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TALES OF GRANDEUR AND GREAT HEROES
Set at the edge of the Thar desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert.
Once the capital of the Marwar state , it was founded in 1459 A.D. by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - the epic hero of the Ramayana.
The massive 15th century A.D. Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 Mts. Above the plains. The city is encompassed by a high wall -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions.
A major trade centre of the 16th century A.D. the fortress-city of Jodhpur is now the second largest city of Rajasthan.
While the graceful palaces , forts and temples strewn throughout the city bring alive the historic grandeur, exquisite handicrafts , folk dances music and the brightly attired people lend a romantic aura to the city.
The jumble of wide winding streets are flanked with pavement stalls.
The lifestyle in jodhpur is unusually fascinating with folks wearing lovely multihued costumes,artistically designed. Women folk wear wide gathered skirts and a hip length jacket, with three quarter length sleeves , covering the front and back. The colorful turbans worn by the men folk add more color to the city . It was from here that the popularity worn baggy - tight , horse riding trousers- ‘ Jodhpurs’ took their name.
Shopping in Jodhpur bazaars is a heady experience with a colorful display of the rich collection of exquisite handicrafts. The tie and dye fabric, embroidered ‘jutis’ or slippers in suede, cancel skin, velvet and more color to the city.it was form here that the popularly worn baggy-tight horse riding trousers,-" Jodhpurs" ,took their name.
Countless festivities celebrate the rich past and culture of the princely state. The Marwar Festival held annually is one such spectacular bonanza.
Mehrangarh Fort: The 5 km long majestic fort on a 125 metre high hill is one of the most impressive and formidable structures. Although invincible from the outside, the fort has four gates approached by a winding road. Within the fort are some magnificent palaces with marvelously carved panels , latticed windows and evocative names. Not worthy of these are the Moti Mahal, the Phool Mahal, the Sheesh Mahal, the Sileh Khana and the Daulat Khana. These palaces house a fabulous collection of trappings of Indian royalty including a superb collection of palanquins, elephant hawdahs, miniature paintings of various schools, musical instruments, costumes and furniture.
Jaswant Thada: A cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in 1899 A.D. in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Within the main cenotaph are the portraits of various Jodhpur rulers.
Umaid Bhawan Palace: The only 20th century palace built under the famine relief project that gave employment to famine struck population. The palace was completed in 16 years. This opulent edifice in sandstone is still the residence of the former rulers with a part of it running as hotel and remaining part as a museum.
Girdikot and Sardar Market: These colourful markets with tiny shops dotting the narrow lanes are situated in the heart of the city and are popular for a wide range of handicrafts, making them the favorite haunt of shoppers.
Museum: The museum has an exquisite ensemble of paintings, sculptures and antique weapons.
Balsamand Lake and Gardens (5 km) : A pretty lake built in 1159 A.D. A splendid summer Palace stands by the lake side surrounded by beautiful gardens. An idyllic spot for excursions.
Mandore (8 km): The ancient capital of Marwar has cenotaphs of the Jodhpur rulers. The Hall of heroes has fifteen figures carved out of the rock on the wall which represent Hindu deities. Its beautiful gardens with high rock terraces make it a popular picnic spot.
Mahamandir Temple (9 km): Built in 1812 A.D. it is noteworthy temple with 84 carved pillars.
Kailana Lake (11 km): The beautiful lake is an ideal picnic spot.
Osian (58 km): An oasis in the desert, situated on the diversion off the main Jodhpur-Bikaner Highway. A drive to this ancient township takes one past undulating terrain,punctuated by desert stretches and little hamlets.
Osian has 15 beautifully sculptured Jain and Brahmanical temples. Of these the most outstanding ones are the earlier Surya or Sun Temple and the later Kali temple, Sachiya Mata Temple and the main Jain temple dedicated to Lord Mahavira.
Dhawa (45 km): A wildlife sanctuary with the largest number of Indian antelopes.
Nagaur (135 km): An imposing fort with beautiful murals. It is also the venue for a beautiful murals. It is also the venue for a week long cattle fair held in Jan/Feb every year.
Rohit Fort (40 km): Now a heritage hotel, the fort is worth a visit.
Luni Fort (20 km): Now converted into a heritage hotel, this fort and its surroundings are worth a visit.
Area : 75.50 sq. km.
Altitude : 230 metres
Climate : Mean Max. Mean Min.
Summer : 42.2 degree C 27.3 degree C
Winter : 27.5 degree C 9.5 degree C
Rainfall : 31 cms.
Best Season : Oct. - March
Clothing : Summer light tropical
Winter :light woolen
Languages : English, Hindi, Marwari.