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Jodhpur :: City Information

Jodhpur - weather

Best Travel Duration

In Summer: 42.2 C (Max) - 27.3 C (Min)
In winter: 27.5 C (Max) - 9.5 C (Min)
Rainy Season from July to Mid Sept, and very humid (upto90%)

October to March

History of Jodhpur

The land area which is called jodhpur today was only a small portion of the grand marwar state before independence. Its borders touched Bikaner in the North, Jaipur in the North-East, Ajmer Mewara in the East , Sirohi and Palampur in the South cutting across the Thar of Sindh province and Rann of Kutch and Jaisalmer State in North-West. Before independence, its total area was as widespread as 35,016 sq. miles.

Hundreds of centuries ago, before this expansive desert came into existance, this area was a sea called Drumkulya. Epics have it that an arrow bound fire shot by Lord Rama burnt a large part of the sea and converted it into a desert. This desert was called Maru Mandal, Marudhar, Maruwar, Maru Desh and Marwar.

Hundreds of years later and after having undergone the ravages of several Kings and their battles, under the rule of king Rao Jodha of the Vikram Era (1510) , a city was slowly established around the fort constructed by King Rao Jodha. This fort was situated 6 miles south of Mandore on a mountain called Chidiyanath ki Tonk. This city came to be known as Jodhpur or Jodhana or Jodhaji Ki Dhani and was the capital of the Marwar state for five centuries. When Rao Jodha established the walled city , it had four gates.As time passed , the city became congested with increasing population and the boundaries continued to expand. Today that area is called Old City and has a 3 to 8 ft. wide and 15 to 30 ft. high wall around it in the shape of a horse shoe. This wall has six big gates called Chand Pol , Nagauri Gate, Merti Gate , Sojati Gate, Siwanchi Gate and Jalori Gate. These gates earlier had iron sheets fixed with nails.

The foundation of a beautiful palace on the Chittar Hills , now called Umed Palace, was laid by the then Raja Umed Singh on 18th November ,1929. During his reign the biggest hospital in Marwar was made in Jodhpur, with expenditure of 15 lacs , 80 thousand rupees, which is now known as Mahatma Gandhi hospital. On 10th May 1933, Marwar was officially renamed as Jodhpur state. On 15th August 1947, India attained independence. Maharaja Hanuwant Singh , who had succeeded Umed Singh, attended the function wearing a black turban.He said, " Today five hundred years old reign of my family has come to an end , so I am, mourning." Thus seven hundred years old Marwar state first merged with Indian Union , and then into Rajasthan.

 

History of Jodhpur

The district of Jodhpur was known as the ancient kingdom of Marwar the land of Death, the largest kingdom in Rajputana and the third largest of the Indian Kingdoms, after Kashmir and Hyderabad. Jodhpur, former capital of Marwar state, retains much of its medieval character. Beginning in 1549, when the city was called Jodhgarh, the Rathor clan of Rajputs fought and ruled from the virtually impregnable fort until their territory covered some 35,000 sq. miles making it the largest Rajput state.

According to Rathor tradition, the clan traces its origins back to the Hindu god, Rama, hero of the epic Ramayana, and thence to the sun. So the Rathors belong to the Suryavansha (solar race) branch of the Kshatriyas, the warrior caste of Hindus. Later, breaking into historical reality, in 470 A.D. Nayal Pal conquered the kingdom of Kanauj, near modern Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The Rathor capital for seven centuries, Kanauj fell in 1193 to the Afghan invader's led by Muhammad Ghori.

The fleeing ruler, Jai Chand, drowned in the Ganga. But his son or grandson, Siyaji, had better luck. An expedient marriage alliance between the Rathore Sihaji and the sister of a local prince enabled the Rathores to consolidate themselves in this region. In fact, they prospered to such a degree that they managed to oust the Pratiharas of Mandore, nine km to the north of present day Jodhpur.He later set himself up as an independent ruler around the wealthy trading center of Pali, just south of Jodhpur. His descendants flourished, battled often, won often, and in 1381 Rao Chanda ousted the Parihars from Mandore which then became the Rathore seat of government.Rathore fortunes then turned. Rao Chanda's son and heir, Rainmal, won praise for his capture of Ajmer and was then entrusted with the care of his orphaned nephew, destined to inherit the Mewar throne of Chittor.

Rainmal may well have had his eyes on this fine, hilltop fort. But court intrigue and treachery stopped him. In 1438 he was doped with opium, and finally shot dead. This triggered bitter feuds, ending with Mewar and Marwar becoming separate states.Rathor legend continues in various versions. One is that Jodha, one of Rainmal's 24 sons, fled Chittor and finally, 15 years later, recaptured Mandore in 1453. Five years later he was acknowledged as ruler. A holy man sensibly advised him to move his capital to hilltop safety.

By 1459, it became evident that a more secure headquarters was required. The high rocky ridge nine km to the south of Mandore was an obvious choice for the new city of Jodhpur, with the natural enhanced by a fortress of staggering proportions, and to which Rao Jodha's successors added over the centuries.

