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Destinations :: Jodhpur Vacations
Set at the edge of Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes
with tales od antiquity in the emptiness of the desert.
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Once the capital of the marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by
Rao Jodha - Chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be
descednants of Rama- the epic hero of the Ramayana.
The Massive 15 the century AD Mehrangarh fort looms on the top of
a rocky hill soaring 125 mts. above the plains. The city is encompassed
by 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
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.
Places to visit
Mehrangarh Fort - The 5 km long majestic Fort on 125 m high
hill is one of the most impressive and formidable structures. Although
invincible from the outside, the Fort has four gates approached by
winding road, within the fort are some magnificent palces with marvellously
carved panels, latticed windows and eocative names. Noteworthy 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 superb collection of palan qunis,
elephant howdahs miniature paintings of various schools, musical instuments,
custumes and furniture.
A cluster of royal cenotaphs in white amrble built in 1899 AD in memory
of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. With in the main cenotaphs are the portraits
of various Jodhpur rulers.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
The only 20th century palce bulit under the famine relief project
when Maharaja Umaid Singh started a food for work program to famine
struck population. This exquisite palace is also known as Chittar
Palace because of the local chittar sandstone used. The Palace was
completed in 16 years - no wonder, then with its 347 rooms, its is
one of the largest private residencess in the world. 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. A portion of the palace has been converted
into a hotel, the other remains on view to visitors in form of excellent
museum which houses model airplanes, weapons, antique clocks and bob
watches, priceless crockery, and hunting trophies. Both sections retain
the ambience of royal splendor .
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.
Balsamand Lake & Palace is an artificial lake/water body
that is the source of freshwater for theregion. A mere 7 km from the
main city, it is a picturesque picnic spot with summer palaces along
the embankment and a bird sanctuary. Both Bal Samand and Sardar Samand
have top quality accommodation for overnight stopovers or for those
who like to stay away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Mandore, the former capital of Marwar lies 8 km southwest,
a true oasis in the desert, with its greenery and pretty gardens.
The ancient capital has cenotaphs of Jodhpur rulers. The main attraction
here is the ‘Hall Of Heroes’, where you see sixteen huge figures of
popular Hindu and folk deities carved out of single rock.
Guda Bishnoi are the picturesque villages of the Bishnoi community,
25 km from the city limits. The Bishnois are great conservationists,
who believe staunchly in the sanctity of animal and plant life and
renowned for nurturing and protecting local flora and fauna. The Bishnois
will protect wildlife at the cost of their own lives, if necessary.
As a result, herds of blackbuck and chinkara roam freely. Go there
for an interesting insight into the traditional ways of rural India
and meet some true conservationists.
Sardar Samand Lake and Palace is the former hunting lodge and
summer getaway of the erstwhile ruling family of Jodhpur. Little Rajasthani
villages and hamlets, drying fields of red chilli peppers and herds
of black buck and chinkaras enliven the 55 km drive.
Osian - The ancient town of Thar desert an archaeologists delight
surrounded by Golden sand dunes, a drive to ancient township takes
one past undualting terrain, punctuated by desert stretches and little
hamlets. it has sixteen Brahamanical and Jain temples beautifully
sculpted and designed. Of thse the most outstanding ones are the earlier
surya or sun temple and later Kali temple, Sachiya Mata temple and
main Jain temple dedicated to Lord Mahavira.
Rohetgarh - 40 km from Jodhpur, this 16th century Champawat
fort has been renovated & converted into a premium heritage hotel.
It houses some of the finest Persian carpets as well as some dazzling
chandeliers dangling from ceilings, with the interiors having an impeccable
collection of local arms, paintings & other hunting trophies.
Khimsar - Perched on the edge of the great Thar desert in the
heart of rural India lies this unique 16 th century fort that offers
experience after exhilarating experience. The battle- scarred walls
& turrets remind of the glorious past. Hundred of years histort
folds as you glance at its battle - scared walls and stroll down ramparts.
A true rarity of any desert in the world. Pecocks, Parrots and as
many 46 species of bird greet you to add to the charm and splendor
of this ancient Fort.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
Marwar Festival - July/Aug., This two day long colourful extravaganza
celebrating the Maand style of folk music brings out the romantic
lifestyles of Rajasthan's rulers. Folk artists performing under the
full moon bring alive the legends and the folkores of the area.