At best it
is a doorway to the wonderland of sand dunes and shrubs, rocky terrain
and thorny trees. The home of the Rathores - the awesome princely
state of Rajasthan. They conquered Marwar or Maroodesh, land of the
sand after the fall of Delhi and Kannauj.
In 1459 AD, Rao Jodha, chief of Rathore clan of Rajputs, who claimed
descent from Rama, the epic here of the Ramayana, laid the foundation
of Jodhpur. A high stone wall protects the well-fortified city. The
wall is nearly 10km in length and has eight gates facing various
Within, stands an imposing fort on a low range of sandstone hills,
about 125m above the surrounding plains. Invincible! And dauntless in
its league with time! The city lies at the foot of the hills. The
clear distinction between the old and the new city is visible from the
ramparts of the fort.
On the other side of the city, facing the fort is the Umaid Bhawan
Palace. One of the most spacious, sprawling and well-planned palaces
in India. And from here, as you look at fort, a tantalizing view rises
before your eyes at sunset.
Jodhpur Airport is well
connected to Jaipur, Delhi and Mumbai.
Jodhpur railway station
is well-connected to the rest of the country.
well-connected by roads.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Maharaja Umaid Singhji who built this palace was fascinated with
western lifestyles so he marshalled the services of a well-known
Edwardian architect, Henry Vaughan Lanchester, a creditable equal of
Edward Lutyens (architect of New Delhi) to construct a three hundred
and forty seven roomed Umaid Palace.
This was to become India last of the great palaces and the biggest
private residence in the world. Spectacular Central Rotunda, the
cupola rises to a hundred and five feet high; the Throne Room with its
exquisite Ramayana murals; an elegant wood-paneled library, and even a
private museum; an indoor swimming pool, a Billiards Room, tennis
courts and unique marble squash courts makes Umaid Bhawan Palace is
unabashedly the most magnificent.
Perched on a 150 m high hill its sprawl is the most formidable and
magnificent fort in Rajasthan. Rao Jodha founded it in 1459 but
subsequent rulers of Jodhpur have also added to it over the centuries.
A meandering road leads to the from the city 5 kms below. Battle scars
of canon ball hit by attacking armies of Jaipur can still be seen on
the second gate. To the left is chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda, a soldier
who fell on the spot while defending the fort against the armies of
There are seven gates, which include Jayapol meaning victory built by
Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and
Bikaner armies. Fattehpol also meaning victory gate was built by
Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of Mughals. And Lohapol meaning
iron gate has a moving memorabilia on palm print of the queens of
Maharaja Man Singh who threw themselves on his funeral pyre in an act
of sati [self-immolation]. The palm imprints still attract devotional
attention and are covered by vermilion paste and paper-thin silver
The grandest of Mehrangarh's period rooms, the Phool Mahal was in all
likely hood a private and exclusive chamber of pleasure dancing girls
once swooned in exhaustion here under a ceiling rich in gold filigree.
The Phool Mahal was created by Maharaja Abhaya Singh (1724-1749) and
the gold came from Ahmedabad in Gujarat as war booty after his famous
victory over the rebellious Mughal governor, Sarbuland Khan. The
paintings, royal portraits and the ever-popular raga mala, came much
later, in the reign of Jaswant Singh II.
The Jhanki Mahal, from where the royal ladies watched the official
proceedings, in the courtyard, today houses a rich collection of the
royal cradles. The cradles are decorated with gilt mirrors and figures
of fairies, elephant and birds.
On the way down from the fort, on left is Jaswant Thada, the graceful
marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. His son Maharaja Sardar
Singhji built the Taj Mahal of Marwar in the memory of Maharaj Jaswant
Singhji II of Jodhpur. The cenotaphs of earlier Maharajas and
Maharanis are at Mandore.
hh - heritage hotel ; ph -
palace hotel ; bh - boutique hotel ; gh - guest house ; hs - home stay