An outstanding warrior and chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs, Rao Jodha between 1415 -1488 AD occupies a Special place in the annals of Rajput history. After his crowning in 1458 AD at Mandore, he laid the foundation of new city to the south and named it as Jodhpur. An organized strategy was made on the east-West trading route between central Asia and China. Jodhpur is a city with numerous rampart and tower and is the second largest city of Rajasthan.
The boundary of the empire and son’s kingdom was extended after the death of Rao Jodha in 1488 AD. The extension was from the Aravalis in the south to Hissar in the north, brushing the borders of Jaisalmer in the west. Jodhpur is one of the beautiful cities of Rajasthan. This region was earlier known as Marwar also have Bikaner and Jaisalmer as part of the desert Triangle. It is fascinating that it originally belonged to the Rathore of Kanauj (now in modern Uttar Pradesh) who shifted after the city was dismissed by Mohammed Ghori in 1193 AD.
The Rathore’s kept on shifting capitals until Rao Jodha. They claimed to be a descendent of Lord Rama- the God King Founded Jodhpur in 1459 AD. He also built the massive Mehrangarh Fort which crowns a hilltop and is the main attraction as it can be seen from many parts of the city. One of the Rao Jodha’s sons, named Rao Bika established his own kingdom known as bikaner. A distinguished warrior Rao Ganga Singh of Jodhpur (1516-32 AD) collaborated with Rana Sanga of Mewar to fight Babar-the Founder of the Mugal dynasty.
Akbar the great is very famous in history as he was finally successful in winning over the rulers of Jodhpur, who became trusted lieutenants of the Mughal emperors. Later Jodhpur became a renowned centre of art, craft and culture under the Mughal influence. Jodhpur for the some short period came under the influence of the Maratha’s and finally fell into the hands of the British in 1818 AD.
WHAT TO VISIT:
GIRDIKOT AND SARDAR MARKET: Sparkling with activity in the colorful bazaar, near the clock tower is the best-loved with shoppers. It has some narrow lanes dotted with tiny shops selling a range of exquisite Rajasthan textiles, antiques, handicrafts, clay figurines of camels and elephants, marble curios with inlay work and many more things.
GOVERNMENT MUSEUM: This museum snuggles amid Umaid Public Garden which houses a rich collection of exhibits miniature paintings, portraits of ruler’s manuscripts, amour, textiles, arts and crafts and images of Jain Tirthankaras. Umaid Public Garden also houses a zoo which is quite famous.
JASWAN THADA: This is the imposing cluster of white marble royal cenotaphs which was built in 1899AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. It houses many portraits of Successive ruler’s. The Four cenotaphs here honor notable acts of bravery and generosity of the four successive rulers.
MAHAMANDIR TEMPLE: Mahamandir means a great Temple which is a consecrate spot where tranquility reigns supreme. It is situated on Mandore road. This temple is a splendid architectural wonder which is supported by 84 pillars, decorated with detailed designs and figures depicting various postures of Yoga. The entire massive structure is marked by unique style.
MEHRANGARH FORT: This is a huge splendid fort which is set on a high hill and was built by Rao Jodha in 1459AD after shifting from Mandore. It is built high on rampart so the houses are built on the slope of rampart; it overlooks the rugged rocky terrain that houses a palace, built by red sandstone. The residence within the Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana show their own magic with grace and dignity. There is a varied collection of cradles, miniature paintings of various school, palanquins, howdah, royal folk music instruments, costumes, furniture and an impressive armory. The displays of cannons are on the ramparts which are near Chamunda temple.
ORIENTAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE: It is an fascinating Art Gallery established to explore, collect , preserve, edit and publish the ancient literature of Rajasthan.
SANGEET NATAK ACADEMY: This academy is a museum with very well known unique collection of musical instruments.
THE HERITAGE AIR FORCE MUSEUM: This museum is splendid, fascinating and a place which is definitely worth visiting.
UMAID BHAWAN PALACE: It was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh. It is named after him, this rich palace is also known as Chittar Palace because of the local Chittar sandstone used in its construction. It is a great example of Indo-Colonial art deco style of the 30’s. An amazing feature of this palace is that the hand-chiseled sandstone blocks have been combined together in a special system of interlocking there is no mortar binding which makes it look more attractive for tourists. A portion of this palace has been converted into a hostel and the remaining is for the tourists with an museum, which houses model of aero planes, antique weapons and armory, clocks and bob watches, priceless crockery and hunting trophies. Both sections retain the ambience of royal splendor.
DHAWA (DOLI) FOREST AREA: It is situated on the barmer road which have a teeming wildlife. Doli attracts people for an irresistible adventure. Black Indian antelopes of varied Species can be noticed here in large numbers roaming free and almost mingling with the Bishnoi Village.
KAILANA LAKE: It is located on Jaisalmer road. This is small artificial lake good for picnic spot. It is somewhat like a canvas with a splash of romantic colours. The glimpse taken here is never forgettable and will become a great memory. Boating facilities are also available through R.T.D.C.
MANDORE GARDEN: Mandore was the capital of Marvar before the foundation of Jodhpur by Rao Jodha. It is splendid with its extensive garden made of high rock terraces. The highlight of this place is from the “Hall of Heroes’” which houses sixteen massive figures chiseled out of a single rock. The statues are either of Popular Hindu deities or Famous folk deities.
The royal cenotaphs of Jodhpur rulers are built on a high plinth crowned with soaring steeple and ornate carving are amongst the other well known attractions of Mandore. The popular of all cenotaphs, are the ones that are built in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh and Maharaja Ajit Singh.
OSIAN: This is an ancient town of the Thar Desert which was a successful trading centre between the periods of 8th to 12th centuries. It is the spot with sixteen brahamanical and Jain temples beautifully chiseled and designed. Most of these have stood the onslaught of time.
The largest functional temples are Sachchiya Mata temple and Mahavir Jain temple. This medieval town is surrounded by rows of sand dunes on its western end. While in Osian tourist take a glimpse of lovely sunsets and enjoy camel rides in evening. An overnight stay at Nevera Village is comfortable and joyful with the people.
PHALODI – KHICHAN (135KM): A drive through the countryside 75Kms beyond Osian, escort you to Phalodi. This city is richly sculpted with havelis’ and temples. Nearby lays the villages of Khichan which is a regular host to the flocks of demoiselle cranes (locally Kurjan). They come in thousands of number due to the friendly conditions and protection is given by the villagers. Their duration of stay is about 5 to 6 months and after which they go back to their breeding grounds.
BAL SAMAND LAKE & GARDEN: It is about 7 kms away and comprises of a pretty lake with a pleasure or summer palace on its banks. It was constructed around the artificial lake constructed in 1159 A.D. The gardens which give a spectacular view were developed later.
GUDA BISHNOI (25 KM) : These are pristine kept villages by the Bishnoi community faithful believers for the sanctity of plant and animal life.