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JODHPUR

Amidst the sand dunes and thorny vegetation of Thar desert towers a fort, 120 meters above the plain. The fort over looks the imperial city of Jodhpur which is part of the Desert Tourist Triangle. The old Jodhpur city is surrounded by a 10 Km long wall with eight gates serving as entrances. The new city is settled around this walled area. The Maruthal or land of death , came into life when the Rathores' of Kanauj moved in. But the city of Jodhpur was founded by Rao Jodhaji in 1459. This city was on the silk route of the 16th century and hence was host to a number of travellers.

In Jodhpur, the genuis of its sculptors comes to life in its exquisite palaces, forts, temples and havelis which stand as a testimony to the imperial grandeur. The most alluring part of Jodhpur is the traditional lifestyle, festivity and the smiling people who treasure this former Princely state.

The Afghans drove the Rathores out of their original homeland Kaunaj and they fled to this region around Pali a short distance from present day Jodhpur. A manoeuvre lead to marriage between Rathore Siahaji and the sister of a local prince that helped the Rathores to establish and strengthen themselves in this region. In fact they flourished so well that managed to oust the Pratiharas of Mandore, just 9 km of present day Jodhpur. By 1459 a need for more secured capital lead to the founding of Meherangarh Fort on its  rocky perch and Jodhpur was thus founded by Rao Jodha.  The Rathores enjoyed good relations with the Mughals and Maharaja Jaswant Singh (1678) supported Shah Jahan in the latter's struggle for war of succession. Only problematic relationship they had was with Aurangzeb. After Auranzeb's death Maharaja Ajit Singh drove out Mughals from Ajmer and added it  to Marwar.  

In the reign of Maharaja Umed Singh Jodhpur grew into a fine modern city.
The quintessence of Jodhpur was its valour and equestrian skill. Polo has been the traditional sport of the Jodhpur nobility since medieval times

Jodhpur has two railway stations, City and Rai ka Bagh both are outside the walled city. The bus stand is right outside the Rai ka Bagh Station. The High Court is a while from the bus stand after the Umed Gardens, after which is located the tourist reception centre and RTDC Hotel Ghoomer. Ahead is the main market and entry in to the wall from Sojati Gate. This area also has many hotels. Jodhpur is also military and air force station and has a large cantonment and airbase.

SHOPPING:   The Sadar Market near the clock tower gives immense shopping pleasure to the local as well as the visitors. The colourful but hectic bazaar consists of many narrow lanes, lined with tiny shops. Look for the tie & dye textiles, embroidered leather shoes, lacquerware, antiques, carpets and puppets. Here one can buy exquisite Rajasthani textiles, clay figurines, miniature camels and elephants, marble inlay work and classic silver jewellery.

TRAVEL OPERATORS: 
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CLIMATE:   Jodhpur has extreme type of climate with temperature range variation being very high. Average rainfall is 32 cm annually. The best season to visit the city is between October and March.

GETTING THERE:   Jodhpur has its own Airport and so flight services are available. The city is also well connected by the railway lines and trains are available for other major cities in the country from here. The 'Palace on Wheels' also visits this city of Royal splendour. The state transport has bus services from other cities of the state and some services are interstate too.

FAIRS & FESTIVALS: The Marwar festival - Held in October, this festival brings alive the legend, folklore and romantic lifestyle of Rajasthan's rulers.

MAIN LANGUAGES: Rajasthani, Hindi & English

A WORD OF CAUTION: Beware of touts and make sure that you are not lost among the innumerable palaces in the forts and the colourful tradition.

NEAR BY CITIE(S):
Ajmer- 205 kms    Bikaner- 256 Kms    Jaisalmer- 285 Kms  Udaipur- 318 Kms

 

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