Jodhpur, Rajasthan Travel GuideOct 01 2022 Attractions Jodhpur
Jodhpur is bustling desert city, the second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur and has landscape dominated by the massive Meherangarh Fort topping a sheer rocky ridge. The old city is fenced by 10 km long wall with eight Gates leading out of it. The new city is outside the walled city. Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, founded the city in 1459 and it is named after him.
Places of Interest in Jodhpur
Balsamand Lake & Palace
An enchanting picnic spot with cool breeze weaving through the lush grove of mango, guava, papaya and other fruits. A placid artificial lake with a summer palace on the embankment. It was built by Balak Rao Parihar in 1159 AD. The serene surroundings will leave you at peace with yourself.
In fact they flourished so well that managed to oust the Pratiharas of Mandore, just 9 km of present day Jodhpur. By 1459 a need for more secured capital lead to the founding of Meherangarh Fort on its rocky perch and Jodhpur was thus founded by Rao Jodha. The Rathores enjoyed good relations with the Mughals and Maharaja Jaswant Singh (1678) supported Shah Jahan in the latter’s struggle for war of succession.
Only problematic relationship they had was with Aurangzeb. After Auranzeb’s death Maharaja Ajit Singh drove out Mughals from Ajmer and added it to Marwar. In the reign of Maharaja Umed Singh Jodhpur grew into a fine modern city. The quintessence of Jodhpur was its valour and equestrian skill. Polo has been the traditional sport of the Jodhpur nobility since medieval times. Jodhpur has two railway stations, City and Rai ka Bagh both are outside the walled city.
The bus stand is right outside the Rai ka Bagh Station. The High Court is a while from the bus stand after the Umed Gardens, after which is located the tourist reception centre and RTDC Hotel Ghoomer. Ahead is the main market and entry in to the wall from Sojati Gate. This area also has many hotels. Jodhpur is also military and air force station and has a large cantonment and airbase.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Built by Maharaja Umaid Singh (1929 -1942) and named after him, this exquisite palace is also known as Chittar Palace because of the local chittar sandstone used. It is a splendid example, of Indo-colonial and art deco style of the 30s. A unique feature of this palace is the fact that the hand chiseled sandstone blocks have been put together in a special system of interlocking, there is not mortar binding.
Built in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, in 1899, the imposing white marble memorial marks the site of a royal crematorium. The cenotaph houses portraits of successive rulers. These four cenotaphs commemorate notable acts of bravery, generosity of the four successive rulers.
Mehrangarh fort is about 5km from Jodhpur Town. Guarding the city below, crowning a perpendicular cliff, the fort was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 AD when he shifted his capital from Mandore. Standing sentinel to the city below, it over looks the rugged and rocky terrain and houses a palace intricately adorned with long carved panels and latticed windows exquisitely wrought from red sandstone.
Nestling in the middle of the Umaid Public Garden, this museum houses a rich collection of exhibits – armoury, textiles, local arts and crafts, miniature paintings. Portraits of rulers, manuscripts and images of Jain Tirthankars. Umaid Public Garden houses a zoo also.
Girdikot & Sardarkot Market
Throbbing with activity, the colourful bazaar, near Clock tower, has narrow lanes dotted with tiny shops selling exquisite Rajashani textiles, handicrafts, clay figurines of camels and elephants, marble curios with inlay work and exquisite Rajasthani silver jewelry.
Maha Mandir Temple
Leterally, the great temple, a place where sacred glory reigns in a peaceful tranquility. Situated on Mandore road, the temple is an architectural splendor, supported by 84 pillars and ornamented with detailed designs and figures depicting various postures of Yoga. The entire structure is marked by a unique and original style.
Mandore was the capital of Marwar before the foundation of Jodhpur. Today, its extensive gardens with high rock terraces make it a popular local attraction. The highlight of this place is the “Hall of Heroes” which houses sixteen gigantic figures, chiseled out of one single rock.
The statues are either of popular Hindu deities or famous folk deities. The royal cenotaphs or “Devals” of Jodhpur rulers on a high plinth crowned with souring spires, ornate carving are amongst other attractions of the Mandore. The longest and fines of all cenotaphs, are those built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh and Maharaja Ajit Singh.
Sardar Samand Lake & Palace
As you go up to the shimmering lake and palace, a meandering and interesting drive will keep you entraced. The countryside with its lively villages and smiling, gay village folk of Jhalamand and Goora, will make you stop by and taste a bit of their hospitality. Photographers and adventurists can have day packed with enthralling excitement. Freely roaming herds of Chinkaras and Black Bucks can be seen here in large numbers.
This ancient town of Thar Desert, was a great trading center between 8th – 12th century. Today, it is a desert oasis with sixteen Brahamanical and Jain temples, beautifully sculpted and designed, most of which have stood ravages of time. The largest of these are Sachchiya mata temple and Mahavir Jain temple, which are both functional. This medieval town is surrounded by rows of sand dunes on western end. While in Osian watch out for lovely sunsets and camel rides.
Dhawa(Doli) Forest Area
Situated on Barmer road. Wild life – exotic and untamed – invites you to an irresistible adventure. Perhaps the largest number of Black Indian Antelopes in a variety of species can be watched. Roaming free and almost mingling in the Bishnoi village. These antelopes are sacred to the Vishnois. And they protect them from poachers with a fervour and religious zeal, typical of this tribe.
Phalodi – Khichan
A drive through the countryside, 75-km beyond Osian brings you to Phalodi, the city of richly carved haveli’s and temples. Nearby there is a village Khichan, which is regular host to the flocks of demoiselle Cranes (Locally called Kurjan), which come in thousands due to the amiable conditions and protection given by the villagers. Their duration of stay is about 5 to 6 months, after which they migrate back to their breeding grounds, in March-April, many folk songs are also based upon them.