JODHPUR CITY GUIDE
318 kms from Jaipur, is the second largest city in Rajasthan. The city has a
history of battles and royalty as is highly evident by the huge Meherangarh
fort overlooking the city. There are some old monuments to see here and you can
make a stop before heading to other places in Rajasthan. Did you know that the
famous baggy/tight riding trousers called Jodhpuris take their name from this
The city which stands at the edge of the Thar desert, was founded by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rajput clan known as Rathores in 1459. The Rathore kingdom was once known as Marwar, the ‘land of death’. The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a 10 kms long wall which was built a century after the city was founded. Jodhpur was on the important Delhi to Gujarat trade route and it greatly benefited from the trade of silk, opium, sandalwood, copper and other items.
The Meherangarh Fort, situated on a 125 m high hill, is the most impressive and formidable fort in Rajasthan. The construction of the fort was begun by Maharaja Rao Jodha in 1459 and was completed by Maharaja Jaswant Singh (1638-78).
The fort originally had seven gates (pols). There is a first gate with spikes to prevent attack from elephants. The other gates include the Jayapol, built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806, following his victory over the armies of Jaipur and Bikaner. The Fatehpol or victory gate was erected by Maharaja Ajit Singh in 1907 to commemorate his victory over the Mughals. The last gate is the Lohapol or iron gate beside which there are 15 handprints, the “sati” marks of widows of Maharaja Man Singh who threw themselves upon his funeral pyre in 1843.
The fort is still run by the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Inside the fort there are a series of courtyards and palaces. Some of these house a collection of folk music instruments, elephant howdahs, miniature paintings, furniture and costumes. At the end of the fort is the Chamunda temple, dedicated to a form of Goddess Durga.
Jaswant Thada is a marble pillared memorial (cenotaph) built in 1899, dedicated to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, by his wife after his death. People often compare this memorial to the Taj Mahal, because both are symbolic of eternal love. You can get a panoramic view of the city from this place.
UMAID BHAWAN PALACE
It is a huge marble and pink-yellow stone palace with 347 rooms. Designed by H.C. Lanchester, the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects in London, the Palace was built during the time of Maharaja Umaid Singh. The Palace was constructed by over 3,000 people over a period of fourteen years. The palace has eight dining rooms, an underground swimming pool and a scenic garden. Half of the Palace is now converted into a luxury hotel.
The Umaid Gardens
Near the Tourist Bungalow is a beautiful garden, attached with a simple zoo.
JUNI DHAN MANDI and TALAITI MAHAL are buildings made of carved red sandstone.
The lake, which is actually an artificial lake, is about 3/4 km long and 50 m wide. There is a beautiful palace built in 1936 on the bank of the lake, which was used by the royal family as a summer home.
PRATAP SAGAR AND KAILANA SAGAR
If you want to relax in sylvan surroundings, a trip to Pratap Sagar and Kailana Sagar is really recommended. These are lakes in the west of Jodhpur with gardens near them.