MEWAR AND THE MUGHULS. Rao Ganga Singh of Jodhpur (reigned 1516-32) fought alongside the army of the great warrior king of Mewar, Rana Sanga, against the first Mughal emperor, Babur.But over the next half century or so, the rulers of Jodhpur allied themselves with Babur's grandson, Akbar. Several rulers of Jodhpur became trusted lieutenants of the Mughals, such as Raja Surender, who conquered Gujarat and much of the Deccan for Akbar, and Raja Gaj Singh, who put down the rebellion of the Mughal prince, Khurram, against his father, Jahangir. With the support of the Mughals, the court of Jodhpur flourished and the kingdom became a great center of the arts and culture. In the 17th century Jodhpur became a flourishing center of trade for the camel caravans moving from Central Asia to the parts of Gujarat and vice versa. In 1657, however, Maharaja Jaswant Singh (reigned 1638-78) backed the wrong prince in the great war of succession to the Mughal throne. He was in power for almost twenty-five years with Aurangzeb before he was sent out to the frontier as viceroy in Afghanistan. Aurangzeb then tried to seize his infant son, but loyal retainers smuggled the little prince out of his clutches, hidden, they say, in a basket of sweets.

Political Strife: The kingdom of Jodhpur then formed a triple alliance with Udaipur and Jaipur, which together threw off the Mughal yoke. As a result,the maharajas of Jodhpur finally regained the privilege of marrying Udaipur princesses something they had forfeited when they had allied themselves with the Mughals. A condition of these marriages, however, was that the sons born of the Udaipur princesses would be first in line to the Jodhpur throne. This soon led to considerable.jealousy. Nearly a century of turmoil followed, culminating in Jodhpur falling under the influence of, first, the Marathas, and then, in 1818, the British. The state of affairs was such that a young Rathor prince, when asked ,where Jodhpur was, simply pointed to the sheath of his 'dagger and said, "Inside here".

SIR PRATAP SINGH. : In the 1870's, a remarkable man came to the fore in Jodhpur: Sir Pratap Singh (left) .A son of Maharaja of Jodhpur, he himself ruled a neighboring kingdom called Idar, abdicated to become Regent of Jodhpur, which he ruled, in effect, for nearly fifty years. Sir Pratap Singh was a great warrior and the epitome of Rajput chivalry. He became an intimate friend of three British sovereigns. At Queen Victoria's durbar he is said to have presented her not with mere jewels, like everyone else, but with his own sword, his most valuable possession as aRajput warrior. Sir Pratap Singh laid the foundation of a modern state in Jodhpur, which Maharaja Umaid Singh (reigned 1918-47) built upon. The of Jodhpur was not merely the largest of the Rajput states, but also one of the most progressive. In 1949, after the independence of India, it was merged into the newly created state of Rajasthan.

Fairs & Festivals of Jodhpur

Marwar Festival

About the Fair

Held in October in Jodhpur, this annual event attempts to showcase the art and culture of the Jodhpur region. It is devoted almost exclusively to songs and dance, and the Maand Festival has become a part of this huge regional celebration.

Activities

The massive Mehangarh fort and the impresive Umaid Bhawan Palace which are symbols of might and valour of the Rajputs, make Jodhpur an ideal location for the festival. It was originally known as the 'Maand Festival', a classical style of folk music centred on the romantic lifestyle of Rajasthan's rulers. The festival is held for two days during the full moon of Sharad Purnima.

The Marwar festival displays the music and dance of the Marwar region. The spirited folk dancers gathered here, perform with zest and entertain the audience with Rajasthani folklore. These folk artistes bring to life the myth and legends of the area and sing songs in memory of the brave heroes.

Other attractions of the festival include horse riding and horse polo. Various other competitions are also held during the festival.

Places to Visit at Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort

Description: Mehrangarh Fort

The 5 km long majestic fort on a 125 metre high hill is one of the most impressive and formidable structures. Although invincible from the outside, the fort has four gates approached by a winding road. Within the fort are some magnificent palaces with marvelously carved panels, latticed windows and evocative names. Not worthy of 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 a superb collection of palanquins, elephant hawdahs, miniature paintings of various schools, musical instruments, costumes and furniture.

Jaswant Thada

Description: Jaswant Thada

Cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in 1899 A.D. in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Within the main cenotaph are the portraits of various Jodhpur rulers.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

Description: Umaid Bhawan Palace

The only 20th century palace built under the famine relief project that gave employment to famine struck population. The palace was completed in 16 years. This opulent edifice in sandstone is still the residence of the former rulers with a part of it running as hotel and remaining part as a museum.

By Air:

 

Jodhpur has its own airport that links it with major tourist destinations of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur and Jaipur.

By Rail:

 

The railway network connects Jodhpur with Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Lucknow.

By Road:

 

Jodhpur can be easily reached by road as well. There are well-maintained roads linking it to tourism destinations like Delhi (597 km), Udaipur (260 km) and Jaipur (336 km).