Jodhpur, the second largest town in the state of Rajasthan was founded by Rathore ruler Maharaja Rao Jodha in 1459 CE. Jodhpur has been the capital of the erstwhile princely state of Marwar. Jodhpur in Thar Desert has very rich royal legacy of Rathore rulers and is also known a Blue City or Sun City.
The city is spread around the mighty Mehrangarh Fort and is bounded by a wall with several gates. Today’s Jodhpur rises proud with its mythical past as a part of the silk trade route with beautiful palaces ,havelis, buzzing markets yet wrapping everything around to very essence of Thar Desert.
Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan is one of the largest forts in India. Built in 1459 by Maharaja Rao Jodha , the fort is set atop a hill 125 meter above the city level is surrounded by an impressive thick wall. The fort complex has many palaces with intricate carving on stone and expansive courtyards. The museum in the Mehrangarh fort is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan and exhibits heritage of the Rathores in arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period. While the views of the city from the fort are mesmerizing , the desert also seems to be lost in horizons.
Jaswant Thada is the cenotaph in Jodhpur built in 1899 in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and serves as cremation ground for the royal family of Marwar or Jodhpur. The cenotaph is built out of intricately carved sheets of white marble. These extremely thin sheets have been polished so that they reflect the glow when illuminated by the Sun.
Umaid Bhawn Palace in Jodhpur is one of the largest private residences in the world. Designed by a British architect and constructed in impeccable Art Deco Style between 1929 and 1943 , is also one of the most majestic , elegant and luxurious . The palace was constructed for Maharaja Umaid Singhji , grand father of present Maharaja Gaj Singh Ji of Jodhpur has been inhabited by royal family of Jodhpur. Today, a part of the Umaid Bhawan Palace is the private residence of Maharaja of Jodhpur, another part is a museum and rest is a super luxury hotel managed by Taj Group of Hotels. .Recently, Umaid Bhawan Palace was awarded as the World’s best hotel at the Traveller’s Choice Award.
Clock Tower and Sardar Market in old city of Jodhpur is the central market having shops selling grains to handicrafts of Rajasthani patch and mirror work. Clock Tower in the center of the market was constructed by Maharaja Sardar Singh in 19th century. A walk through the market is to immerse yourself in the authentic market of India.