Amidst the sand dunes and thorny vegetation of the Thar desert is situated the glory of Rajasthan - known as Marwar. Marthul - the land of death - came into life when the Rathores of Kanauj moved in to the area. The city of Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodhaji. Jodhpur was on the silk route of the 16th century and was host to many travellers. In Jodhpur, the genius of it's sulptors comes to life in it's exquisite palaces, forts, temples and havelis that stand as a testimony to the imperial grandeur. However, the most alluring part of Jodhpur is it's traditional lifestyle, the festivity and Jodhpur's smiling people who treasure this formerly Princely state.
Some of the famous tourist destinations in Jodhpur are as follows:
Mehrangarh Fort -
Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest forts in India.
The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrates a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures. Spreading over 5 km on a perpendicular hill and looking down 125 meters, the fort presents a majestic view on city horizon.
Jaswant Thada Museum is a royal cenotaph built in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. A white marble memorial, the cenotaph is adorned with exquisite carvings. It houses the portraits of the former rulers of Jodhpur . Built like a temple, the Thada is a perfect example of skill of the Jodhpuri sculptors.
Umaid Bhavan Palace : One of the famous places to see in Jodhpur is the Umaid Bhavan Palace . Built with the noble intention of providing employment to the people during famine, this palace is an architectural beauty. The palace has been divided into three parts. In one part, functions a hotel, in the second, a museum and the third houses the royal family.
Raj Ranchhodji Temple -
The temple was built by queen Jadechi Rajkanwar after the death of her husband, king Jaswant Singh. The temple is mainly made of red sandstone, carved with beautiful filigree work. The heart of the temple has the statue of Ranchhodji made of black marble.
Other attractions in Jodhpur: Taleti Mahal - This 17th century palace was built to house concubines and is possibly the oldest building still in existence in the city. The Clock Tower -
One of the most seen landmarks in the city, it is surrounded by the Sadar Bazaar, and has a rich atmosphere, associated in all minds with typical eastern markets. It teems with life, smells, colors, noise. It is clearly discernible from the magnificent Meherangarh fort. Umaid Gardens - A well planned, neatly laid-out greenary is a pleasant place for a stroll. It houses the Sadar Government Museum famous for its collection of sculptures, weaponry, taxidermy and wooden biplane models. The gardens also has a zoo and a library. Kunjebehari Temple and Raj Mahal garden palace - The temple is dedicated to lord Krishna and is located on the banks of the Gulab Sagar Lake. The Raj Mahal garden palace is situated next to the temple and is a nice place to spend a few hours.
Fort Chanwa Luni - Fort Chanwa Luni of Rajasthan is situated in the Luni district near the city of Jodhpur. Kaviraj Muraridanji, a minister in the court of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, got the fort constructed. Built completely out of Jodhpur red sandstone, it is an epitome of grace and uniformity in Indian architecture.
Jagram Durg of Nimaj, Rajasthan dates back to the year 1773. Situated in the Pali District of Marwar region, it was constructed by Thakur Jagram Singhji. It was recently converted into a heritage hotel in the year 1995. Jagram Durg Heritage Hotel, near Jodhpur , stands amidst picturesque surroundings, in the vicinity of the charming Chattar Sagar Lake .
Towards the north of Jodhpur is the ancient capital of Marwar, Mandore. It is just 8 Kms from the city. Main attractions of the place are hall of Heroes where sixteen huge figures which have been carved out of a single rock, the shrine of 330 million Gods and the royal cenotaphs. This area is of immense historical importance but what makes it worthy of a visit is the Hall of Heroes. Sixteen gigantic figures carved out of a single rock depicting popular Hindu and folk deities stand there in bright colours and are well maintained.
Khimsar Fort Palace of Rajasthan is located at a distance of 90 km from Jodhpur . The initial construction of the fort dates back to the early 16th century. At that point of time, the main purpose behind building the fort was war and security. However, around mid 18th century, the royal family converted into their residence. It was then that the Zenana (ladies residence) was constructed.
Rawla Narlai of Rajasthan is a retreat situated between Jodhpur and Udaipur . Built in the 17th century, it served as the hunting lodge of the royal family of Jodhpur . Put up underneath a 350 ft rock in the Aravalli range in southern Rajasthan, it has a beautiful patio resplendent with bougainvillea. Stained-glass windows, frescoes, carved pillars and covered porticos adorn the rooms of Rawla Narlai. One of the best features of Rawla Narlai is the peace and quiet that greets you once you reach inside its huge walls.
Rohetgarh Fort of Rajasthan once served as the desert residence of the brave Rathores. Thakur Dalpat Singh I, Champawat clan Rathore built this fort in the 16th century. Dalpat Singh was honored with Jagir (Fiefdom) of Rohet by the Maharaja Of Jodhpur, as recognition of his courage and bravery in battle.
Famous Rajasthani Festivals - Here are a few festivals that can be entertaining during your stay at Jodhpur.
The Nagaur Fair of Rajasthan is mainly known for cattle trading, which takes place extensively at the fair. Lasting for eight days, the Rajasthan Nagaur Cattle Fair is organized in the Hindu month of Magha (Jan-Feb). The venue of the fair is Nagaur, one of the most scenic Rajput towns. It is the second largest cattle fair of Rajasthan. As many as 70,000 (approximately) bullocks, camels and horses are traded every year in the Nagaur fair.
The Marwar Festival is organized in the Hindu month of Ashwin (Sept-Oct) in the city of Jodhpur . It is dedicated to the folk heroes of Rajasthan. Also known as Rajasthan Maand Festival, this festival lasts for two days during the full moon of Sharad Poornima. The main feature of the Marwar Festival is the Rajasthani folk music that revolves around the romantic and passionate lifestyle of the former rulers of Rajasthan.
What to eat? Jodhpur is famous for it's sweets.
One can't escape from sweet hospitality (" Mithi Manuhar ") of Jodhpur. Some of famous sweets of Jodhpur include
'Mave ki Kachori' , 'Besan ki Chaaki', 'Maakhan Vade'. Janta Sweet Home, Jodhpur Sweet Home and Pokhar Sweets are some of the famous shops around.
What and where to shop?
Jodhpur is a shopper's paradise. The city is famous all over the world for it's handicrafts in wood, iron and camel bone.
It is also know for its footwear, fabric (very fine tie & dye), hand block prints, silver and antiques.
The Sadar Market near the clock tower gives immense shopping pleasure to the local as well as the visitors. Other famous markets / bazaar's include
Tripolia bazaar, Sarafa bazar, Sardarpura Market, Sojati Gate, National Handloom.
Transportation - The airport is 5 kms from the city. The Jodhpur railway station is well connected to all major cities and so are RSTC buses and private luxory buses. Taxis, auto-rikshaws and tongas (horse driven) are commonly used means of transportation within the city.