Friday, March 1, 2024



 Jodhpur, the second largest city of Rajasthan, situated on the fringe of the Thar desert was once the capital of the Marwar state. It was founded in 1459 A.D. by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - hero of the epic 'Ramayana'. It has 9 kms in circumference wall which keeps out the desert sands.  The great fort, temples and palaces are the main attraction of the tourists.


Mehrangarh Fort 

Mhrangarh', meaning the Majestic Fort is one of the largest forts in India. Located at the centre of the citythe fort spreads over 5km atop a 125m high hill. The magnificent fort was originally started by Rao Jodha in 1459, but most of the fort which stands today dates from the period of  Jaswant Singh (1638-78). The fort with walls up to 36m high and 21m wide houses some of the most intricately adorned palaces with exquisitely carved panels, latticed windows and brilliant stained glass. There are three gates, (originally seven) each built to commemorate a particular victory.  Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana are some of the important palaces and apartments. The fort museum, in a series of palaces has a collection of palanquins, howdahs,  royal cradles,  miniatures, musical instruments, costumes and furniture. The canons, placed  strategically on the ramparts are well preserved and impressive. We get an excellent view of the city from the ramparts of the Fort.
Open daily 9am to 1pm and 2 -5pm. Click here to know more 
Entry fee -Rs.50

Jaswant Thada

A collection of royal crematorium including that of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, in white marble, is situated near to Mehrangarh fort. Built in 1899, the cenotaph also houses the portraits of the rulers of Jodhpur. There is some beautiful marble lattice work.
It opens daily from 0800 to 1800.  Entry - free.

Umaid Bhavan Palace & Museum

Built by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1929 and completed in 1943, this exquisite palace also known as Chhittar Palace is a splendid example of Indo-Colonial art deco style of 30s. The palace designed by HV Lanchester was originally started as a famine relief project which gave employment to more than 3000 people, for 16 years. Part of this magnificent sand stone and marble palace containing over 300 rooms have been converted into a  museum, deluxe hotel and a royal residence. The  architecture makes this palace  unique  in the state. The building was constructed without using  cement. It is made of interlocking blocks of sandstone.  The central dome of the palace is 183 feet high. It has its own theatre, eight dining rooms, banquet hall and a Ball room. The museum inside the palace displays weapons, antique-clocks, crockery and hunting trophies belonging to the Maharaja. It has a collection of miniature paintings, crafts and royal finery. The royal family still occupies part of it. Museum opens from 9am to 5pm.

Girdikot and Sardar Market

These colourful markets are located in the heart of Jodhpur. Narrow alleys lead to quaint little shops selling textiles, antiques, silverware and a wide range of handicrafts. Nearby is the clock tower which is a prominent landmark.

Government Museum

Located in the Umaid Public gardens this museum has a collection of weapons, textiles, miniature portraits, local crafts and images of Jain Tirthankars. There is also a library and a zoo.

Village Safaris

It has become a popular tourist attraction. Many agencies are offering a trip by jeep to the surrounding villages to see the local way of life. Settlements of the Bishnoi Tribal Community who are famous for their reverence for plant and animal life can be seen in the villages. These trips offer good opportunity to buy rugs and handicrafts. Visitors are shown how villagers make dhurries and can try making pots, grinding grain and firing slingshots.

Places Around Jodhpur


The temple located 2km north-east of the city on the Mandore Road,  is an architectural splendour built in 1812, supported by 84 carved pillars ornamented with detailed designs.

Balsamund Lake and Palace

Located 7kms from Jodhpur is the Balsamund Lake surrounded by garden built in 1159.A European style palace constructed in 1936, looms over the lake. Although its internal structures are in a European style, it has entirely traditional and beautifully carved red sand stone facade. The lake a popular excursion spot has been converted into a public park and bird sanctuary. The Balsamund Palace offers comfortable accommodation in a peaceful surrounding.

Mandore Gardens

Mandore, the ancient capital of Marwar lies 8 kms north of Jodhpur. The extensive gardens is beautifully laid with high rock terraces. Garden is open to visitors daily from sunrise to sunset. The 'Hall of Heroes' here contains 16 gigantic figures carved out of a single rock wall. The vividly painted figures represent Hindu and folk deities or local heroes on horseback. This garden also had a small museum. It houses the royal cenotaphs of the Maharajas, of which the temple shaped memorial of Maharaja Ajit Singh is the largest and the finest.  The sculptures from 5th to 9th century, ivory and lacquer work are displayed here. The Shrine of 33 Crore Gods painted with figures of gods, spirits and divinities is also worth seeing. The museum opens from 1000 to 1600, Saturday to Thursday and Friday is a holiday.


The ancient town of Osian situated 65km from Jodhpur is an archaeologists delight. The 16 Brahmanical and Jain temples belonging to 8th and the 11th century are beautifully sculpted and designed. The largest and the best preserved among them are the Mahavir Jain temple dedicated to Mahavira, the last of the Jain Thirthankars and Sachchiya Mata temple (11th-12th Century dedicated to Goddess Durga). The early 8th century Surya temple with beautifully carved pillars has fascinating images of Durga, Surya and Ganesh. Once a great trading centre, Osian is now a desert oasis, home to numerous peacocks. 


A picturesque settlements of the Bishnoi Tribal Community- 40kms south of Jodhpur. Bishnois are famous for their reverence for plant and animal life. Rohetgarh, a peaceful heritage hotel here has a beautiful lake side environment. Jeeps, horse and camel safaris are organised.

Sardar Samand Lake and Palace

This lake about 65kms south east of Jodhpur attracts pelicans, flamingos, cranes, egrets and kingfishers. The palace formerly the Maharaja of Jodhpur's summer palace has now been converted into a hotel. On the route to this wildlife centre, Rajasthani village life and vibrant cultural colours can be seen.

Courtesy for Pictures
Konstantin Novakovic

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