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Jodhpur Travel Guide
A valiant sentinel in the desert, on the eastern fringe of the Thar desert has the distinction of neither being a part of the Thar desert nor out of it.
At best it is a doorway to the wonderland of sand dunes and shrubs, rocky terrain and thorny trees. The home of the Rathroes - the awesome princely state of Rajasthan. They conquered Marwar or Maroodesh, land of the sand after the fall of Delhi and Kannauj.
In 1459 AD, Rao Jodha, chief of Rathore clan of Rajputs, who claimed descent from Rama, the epic here of the Ramayana, laid the foundation of Jodhpur. A high stone wall protects the well-fortified city. The wall is nearly 10km in length and has eight gates facing various directions.
Within, stands an imposing fort on a low range of sandstone hills, about 125m above the surrounding plains. Invincible! And dauntless in its league with time! The city lies at the foot of the hills. The clear distinction between the old and the new city is visible from the ramparts of the fort.
On the other side of the city, facing the fort is the Umaid Bhawan Palace. One of the most spacious, sprawling and well-planned palaces in India. And from here, as you look at fort, a tantalizing view rises before your eyes at sunset.
The peculiar slant of the sunset lends the desert landscape an awe-inspiring glow and the people, a chivalry undaunted.
This bustling desert city is the second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur and has landscape dominated by the massive Meherangarh Fort topping a sheer rocky ridge.
The old city is fenced by 10 km long wall with eight Gates leading out of it. The new city is outside the walled city. Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, founded the city in 1459 and it is named after him.
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.