the battlements and fly over crenelations, across Ranisar Lake and a valley to the dry hills across from the fort.
It’s not exactly a “roller coaster”, but soaring over the lake to the hills on the other side is pretty awesome – and all over too quickly.
Ranisar Lake was built in 1459 after Queen Jasmade Hadi, who was the wife of the founder of Jodhpur, commissioned it as a kind of giant well to keep water for the city. In fact, the sides have the same graphic stepped sides that classic traditional step wells have.
Zip 3: Chhota Wallah (70m/ 230 feet)
The third line crosses a deep ravine near the lake. It is the shortest zipline, but there are great views of Mehrangarh Fort. We took turns taking photos and videos of each other.
Zip 4: Jai Jodha (270m/ 886 feet)
On the second longest zipline, you fly across the hills into the rocky desert across from the fort, above the blue city. Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, a 72-hectare/ 178-acre park that opened in 2011, was created in 2006 to restore the natural ecology of the desert.
Being there hammers home how harsh the desert environment that the city was built in really is.
Zip 5: Rajput’s Revenge (160m/ 525 feet)
Fly across more hills in Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park across with more awesome views of the Jodhpur Fort.
Zip 6: The Magnificent Marwar (300m/ 984 feet)
The best is left to last. This is a total blast. We stepped off the edge and glided down and along, over Ranisar and Padamsar Lakes, both dating from the 15th century. There are more incredible views of the blue city the whole way.
The battlements of the fort got closer and closer until eventually we landed back on one of the fort’s towers.
From there, it is a short walk down the battlements back to the zipline office.
After the zip line
With the zip line finished we headed down through the back gates to the fort into the blue city. It’s possible, of course to enter the fort this way, too. The upper residential streets were a bit trashy, but down on the main street, things got livelier with shops, temples and food carts.
The street eventually led back around to the clock tower.
The verdict: Flying fox Jodhpur
This has to be one of the best ziplines in the world because of the location. Flying from the battlements of the fort over the lakes and into the desert hills was a complete blast.
|Authenticity of experience||17|
|Quality of interaction with culture/ environment||15|
|Difficulty to arrange||18|
|TOTAL TC SCORE||87|
PRACTICAL TIPS: Zipline Jodhpur
The Experience: zip line tour Jodhpur
Book the Jodphur fort zipline here. The flying fox Jodhpur price is available here. The experience lasts 1-1.5 hours depending on how many people are in the group. There are six lines, plus the short practice run.
Other things to do in Jodhpur
There are a lot of awesome experiences you can have in Jodhpur. These will really make your vacation a unique travel experience.
Where is Jodhpur and what is the currency?
Jodhpur is in Rajasthan, India. The currency is the rupee.
Yo can check the current exchange rate here.
How to get to Jodhpur
Jodhpur has a domestic airport (JDH ) with connecting flights to many cities in India and from there internationally.
It is likely that you will visit other cities in Rajasthan as well. I traveled from the Golden City of Jaisalmer to Jodhpur by train and from Jodhpur I took a car to the White City Udaipur via the incredible Jain temple at Ranakpur and Kumbhalgarh fort. Book this transfer here. If you are traveling in the opposite direction, you book a private transfer to the golden city of Jaisalmer.
The train to/from Jaipur, the Pink City, takes 5 hours 52 minutes on average.
The train to/from Jaisalmer takes 5 hours 25 minutes on the fastest train and 7 hours 30 minutes on the slowest train.
To get to/ from Udaipur, you can take a train between Jodhpur and Rani (2 hours 16 minutes) and a bus between Rani and Udaipur (2 hours 38 minutes) OR take a bus the whole way (4 hours 51 minutes). The train/ bus gives you an opportunity to talk to Indian people, but a private car is definitely easier and more comfortable. I liked taking a mix.
Getting around Jodhpur
The easiest way to get around Indian cities is in a tuk tuk, which you can hire easily. Be sure to ALWAYS agree on a price before you start to avoid any nasty surprises. If you want to hire a tuk tuk for a whole or half day, ask at your hotel. We felt very taken care of in India and found everyone very helpful.
Map of Jodhpur
Where to stay in Jodhpur
Choosing the best place to stay can be tricky, because we all have different things we love. I have created a guide to help you choose the best hotel (read it, then come back).
I stayed at Haveli Inn Pal. This is one of the many heritage hotels in India. It is a large former merchant’s residence with painted walls, a large courtyard, individual rooms and rooftop terrace where you can dine or have breakfast with amazing views of Mehrangarh Fort.
I love staying in hotels like this, with lots of character. It is a little shabby around the edges, but was very clean and the staff were incredibly helpful. Book Haveli Inn Pal here.
The closely named Pal Haveli is similar. Book Pal Haveli here.
For a total splurge, live like a Raja at the Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel. Seriously, this is the residence of the current Raja! Part of the palace is the Raja’s home and part is an incredible hotel. A decadent splurge, but totally worth it! Book Umaid Bhawan Palace here.
For more options, check out other hotels in Jodhpur here.
Planning and Packing
I use the Internet a lot to plan – and I hope this blog is useful resource for you – but I also always use a guide book to get the big picture and practical things like maps. Use it as a useful resource than a travel bible so that you don’t miss out on loads of awesome things and places and experiences that aren’t listed in it. Buy the India Lonely Planet here.
If you are just starting to plan your trip, use my Trip Planner to help you.
When you are ready to start booking your trip, use my Resources Page to help you find the best flights, tours and hotels.
When you are ready for your trip, check out my Essential Packing List. Whether you are planning to travel to India or need to pick up extra luggage in India, this handy guide to best trolley bags in India will help.
Another book that I love is “India – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture“. We had heard so many stories about how overwhelming India was, and how difficult it was to deal with, and how different the culture was, that Kevin ordered this book in order to understand more about Indian culture before we left.
In the end, we were so prepared that we never felt at all overwhelmed while we were there. In fact, we felt very taken care of throughout India, but understanding the culture helped a lot. Buy India – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture here.
If you are worried about safety, I have a list of common scams and how to avoid them – knowing about them means you can be aware without being paranoid.
Additional consideration: Travel Insurance
My aim is to not only inspire you to have amazing experiences when you travel, but to also give you the practical information and resources you need to have them. It is important to be fully prepared when you travel.
In addition to accommodation, planning and flights, you should always have travel insurance, just in case. I always hope I never need to use it but I get it just in case I do!
For more information about Travel Insurance – why to get it and what to look for, check out my Guide to Travel Insurance.
A great insurance option is World Nomads. You can book it here.
Two reasons I like it are that:
- You can buy it online, buy more cover and even claim online while travelling
- It covers a range of adventure sports and activities
Get a quote right here:
Enjoy the zipline!
Do you have any stories of Jodhpur or ziplining ? I’d love to hear them. Comment below.
If you liked this post, please share the love and Pin it to your Adventure Travel board or India Travel board for later.
Read about other fantastic experiences in Rajasthan, India:
- Block printing workshop in Jaipur
- Tie and dye workshop in Nawalgarh
- Camel safari in the Thar Desert near Jaislamer
James Ian has traveled to 82 countries and all 7 continents. He is passionate about experiential travel, i.e. meaningful travel that actively engages with the environment and culture. He helps people have similar experiences that involve active participation in activities and festivals; engaging with the local food and handicrafts through lessons and food tours; and interacting positively with environment by hiking, riding, rowing, diving and low/no impact animal encounters.
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