My visit to Jodhpur city was more or less an implusive trip which I made just in a span of two days to escape the clutter of the city. My idea was to enjoy my New Year either digging the rich heritage of blue city or rest under the dark sky of Thar Desert. But it was quite obvious that I won’t get hands on a confirmed train ticket in 2 days unless I make a tatkal booking. So how did I travel? Well moving seat to seat in the sleeper class of Mandore Express 😉
That’s a story of another day but the biting early morning chills welcomed me as I reached Jodhpur and I was pepped up to experience the sun city in all its glory
Historically, the origin of Jodhpur is linked to Rathore clan. Its leader Rao Jodha is accredited for founding this city of Jodhpur in 1459. Driven from their homeland by Afghans, the Rathores fled from Kaunaj to Pali and Rathore Siahaji’s marriage to the sister of a local prince helped them establish theirkingdom. Eventually Rathore ousted the Pratiharas, who were the rulers of Mandore. They established their capital at Mandore for short time, but needed much secure location to rise. Therefore the sun city was chosen by Rao Jodha
During the British Raj, Jodhpur was the largest in Rajputana. The city flourished under the British Raj and occupied a dominant position in trade throughout India. In 1947 when India gained freedom from the Britishers, Jodhpur got merged in Union of India and became the second largest city of Rajasthan.
Jodhpur is true emblem of rich historic past, which can be a reason why this blue city is home to some of the ancient preserved forts and palaces. I fixed an auto for Rs. 500 for a city tour which should take a minimum of 4 hours. Sharing the must visits while in Jodhpur:
Umaid Bhawan Palace: If you are looking to experience the royalty of Rajasthan, Umaid Bhawan palace is just the right place for you.
Located at the topmost point of Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan Palace was constructed in 1943 and is considered as one of the largest private residences in the world, where a part is still occupied by the Royal family. While the remaining two parts of this 347 roomed palace has been taken over by Taj Group and the other converted to a Museum which displays the royal legacy of the maharajas and the family including the swords paintings and vintage cars. The entry fee is Rs. 50 (camera charges extra).
The impressive look of the palace can be accredited to a combination of exquisitely styled Indian and European architecture. Those who can, opt for a luxurious stay at Umaid Bhawan Palace which cost around Rs. 40,000 per night and enjoy its delicacy amidst the star lit sky
Mandore Gardens: Located at a distance of 9 KM from the city of Jodhpur, Mandor is regarded as the former capital of Maharajas of Marwar, which was later abandoned for security reasons before moving to Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.
It is said that before Jodhpur came into existence, the capital of the Rathore clan of Rajputs that held sway over the Marwar region of Rajputana (early name of Rajasthan) was at Mandore (10 kms north of Jodhpur city). It is believed that the ancient city was received as a dowry by a Rathore chief named Chundaji who married a Parihar princess and it remained the seat of power of the Rathores till Rao Jodha, a Chieftain of the Rathores, shifted the capital to a new and safer location, Jodhpur
Now this historic place is known for its garden, ancient temple and a ruined fort. The ruined Mandore fort, with its thick and tall walls was built in several stages and was once a fine piece of architecture. A huge ruined temple is a highlight of the fort. The outer wall of the temple depicts finely carved botanical designs, birds and animals. This place is a perfect seclusion from otherwise crowded city life. Its extensive Mandore garden, with high rock terrace, makes it a popular local attraction. Also in this garden of Jodhpur, is “The Shrine of the Three Hundred Million Gods”, filled with brightly colored images of the various Hindu Gods.
As you climb up the hill, you come to the ruined city of Mandore, with its old palace. Mythologically this is believed to be a place where Ravana got married to Mandori. The garden is open for tourists from 8 am to 8 pm.
Balasamand Lake: Balasamand Lake is located at a distance of 5 km from Jodhpur and falls on the Jodhpur-Mandore Road. With the serenity and calmness in air, Balasamand Lake is the most sort after tourist destination, which every traveler would love to visit. In the earlier days, the lake used to be the water reservoir to supply water in Mandore
Balasamand was once the house of the Maharajas of Jodhpur which was built back in 1159 AD by Balak Rao Parihar. With time it’s now a popular heritage hotel for tourists on a look out for quick relaxation. It’s built on the banks of the lake gives this property a perfect view anyone could ask for. The hotel is equipped with all the modern conveniences, whilst maintaining its glorious old-world charm. Located just outside the city this sprawling palace is nestled amidst the Aravali hills and overlooks scenic Balsamand Lake. The place is an ideal destination if you are looking for a serene retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life
Mehrangarh Fort: Remember Batman’s Dark Knight Rises? A portion of the movie is said to shot here. A well preserved heritage structure, Mehrangarh Fort is considered amongst largest forts in India and undoubtedly is a must visit in Jodhpur. It was constructed by Rao Jodha in 1459 AD as the symbol of power.
The grandeur in architecture is stunning which reflects the mix match of various periods as the fort completion took many centuries. The fort displays the well preserved glory of Mughals with their collection of exquisite art. Don’t forget to enjoy the panoramic view of the Blue City. The Fort is also hosts music festivals which includes the annual Rajasthan International Folk Festival in October and World Sufi Spirit Festival in February.
Jaswant Thada: It was built in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh which is located quite close to Mehrangarh Fort. Inside Jaswant Thada one cannot fail to notice the perfect work of carvings at every corner.
You will find the portraits of the Rathore rulers and intricately crafted cenotaph (empty commemorative tomb) which was built in 1899, in honour the Maharaja. Just a peaceful place to relax and enjoy adjoining views
Rao Jodha Statue: The statue if Rao Jodha is set on a small hilltop along the road that leads to Jaswant Thada.
This statue was built in 2012 to honour the founder of Jodhpur
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