Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jodhpur

Jodhpur is the second biggest city in Rajasthan. It is about 335 km west of Jaipur, the capital city. Since it lies on the geographic centre of the state, it has emerged as an important tourist transit base.

This city is often referred to as the ‘Gateway to Thar’ because it is located right on the border of the Thar Desert.  It is also popularly called the ‘Sun City’ because it experiences bright and sunny days throughout the year. Another name for this city is ‘Blue City’ because the houses around the Mehrangarh Fort are all painted blue.

History of Jodhpur :
The history of this place dates back to the time when the Rathores were forced by the Afghans to leave Kaunaj, which was their original homeland. They settled in Pali, which is located close to present day Jodhpur.

Rathore Siahaji tied the knot with the sister of a local prince, which added to the power and strength of the Rathore Clan.  After some time, they succeeded in driving the Pratiharas out of Mandore, which is located at a distance of about 9 km from present day Jodhpur, and made it their capital city.

However, after some time, they felt that they required a secure capital. As a result, Jodhpur was formed by Rao Jodha, the chief of the Rathore clan, in 1459, to serve as a capital city and the city was also named in his honour. Earlier this place was known as Marwar.

The Rathores shared healthy relations with all the Mughal kings, except Aurangzeb. After Aurangzeb's death, the Mughals were driven out from Ajmer by Maharaja Ajit Singh and it was made a part of Marwar (present day Jodhpur). Jodhpur started developing into a modern city under the rule of Maharaja Umed Singh. It further prospered under the British rule.

People & Culture of Jodhpur
The city of Jodhpur has lent its name to a type of trousers. Jodhpurs, as they are called, are loose around the thigh and tight at the calf and are mainly designed for horseback riding and playing polo. Invented in 1887 for use by Sir Pratap Singh, it caught the fancy of the British aristocracy and soon became popular.
The forts, palaces and havelis of the city are complemented by the various vibrant fairs and festivals that draw a large number of people. Some of the popular events of Jodhpur are Marwar Festival, Jodhpur International Desert Kite Festival, Nagaur Fair etc.
  
Tourist Place in Jodhpur:

MEHRANGARH FORT :
Crowning a perpendicular cliff, the fort was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 A.D., when he shifted his capital from Mandore. Standing sentinel to the city below, it overlook the rugged and rocky terrain and houses a palace intricately adorned with long carved panels and latticed windows exquisitely wrought from red sandstone. Carved panels and porches, elaborately adorned windows and walls of Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal, Sheesh mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana, seem to make the medieval splendour come alive. A collection of palanquins, hawdas, royal cradles, miniature paintings of various schools, folk music, instruments, costumes, furniture and an impressive armoury.


JASWANT THADA
Build in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh ll in 1899, the imposing white marble memorial marks the site of royal crematorium. It houses portraits of successive rulers. The four cenotaphs around here commemorate notable acts of bravery and generosity of the four successive rulers.

UMAID BHAWAN PALACE
The only palace builds in the 20th century, as a famine relief project which gave employment to the people for 16 years. Build by Maharaja Umaid singh and named after him, this exquisite palace is also known as Chittar Palace, because of the local chittar sandstone used. It is a splendid example of Indo-colonial art and deco style of the 30s.A unique feature of this palace is that the hand-chiselled sandstone blocks have been put together in a special system of interlocking; there is no mortar binding.



OSIAN TEMPLE
A great centre of Brahmancial and Jain religions. The temples here belong to two periods ? an early period represented by nearly 12 temples and later period of 6 temples. The Jain Mahavir Temple is unique among the Osian temples, with the vaulted design of its hall-celling. The main Sachiya Mata Temple appears to be made in 1178 AD and has a shikhar clustered by two rows of turrets, an ambulatory and large assembly hall with an elaborate ceiling.

PALETTE ART GALLERY
A contempralely art gallery of its only kind in Jodhpur. The gallery have collection of different kind of art from all over the country, right through miniatures painting, wood craft, ceramic, iron and many more. In one sentence ?See to believe?.

Things to do in Jodhpur:
The ‘Blue City’, as Jodhpur is known, is famous for its palaces, havelis, forts and museums. Some of the places to visit in Jodhpur include Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Rai ka Baag Palace, Balsammand Lake and Kaylana Lake. Umed Garden and Nehru Park also attract a large number of people.

Food & Shopping in Jodhpur:
Jodhpur is not only popular because of its palaces, forts and temples, but also because of its handicrafts, folk dances and folk music. The tie and  dye textiles, lacquer ware, embroidered leather shoes, antiques, puppets, carpets, Rajasthani textiles, miniature camels and elephants, clay figurines, marble inlay work and classic silver jewellery found in Jodhpur are popular worldwide. Popular bazaars in Jodhpur include Mochi Bazaar, Sardar Market, Tripolia Bazaar, the market near the Clock Tower as well as the Station Road.

Also, no trip to Jodhpur is complete without tasting its local delicacies. Snacks like kachoris and the world renowned dal baati is a must-try. Other local specialities include mirchi bada, makhania lassi, Jodhpuri maas, gatte ka saag etc.
  
How To Reach :
By Air: The Jodhpur Airport is 5 km from the city center. Regular flight services connect the city with other major cities in and around Rajasthan. There are daily flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur and Jaipur.

By Train: Jodhpur is well connected by railway lines. Trains to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata are easily available. The 'Palace on Wheels' also visits this city of royal splendor.

By Road: Another convenient mode of transportation to Jodhpur is by road. The main highway between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer is via Agoli and Pokaran. The highway is well connected with Agra, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur by bus.

Local Transport: Means of transport in Jodhpur include Taxis, Auto-rickshaws and Tongas. Taxi stand is near the


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