Jodhpur, also know as the Gateway of Thar Desert, is a very popular tourist destination. Jodhpur, the second largest city in Rajasthan is popularly known as the Blue City. The name is clearly befitting as most of the architecture – forts, palaces, temples, havelis and even houses are built in vivid shades of blue. The strapping forts that tower this magnificent city sum up to a spectacle you would not want to miss. The mammoth, imposing fortress of Mehrangarh has a landscape dominating a rocky ridge with the eight gates leading out of the fortress. The new city is located outside the structure. Jodhpur is also known for the rare breed of horses known as Marwari or Malani, which are only found here.
Jodhpur marks its origin back to the year of 1459 AD. The history of this prosperous city revolves around the Rathore clan. Rao Jodha, the chief of Rathore Clan is credited with the origin of Jodhpur in India. The city is known to be built in place of the ancient capital, Mandore of the state of Manwar. Hence, the people of Jodhpur and surrounding areas are commonly known as Marwaris. Also, it is believed that the relics of Mandore can still be witnessed in the Mandore Gardens.
The Jodhpur city was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput chief of the Rathore clan. Jodha succeeded in conquering the surrounding territory and thus founded a state which came to be known as Marwar. As 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 Jodha. The city was located on the strategic road linking Delhi to Gujarat. This enabled it to profit from a flourishing trade in opium, copper, silk, sandals, date palm and coffee.
After the death of Chandrasen Rathore the state became a fief under the Mughal Empire, owing fealty to them while enjoying some internal autonomy. During this period, the state furnished the Mughals with several notable generals such as Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Jodhpur and its people benefited from this exposure to the wider world as new styles of art and architecture made their appearance and opportunities opened up for local tradesmen to make their mark across northern India.
Aurangzeb briefly sequestrated the state (c.1679) on the pretext of a minority, but the prior ruler Maharaja Ajit Singh was restored to the throne by Veer Durgadas Rathore after Aurangzeb died in 1707 and a great struggle of 30 years. The Mughal empire declined gradually after 1707, but the Jodhpur court was beset by intrigue; rather than benefiting from circumstances, Marwar descended into strife and invited the intervention of the Marathas, who soon supplanted the Mughals as overlords of the region. This did not make for stability or peace, however- 50 years of wars and treaties dissipated the wealth of the state, which sought and gratefully entered into a subsidiary alliance with the British in 1818.
Street Scene of Jodhpur in 1906
During the British Raj, the state of Jodhpur had the largest land area of any in the Rajputana. Jodhpur prospered under the peace and stability that was a hallmark of this era. The land area of the state was 90,554 km2 (34,963 sq mi) its population in 1901 was 44,73,759. It enjoyed an estimated revenue of £3,529,000. Its merchants, the Marwaris, flourished and came to occupy a position of dominance in trade across India. In 1947, when India became independent, the state merged into the union of India and Jodhpur became the second largest city of Rajasthan.
At the time of partition, the ruler of Jodhpur, Hanwant Singh, did not want to join India, but finally due to the effective persuasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Home Minister at the time, the state of Jodhpur was included in Indian Republic. Later after the State Reorganisation Act, 1956 it was included within the state of Rajasthan.
The climate of Jodhpur is hot and semi-arid during its nearly yearlong dry season, but contains a brief rainy season from late June to September (Köppen BShw). Although the average rainfall is around 450 millimetres (18 in), it fluctuates greatly. In the famine year of 1899, Jodhpur received only 24 millimetres (0.94 in), but in the flood year of 1917 it received as much as 1,178 millimetres (46.4 in).
Temperatures are extreme from March to October, except when the monsoonal rain produces thick clouds to lower it slightly. In the months of April, May and June, high temperatures routinely exceed 40 degrees Celsius. During the monsoon season, average temperatures decrease slightly. However, the city’s generally low humidity rises, which adds to the perception of the heat. The highest temperature recorded in Jodhpur was on 18 May 2016 when it rose up to 53.2 degrees Celsius.
Film & Ad Shooting-
The beautiful historic buildings and scenic landscapes of the city were featured in some major films, including (The Dark Knight Rises directed by Christopher Nolan, Baadshaho starring Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi , The Darjeeling Limited starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman, The Fall directed by Tarsem Singh), “Hum Saath-Saath Hain” directed by Sooraj Barjatya, “Veer” directed by, “Shuddh Desi Romance” directed by and “I” directed by. ,”Kung Fu Yoga ” Starring Jackie chan, Sonu Sood, Disha Patani, “Loafer (2015 film)” Starring Varun Tej,& Disha Patani; Supreme (film) Starring Sai Dharam Tej,&Rashi Khanna; Airlift (film) feat.in Akshay Kumar,and Nimrat Kaur.
