Guide to the Blue city of Rajasthan- Jodhpur
The city that welcomes sun, the city that is one of the largest cities in Rajasthan state, the city where the superstars organise their special events and that is none other than Jodhpur. Also known as the Sun City, it is as bright on the list of the travellers. Forts, temples, amazing weather and sand dunes easily amaze the tourist. Jodhpur also is known as the gateway of Thar and is on the edge of the great desert. There are many palaces, garden and lakes in Jodhpur. Moreover, the pleasant weather, especially in winters, makes it more likeable. Here is the guide to the blue city of Rajasthan.
The magnificent city of Jodhpur was established by Rao Jodha in 1456 AD. The king belongs to Rathore kingdom which was part of Marwar. It was one of the largest kingdoms in Rajputana. Jodhpur is also known as the Blue City as most of the houses in the old city are painted in shades of blue. This is particularly noticeable on the north side of the town from the top. Moreover, it is a paradise for food lovers.
Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts present in India. Famous for formidable walls and beautiful architecture, it is an epitome of royalty and glory. Most importantly it is situated on a rocky mountain top, it looks like the gateway to the sky. Mehrangarh is one of the major attractions frequently visited by the tourist.
The Intriguing Tales About Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur
Firstly, the name of the fort that has been derived from the word Mehr-Garh which means (mehr- sun and Garh means fort) “Fort of Sun”. During sunrise, the fort made of yellow stones shines like the Sun. Secondly, The fort is perked up on a rocky cliff at an altitude of125m from the ground and is visible from every corner of the city. The fort is embowered within fortified walls, huge gate and cannons. The signs of battle can still be seen on its walls.
There are many stories famous in history associated with the Mehrangarh Fort. The most significant is about the establishment of this fort. Initially, Mandore which is around 8kms away from Jodhpur main city was the capital of Rathores. However, because of security reasons, it was shifted to Jodhpur. The hill named Bucharria was chosen for the fort. It is said that this mountain top was home of a hermit. Due to the disturbance in his life, he cursed the Kingdom for drought. After that, the king offered prayers to God and many human sacrifices were done. Similarly, it is also prevalent that to reverse that curse, four people were buried alive in the four corners of the fort.
There are seven gates to enter into this splendid fort. All the gates were made by different rulers. Also, one of the gates is built in honour of Bikaner and Jaipur armies for their fights. The fort has been maintained by the royal family of the Jodhpur and even after so many years, this fort has not lost its enchanting beauty. There is a museum inside the fort that will give you an insight of royal life of Rathores. They were also known as descendants of the Sun.
The bedroom, dining room and living rooms are still intact. In addition to that, there are many artworks, musical instruments and furniture in the palace. The dresses and the armours are displayed here. The main palace is within the fort and is divided into different parts. It is named as Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal, Zenana Dude, Janki Mahal and Takht Vilas. There are two temples located inside the fort – Chamundi Devi Mandir and Nagnechiaji Mandir, dedicated to Goddess Durga and the Kuldevi of the Rathores.
Rao Jodha desert rock garden
Just next to Mehrangarh Fort, there is a huge desert rock park known as Rao Jodha’s Desert Park. The more this place is different, the story of its creation is different. This park is made of volcanic rocks. The area of around72 hectare, once was home of baavlia (Prosopis juliflora), an invasive, thorny shrub which is very hard to remove. However, it was restored by the government and native plants were planted in 2006. One can find local birds, migratory birds, lizards and butterflies in this park. It is quite a different experience strolling on the volcano rocks.
Jaswant Thada is a beautiful marble structure located off the left side of Mehrangarh Fort. This was built in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II by his son in 1899. The cenotaphs are beautifully designed. The arches and pillars have delicate carving and the walls have paintings.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
It is one of the largest private residences in the world and also among the most visited place in Jodhpur. Umaid Bhawan Palace was designed by the Renowned architect, Henry Lanchester between 1928 – 1943 under the reign of Maharaja Umaid Singh. There are 347 rooms, private museum, indoor swimming pool and tennis and marble squash courts. This place is the perfect blend of the eastern and western architect. Moreover, the main attractions of this palace include a collection of vintage cars, artefacts belonging to the royals, clocks and banners gifted by Queen Victoria, trophies and weapons. Moreover, One part of the palace is run by the Taj group of hotels.
The Baradari lawns at Umaid Bhawan Palace can be called the most sought place in Jodhpur. Many celebrities are opting this venue to get married in India today. It offers its entire property and public spaces for weddings. This gives a very private feel to the wedding. The recent one in news is the wedding of superstar Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas. This palace not only offers a cultural touch but also gives a royal look to the wedding.
Mandore is an ancient town and is abandoned since 1459 CE. It is just 8 km away from the main city of Jodhpur. Mandore, in 1427, became capital of Rathore clan. Rao Rinmal Rathore became the ruler but lost the palace after a fight with Mewar king, Rana Kumbha. His son Rao Jodha, after several years, he fought again and won the city back in 1453.
