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Jodhpur the Blue City

Jodhpur is commonly referred to as the Blue City and this guide will detail why the city is painted blue and also known as the blue city.

Why is Jodhpur called the Blue City?

Jodhpur is known as the Blue City because all of the buildings in the oldest district are painted in a light shade of blue. This district lies to the north of the city and the colour scheme is almost uniform. The best vantage point to view the blue painting of Jodhpur is from the Meherangarh Fort's battlements.

So why Blue?

The residents of Jodhpur are extremely proud of the city's blue color. When pushed for an answer as to why the city is blue they usually respond by saying it keeps the buildings cool during the punishing summer. This answer usually puzzles visitors who fail to understand why Rajasthan's other great cities are not also painted blue and is not the true answer.


The true reason for Jodhpur's blue color is more practical motivated than artistic reasoning. The dry arid environment of which Jodhpur is located is blighted by termites. The small insects damaged and destroyed the traditional building techniques which involved the exterior being coated in lime wash. It was discovered that the termites were repelled by copper salt compounds and these were added in low concentrations to the lime washes. Copper solutions under certain conditions produce blue compounds and this was true of the materials applied to the exterior of Jodhpur's houses.


The districts of Jodhpur that were painted light blue were generally where the highest cast of Hindus live. This high cast is referred to as "Brahmins" and traditionally consists of priests and town elders. The Brahmin class could afford the copper sulphate lime washes and applied it to their houses which were concentrated in just one area of the city. It is therefore commonly thought that the Brahmins painted their houses the blue color to emphasize their royal connection when in actual fact they were the ones only able to afford the specialist exterior paint.


The color blue in India is commonly associated with royalty and power. One motivation for the blue painting of Jodhpur is that the higher cast Brahmins wished their dwellings to be of the Royal color and this is the commonly accepted reason. The blue of Jodhpur is best viewed from Meherangarh Fort where an entire side of the city is painted in this one uniform blue color.

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 The Blue City of Jodhpur The best views of Jodhpur are from Meherangarh Fort  The Blue City of Jodhpur