What To See And Do
Rising perpendicular and impregnable from a hill which is 125 metres above Jodhpur’s skyline is the Mehrangarh Fort. This historic fort is one of the most famous in India and is packed with history and legends. Mehrangarh Fort still bears the imprints of cannonball attacks courtesy the armies of Jaipur on its second gate. Chiselled and sturdy, the fort is known for its exquisite latticed windows, carved panels, intricately decorated windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal and Sheesh Mahal.
Located 85 kilometres from the main city, the 400-year old Khejarla Fort is situated in a rural setting. The stunning red sandstone monument, now a hotel, is an example of Rajput architecture. Visitors will be mesmerised by the fort’s picturesque settings, latticework friezes and intricate Jharokas.
UMAID BHAWAN PALACE
Umaid Bhawan Palace was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1929 to counter a famine which had hit the state at the time. It was also known as the Chittar Palace while being constructed thanks to the use of stones drawn from the Chittar hill. The palace was designed by HV Lanchester, a renowned British architect, and was completed in 16 years. Built with sandstone and marble, the architecture of the palace is described as a blend of lndo-Saracenic, Classical Revival and Western Art Deco styles. It is recognised as one of the largest private homes in the world and also one of the more spectacular buildings. It is the only palace built in the 20th century.
Moti Mahal, as the name suggests, is the Pearl Hall where the royal families held their audience. The hall is known to have glass windows and five nooks that enabled the queens to listen to the proceedings taking place in the Sringar Chowki, The Royal Throne of Jodhpur.
Situated within the compound of Mehrangarh Fort is the glass palace of Jodhpur, popularly known as Sheesh Mahal. This magnificent piece of architecture is adorned with walls of mirror work that stretch across ceilings and to the floors. It is superimposed by the mirror work of brightly painted religious figures cast in plaste
Going by the name, the Phool Mahal or Flower Hall is the most exorbitant of all the halls in the palace. This beautiful chamber is said to be the pleasure dome for the Maharajas. The gold used for constructing the Mahal came from Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
CHAMUNDA MATAJI TEMPLE
Chamunda Mataji was Rao Jodha’s favourite goddess and so her idol was bought to the Mehrangarh Fort. Thus, the fort became a place of worship and was turned into a temple. Since then, locals have followed the culture of worshipping Chamunda Mata. In fact, till date, the goddess remains the Isht Devi (the adopted goddess) of Maharajas and the royal family
This milky white memorial built towards the end of the 19th century as a tribute to the leader Jaswant Singh is a huge tourist attraction. Jaswant Singh, who ruled Jodhpur, invested well in his state. He made attempts to bring down the level of crime, subdue dacoits, built railways and broadly worked on raising the economy of Marwar..
Towards the north of Jodhpur is the ancient capital of Marwar, Mandore. This area is of major historical importance and you will find the dewals or cenotaphs of Jodhpur’s former rulers. Unlike the original chhatri-shaped cenotaphs that are typical patterns of Rajasthan architecture, these are built along the lines of Hindu temples.
MACHIYA SAFARI PARK
This park is situated on the way to Jaisalmer, about 1 kilometre from Kailana Lake. It offers a bird watching point for visitors and is also home to several animals such as deer, desert foxes, monitor lizards, blue bulls, hare, wild cats, mongoose, monkeys, etc. The park also offers spectacular views of sunset and should not be missed.
Balsamand Lake is about 5 kilometres from Jodhpur on the Jodhpur-Mandore Road. Built in 1159 AD, it was planned as a water reservoir to cater to Mandore. The Balsamand Lake Palace was built on its shore later as a summer palace. It is surrounded by lush green gardens that house groves of trees such as mango, papaya, pomegranate, guava and plum. Animals and birds like the jackal and peacock also call this place home. This lake is now a popular picnic spot with tourists and locals.
How To Get Around
HOW TO REACH HERE
Jodhpur is connected to Delhi and Mumbai and the airport is about 5 kilometres from the city centre.
Jodhpur is well-connected by road to all major cities and towns.
Jodhpur is well-connected by direct trains from all metros and major cities in India