(The Sun City)
Jodhpur is known for its hot and sunny weather. The picture-perfect dunes and the boundless sea-of-sand work like a mirage for the tourists across the world. Jodhpur still flaunts its royal legacy even after so many years of the independence. It has been a part of one of the biggest kingdoms of Rajasthan, i.e., Marwar. Not many people know that Jodhpur is famous as the Blue City, due to the color of houses in the old city. This town has been a matter of interest for both the Foreign and Indian filmmakers. Being the second largest city of Rajasthan, Jodhpur manifests a rich heritage culture to the visitors.
This mesmerizing city was founded by a Rajput Chief, Rao Jodha, in 1459, and apparently, was named after him. He also conquered the nearby regions and established the princely state of Marwar. Jodhpur served as the capital of this state for years after Mandore (the first capital). The last ruler of Jodhpur, Hanwant Singh, didn’t want to join India after the partition, but Sardar Patel convinced him to accept it. According to the legends, the original inhibitors of Jodhpur were Abhiras or Ahirs. When Aryans came to the land of India, they started to dwell here too. It has also been a part of the Gurjar Empire. Jodhpur got developed as a modern city in the reign of Maharaja Umaid Singh.
PLACES TO VISIT:
Jodhpur, being the unique blend of the modernity and traditionality, comprises of many heritage places, forts, and monuments.
- Mehrangarh Fort – Rao Jodha made the famous fort of Jodhpur in 1460. One of the largest forts of India, Mehrangarh is situated at the height of 125 meters. The fort houses multiple palaces like Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, and Moti Mahal that flaunt the amazing carvings and architecture.
- Umaid Bhawan Palace – Founded by King Umaid Singh in 1960, Umaid Palace is a great piece of Indo-Saracenic architecture. This palace is one of the largest residential places of the world. Using the stones of Chittar Hill that gave it the name ‘Chittar Palace’ made it. Later, it was renovated as a heritage hotel. It also has a museum that displays the belongings of the royal family.
- Chamunda Mata Temple – Rao Jodha was a great devotee of Chamunda Mata. He brought the idol of the goddess from Mandore and established this temple near Mehrangarh Fort. Since then, she is the tutelary deity of the royal family of Jodhpur.
- Balsamand Lake – This tranquil lake is situated on Jodhpur-Mandore Road. Gurjara-Pratihara rulers made it in 1159 AD, to serve as a water reservoir. If you are on a family trip, then it is a great picnic spot for you. Amidst the lake, there is a beautiful palace that inherited its name from the lake itself. However, it has been converted to a heritage hotel now.
- Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park – This ecologically restored desert park has around 250 species of native plants and over 200 species of birds. This arid park showcases various sandstone formations and volcanic rocks. You can also visit the gallery and a tiny cafe here.
- Machiya Safari Park – Famous for its exclusive bird watching point, Machiya Safari Park is at a distance of 1 km from Kaylana Lake. If you love the wildlife, then it is probably the best place for you. There is also a small fort that is the perfect point for capturing the sunset.
- Guda Bishnoi Village –This Bishnoi village is a pleasure for nature-lovers. With a serene artificial lake, the presence of migratory birds and Khejri trees will make your visit worth. You can also enjoy camel safari and village safari here.
- Jaswant Thada
- Rai ka Bagh Palace
- Masuria Hills
- Kaylana Lake
- Ghanta Ghar (The Clock Tower)
- Jodhpur Government Museum
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS:
- Marwar Festival – Originally named as ‘Maand Festival’, it is organized in October. The celebration of Sharad Purnima runs for two days during this fete. Folk music and dances are also presented along with the camel tattoo show and the game of Polo. Other attractions are camel tatoo show and polo. The venues are the impressive Umaid Bhavan Palace, Mandore and the Mehrangarh fort.
- International Desert Kite Festival – Started a few years back, this international festival invites the best kite flyers across the world. This 3-day gala is organized on Makar Sankranti, i.e., 14th of January. You get to see the expert kite flying skills with the utmost excitement in the crowd.
- Baba Ramdev Pir Mela – This fair is held at the temple situated at Masuria Hills. All the devotees gather here to show their faith in Baba Ramdev. Organized between August and September, Pir Mela harbors a huge gathering.
- The first thing on your to-do list should be to devour some of the lip-smacking Marwari delicacies like Mirchi Bada, Dal Bati Churma, Pyaaz ki Kachori, Mawa ki Kachori, etc.
- If you are a shopaholic, then you must visit the local markets of Girdikot and Sadar market. You can shop for Rajasthani handicrafts, textiles, and silver jewelry in these markets. Or, you can go to the Station Road for leather pieces, and Mochi Bazar to get the lac bangles.
- While in Jodhpur, you can’t miss having a camel safari. It will give you the real feel of being in the desert.
- For the artistic people, there is a Folk Art Museum offering folk dance, music, & stage art.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Being a part of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur has extreme temperature settings. The best time to visit is between October and March when the days are not hot, but the nights are cool. The rain conditions vary in this district with the average rainfall of 450 mm. Summer is not the apt season to visit as the temperature usually rises more than 40°C during this time. In the Monsoon season, clouds may hamper the temperature and give relief from the intolerable heat.
HOW TO REACH:
- By Air – Jodhpur Airport is connected to the major cities of India like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Udaipur, etc. You can also get some connecting flights to reach Jodhpur if you are coming from other cities.
- By Rail – Jodhpur is linked by railways to various big cities viz Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, Jaipur, Alwar, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, and others. The luxury trains like ‘Royal Rajasthan’ and ‘Palace on Wheels’ are also there to give you a regal experience while traveling to Jodhpur.
- By Road – A number of state and national highways connect Jodhpur to the major cities of Rajasthan and other states. The nearest places from this city are Jaipur (335.3 kms), New Delhi (558.3 kms), Udaipur (259 kms), and Ahmedabad (453 kms).