Amidst the sand dunes and thorny vegetation of Thar desert towers a fort, 120 metres above the plain. The fort overlooks the imperial city of Jodhpur, which is a part of the Desert Tourist Triangle. The old Jodhpur city is surrounded by a 10 km long wall with eight gates serving as entrances. The new city is settled around this walled area. The Maruthal or ‘land of death’ , came into life when the Rathores of Kanauj moved in. But the city of Jodhpur was founded by Rao Jodhaji in 1459 AD. This city was on the silk route of the 16th century and hence was host to a number of travellers.
In Jodhpur, the genius of its sculptors comes to life in its exquisite palaces, forts, temples and havelis, which stand testimony to the imperial grandeur. The most alluring part of Jodhpur is the traditional lifestyle, festivity and the smiling people who treasure this former princely state.
Prime Attractions of Jodhpur
Government Museum – Jodhpur : This museum has a rich collection of weapons, textiles, miniature portraits, local crafts and images of Jain Tirthankars. It is situated in the middle of the Umaid public gardens.
Marwar Festival : Marwar Festival is held every year in memory of the heroes of Rajasthan. The festival is held in the month of Ashwin (September-October) in Jodhpur, for two days during the full moon of Sharad Poornima.
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.
Umaid Bhawan Palace : The only palace built in 20th century under the famine relief programme, has now been converted into a hotel with some parts being retained as a museum.
Mehrangarh Fort Museum : This is an excellent museum with rare and interesting artifacts, textiles, painting transport items etc laid out with utmost care and thought. The Palanquin Gallery and Howdah Gallery display a superb collection of old and costly specimens of great historical value.
Clock Tower & Sadar Market
In the old city, clock tower is a prominent land mark. But main attraction is the Sadar Market. The market has kept alive the old ‘haat bazaar’ culture.
The 19th century royal cenotaph is built in white marble, in commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Some rare portraits of the rulers of Jodhpur are also displayed here.
Umaid Bhawan Museum
Recently the ruling family of Jodhpur has converted a part of the gigantic Umaid Bhawan Palace as the palace museum.
Excursions from Jodhpur
Situated 9-kms north of the city of Jodhpur, is Mandore which, was the capital of Marwar prior to the foundation of Jodhpur.Today, its extensive gardens with high rock terraces make it a popular local attraction. The gardens also contain the cenotaphs of Jodhpur rulers.
65-km from Jodhpur, lie ruins of an ancient city called Ossian. This city is famous for Brahmanical and Jain temples, which belong to 8th and 11th century.
Sardar Samand Lake (55Km.)
Nestled in the vicinity of the city of Jodhpur, is the astoundingly scenic Sardar Samand Lake. The lake lies 60-kms south-east of Jodhpur off the Jodhpur-Pali route.
Balsamand Lake & Palace
This picturesque artificial lake is 7 kms from the main city. Summer palaces along the embankment and a bird sanctuary has made it a picnic spot.
Fairs & Festivals – Jodhpur
The Marwar Festival – Held in October, this festival brings alive the legend, folklore and romantic lifestyle of Rajasthan’s rulers.
How To Get There – Jodhpur
The city is also well connected by the railway lines and trains are available for other major cities in the country from here. The ‘Palace on Wheels’ also visits this city of royal splendour.
Jodhpur has its own airport and regular flight services conect the city with other major cities in and around Rajasthan.
The state transport has bus services from other cities of the state and some services are interstate too.
Places To Stay – Jodhpur
The variety of hotels and guest houses in Jodhpur makes one feel at home. Accommodation here is available to suit tourists of every budget. Hotel Karni Bhawan, Ajit Bhawan are heritage hotels. The Rajasthan Tourism Department has the Ghoomar Hotel. The palace hotels options include theUmaid Bhawan Palace, Ratanada Polo Palace, Rajputana Palace. Raj Basera also provides good accommodation facilities. There are low budget accommodations avaialable too.
Shopping – Jodhpur
Where to Shop in Jodhpur
The Sadar Market near the Clock Tower gives immense shopping pleasure to the locals as well as the visitors. The colourful but hectic bazaar consists of many narrow lanes, lined with tiny shops. Look for the tie & dye textiles, embroidered leather shoes, lacquerware, antiques, carpets and puppets. Here, one can buy exquisite Rajasthani textiles, clay figurines, miniature camels and elephants, marble inlay work and classic silver jewellery