Jodhpur is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, also known as Marwar.
, featuring many beautiful palaces,forts and temples, apart from a stark, scenic desert landscape. The city is known as the "Sun City" for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all year. It is also referred as the Blue City, due to the indigo tinge of the whitewashed houses around the Mehrangarh Fort. The blue houses were originally for Brahmins but soon non-Brahmins soon joined in, as the color was said to deflect the heat and keep mosquitoes away. Jodhpur lies near the geographic center of Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists. The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a thick stone wall. The wall has six huge gates called Nagauri gate, Merati gate, Sojati gate, Jalori gate, Siwanchi gate and Chand pol.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
History of Jodhpur
According to Rajasthan district Gazetteers of Jodhpur and the Hindu epic Ramayana (composed up to 4th century AD), Abhiras(Ahirs) were the original inhabitants of Jodhpur and later Aryans spread to this region. Jodhpur was also part of the Gurjara - Pratihara empire and until 1100 CE was ruled by a powerful Bargujar King. Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput chief belonging to the Rathore clan. Rao Jodha succeeded in conquering the surrounding territory and thus founded a state which came to be known as Marwar. As Rao Jodha hailed from the nearby town of Mandore, that town initially served as the capital of this state; however, Jodhpur soon took over that role, even during the lifetime of Rao Jodha. The city was located on the strategic road linking Delhi to Gujarat.
A number of historical monuments dot the city and surrounding region. Some of these monuments are described here.
An ancient Jain temple, well worth the visit, lies in the village of Osiyan, about 60 km outside Jodhpur. There are many sections of this temple, which was built in several distinct phases.
Umaid Bhawan Palace:
The Umaid Bhawan Palace is not only one of India's most imposing palaces but also among its most recent. This lavish art deco monument to royal living had an improbable conception: it was built as a public relief and employment project during a long period of drought. Over one million square feet (90,000 m²) of the finest marble was used in the construction of the palace. A special type of sandstone, called Chittar sandstone, has been used in constructing the palace and this gives it a special effect. For this reason, it is also referred to as Chittar Palace by the locals.
Bird's eye view of Umaid Bhawan Palace, JodhpurIts style of construction, with beautiful balconies, charming courtyards, green gardens and stately rooms, makes it a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The project employed three thousand artisans over a period of 15 years (1929-1943). The palace is named after its builder, Maharaja Umaid Singh, who was incidentally the president of the British Royal Institute of Architects In 1977, the palace was converted into a heritage hotel. The Palace is now segmented into the royal residence, the Heritage Hotel and the museum. Its 98 air-conditioned rooms are elegantly decorated with antique furniture as well as all the other amenities of a five star hotel.
The Mehrangarh Fort lies at the outskirts of Jodhpur city and is located atop a 125 m high hill. The magnificent Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur ka kila) is the most majestic and one of the largest forts in India. It was originally started (c.1459) by Rao Jodha, founder of Jodhpur. However, most of the extant fort dates from the period of Jaswant Singh (1638-78). The walls of the fort are up to 36 m high and 21 m wide; they enclose some exquisite structures.
Mehrangarh Fort & Jaswant ThadaThe fort museum houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs, royal cradles, miniatures, musical instruments, costumes and furniture. The ramparts of Mehrangarh Fort provide not only excellently preserved cannons but also a breath-taking view of the city.
The Jaswant Thada is architectural landmark found in Jodhpur. It is a white marble memorial built in 1899 in memory of Maharja Jaswant Singh II. The monument, in its entirety, is built out of intricately carved sheets of marble. These stones are extremely thin and polished so that they emit a warm glow when the sun's rays dance across their surface. Within this cenotaph, there are also two more tombs.