As per old tales, this place was known as Mandvyapur. Ravana, from Ramayana, married to the princess of Mandavyapur, Mandodri. The capital went into ruins once the kings abandoned it. This place had seen invasion from many rulers like Mohammed bin Tuglaq and Allaudin Khilji. Because of continuous invasions, Rao Jodha moved to Jodhpur and made it the capital. Therefore, this place has remainings of previous kings.
Mandore Garden is one of the best-preserved sites and stands strong to tell the tale of a bygone era. It welcomes its visitors with lush green garden and beautiful red monuments. The Cenotaphs were made in remembrance of Maharaja Ajit Singh, Jaswant Singh and Ranjit Singh. Each cenotaph, their roof and walls are differently carved.
Mandore garden is a must visit place for art lovers. Firstly, to see the matchless architecture and secondly to know the history by strolling through the ruins of Mandore.
Ruins at Mandore
On the other hand of the cenotaphs, there is a fun zone, especially for kids. There are many langurs there roaming around. At one side of the park, there is a fort which is now converted into the museum. Just in front of the fort, there is an old temple of Ravana. Furthermore, there are stairs going towards the old fort ruins. That place is an archaeological site. The Ruins of Nahar Singh Ji temple, Chamunda Devi Temple and Brahma temple are there. The view from the top of the hill is mesmerizing. The ruins on the top of the hills are not that well maintained. Moreover, the place is overlooked by tourist as well. But standing on the hill feels like filling the gap between sky and land.
History of Mandore
” The ancient capital of Marwar, popularly known as Mandore was in existence in the fourth century A D. as revealed early Gupta period inscriptions near the cave of Mahadara. The place is known as Maddodra, Mandowar and Mandavyapura-Durga also and is believed to be derived from the name of the rishi Mandava. Local tradition holds that mandore was first held by the Nagas, Followed by the Pratiharas, the Chahamanas and the Sultans of Delhi, from whom it was wrested by the Rathores.
The Archaeological excavation carried out in 1909-10 yielded two elaborately carved monolithic pillars depicting Krishna-Lila scenes on stylistic grounds, These monolithic pillars could be dated to early fifth century AD. The Pratiharas ruler of Mandor constructed excellent Brahminical and Jain Temples. The Pratiharas ruler Rajjila built the rampart of the fort in about the eighth century AD. The Ghatiyala inscriptions of A.D. 861 reveals that the Pratiharas ruler Kakkuka constructed the Jain temple here”.
Machiya Biological Park or Safari Park
This place is around 8 Kms from the main city. It is a biological park where you can spend time strolling and looking animals. It is a fun place for a family day out visitor bird watching. In addition to that, many animals, birds and reptiles can be seen here. Snakes, lion, leopard and ostrich are the major attractions. On the hills, it is the well-maintained place to watch the sunset.
Just behind the Machiya safari park, one can find this beautiful lake. Built by Pratap Singh in 1972, Kalyana lake is an artificial lake. This is the best place to spend a great evening. It is a famous place for the day tour, picnic and boating. Additionally, camel or horse ride can also be done.
It is one of the major attraction in Jodhpur located in the city centre. It is famous for the main eateries and shops where you can buy amazing spices, Jodhpuri coats, Juties, Dupattas, and everything in bandhez print. Janta sweets is a famous eating point in Jodhpur, where you can get amazing flavours of food and sweets. The main cuisine to try in Jodhpur is Dal Bati, Gulabjamun ki sabzi and above all, Makhaniya Lassi.
Jodhpur is the place of forts and palaces, temples and havelis, gardens, culture and tradition, spices and fabrics, colour and texture, combine to make this historic city worth a visit. In other words, it is the place where one can get all the flavours.
Osian is situated 65 kilometres in the north of Jodhpur and is surrounded by golden sand dunes and hamlets. It is also called the Khajuraho of Rajasthan because of its matchless sculptures on the Hindu and Jain temples. Osian was additionally a significant city during the Gurjara Pratihara family line. The family dominated abundant of northern India from the sixth to the eleventh century. This was a major commerce centre and pilgrimage during that era. Because of the attacks of Muslim and Turkish armies, this area was deserted. However, nowadays most of the temples are in ruins.
Major temples of Osian are Sachiya Mata also known as the goddess of truth, the Sun Temple and also the Jain temple dedicated to Mahavira. These temples attract thousands of tourists by their grace and delightful work of art. In addition to that tourist come here for desert safari. Therefore, there are many safaris operating in that area. People can have an amazing adventure in spending nights under the sky or having camel safari or Jeep safari on the sand.
Jodhpur is the place of forts and palaces, temples and havelis, gardens, culture and tradition, spices and fabrics, colour and texture, combine to make this historic city worth a visit. In other words, it is the place where one can get all the flavours, colours and travel stories.
Find out some more places near Jodhpur