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Jodhpur - The Sun City

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also known as: The Sun City
Shopping: Wooden Handicrafts; Antiques and Indian Spices
History of: 550 years
Population: 8.5 Lac.

At best it is a doorway to the wonderland of sand dunes and shrubs, rocky terrain and thorny trees. The home of the Rathores - the awesome princely state of Rajasthan. They conquered Marwar or Maroodesh, land of the sand after the fall of Delhi and Kannauj.

In 1459 AD, Rao Jodha, chief of Rathore clan of Rajputs, who claimed descent from Rama, the epic here of the Ramayana, laid the foundation of Jodhpur. A high stone wall protects the well-fortified city. The wall is nearly 10km in length and has eight gates facing various directions.

Within, stands an imposing fort on a low range of sandstone hills, about 125m above the surrounding plains. Invincible! And dauntless in its league with time! The city lies at the foot of the hills. The clear distinction between the old and the new city is visible from the ramparts of the fort.

On the other side of the city, facing the fort is the Umaid Bhawan Palace. One of the most spacious, sprawling and well-planned palaces in India. And from here, as you look at fort, a tantalizing view rises before your eyes at sunset.

 

Major Attractions

 

Umaid Bhawan Palace
Maharaja Umaid Singhji who built this palace was fascinated with western lifestyles so he marshalled the services of a well-known Edwardian architect, Henry Vaughan Lanchester, a creditable equal of Edward Lutyens (architect of New Delhi) to construct a three hundred and forty seven roomed Umaid Palace.

This was to become India last of the great palaces and the biggest private residence in the world. Spectacular Central Rotunda, the cupola rises to a hundred and five feet high; the Throne Room with its exquisite Ramayana murals; an elegant wood-panelled library, and even a private museum; an indoor swimming pool, a Billiards Room, tennis courts and unique marble squash courts makes Umaid Bhawan Palace is unabashedly the most magnificent.

Mehrangarh Fort
Perched on a 150 m high hill its sprawl is the most formidable and magnificent fort in Rajasthan. Rao Jodha founded it in 1459 but subsequent rulers of Jodhpur have also added to it over the centuries. A meandering road leads to the from the city 5 kms below. Battle scars of canon ball hit by attacking armies of Jaipur can still be seen on the second gate. To the left is chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda, a soldier who fell on the spot while defending the fort against the armies of Amber.

There are seven gates, which include Jayapol meaning victory built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. Fattehpol also meaning victory gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of Mughals. And Lohapol meaning iron gate has a moving memorabilia on palm print of the queens of Maharaja Man Singh who threw themselves on his funeral pyre in an act of sati [self-immolation]. The palm imprints still attract devotional attention and are covered by vermilion paste and paper-thin silver foil.

Phool Mahal
The grandest of Mehrangarh's period rooms, the Phool Mahal was in all likely hood a private and exclusive chamber of pleasure dancing girls once swooned in exhaustion here under a ceiling rich in gold filigree. The Phool Mahal was created by Maharaja Abhaya Singh (1724-1749) and the gold came from Ahmedabad in Gujarat as war booty after his famous victory over the rebellious Mughal governor, Sarbuland Khan. The paintings, royal portraits and the ever-popular raga mala, came much later, in the reign of Jaswant Singh II.

Jhanki Mahal
The Jhanki Mahal, from where the royal ladies watched the official proceedings, in the courtyard, today houses a rich collection of the royal cradles. The cradles are decorated with gilt mirrors and figures of fairies, elephant and birds.

Jaswant Thada
On the way down from the fort, on left is Jaswant Thada, the graceful marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. His son Maharaja Sardar Singhji built the Taj Mahal of Marwar in the memory of Maharaj Jaswant Singhji II of Jodhpur. The cenotaphs of earlier Maharajas and Maharanis are at Mandore.

 

Fun Festives

 

Marwar Festival
The most popular Jodhpur festival is the Jodhpur Marwar Festival. It is held every year in memory of the heroes of Rajasthan. Marwar Festival of Jodhpur, Rajasthan was originally known as the Maand Festival. The festival is held in the month of Ashwin. Ashwin is a Hindu month between September-October. The Marwar festival in Jodhpur, India is celebrated during the full moon of Sharad Poornima. It goes on for two days.

The main attraction of this festival is the folk music centered on the romantic lifestyle of Rajasthan's rulers. The music and dance of the Marwar region is the main theme of this festival. The folk dancers and singers assemble at the festival and provide lively entertainment. These folk artists give others a peek into the days of yore, of battles and of the heroes who still live on through their songs.

Among other attractions at the festival, is the camel tattoo show and polo. The venue of this festival includes the famous Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mandore and Mehrangarh Fort.

Distance from major cities

Jaipur 332 Kms
Jaisalmer 336 Kms
Udaipur 311 Kms

 

How to reach there

by Air Jodhpur Airport is well connected to Jaipur, Delhi and Mumbai
by Rail Jodhpur railway station is well-connected to the rest of the country.
by Road Jodhpur is well-connected by roads.

Recommended Restaurants

  • Red Chilli, Jodhpur

  • Ajit Bhawan Restaurant, Jodhpur

  • Mehrangarh Restaurant, Jodhpur

  • The Ghoomar Restaurant, Jodhpur

Hotels in Jaisalmer

Luxury

Medium

Budget

 

Hotel Connaught House (hh)

Hotel Lake Palace

Hotel Jaipur House

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