Set in the stark landscape of Thar Desert, Jodhpur was the capital of the kingdom known as Marwar and is now a popular tourist destination featuring many palaces, forts and temples. The city also known as the “Sun City”, owing to the sunny weather it is bestowed with throughout the year, was bounded initially by a wall with several gates. However, now the city has expanded significantly outside the wall over the past years.
01. Mehrangarh Fort:
One of the largest forts in India, Mehrangarh Fort was built in 1460 by Rao Jodha and is situated at 410 feet above the city enclosed by magnificent thick walls. Inside the boundaries there are a number of palaces known for their elaborate carvings and expansive courtyards.
Many Palaces and features were added to the fort over the span of 500 years, thus it is a splendid combination of different eras of architecture right up to the 20th Century.The majestic fort, perched on a vertical cliff which is 400 m high is guarded by the walls of Mehrangarh, which are up to 36m high and 21m wide protecting some of the most historic places of Rajasthan.
The courtyard palaces are the main attraction inside the fort – Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal just to name a few reflecting typical Hindu Architectural forms. Jharokha, or the “hanging balconies” add a distinctive aura to the overall aesthetics. Arched windows, intricate detailing, floral motifs and geometric jails add to the royalty.
The majestic exteriors of the palace house the most beautiful interiors displaying intricate work and the gallery display colors of Marwar-Jodhpur.
The Turban Gallery in the Mehrangarh Museum seeks to protect, document and exhibit the numerous diverse types of turbans once customary in Rajasthan.
02. Umaid Bhawan Palace:
Umaid Bhawan Palace is the world’s largest private residences and now a part of the palace is managed by Taj Hotels. Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, who is the grandfather of the present owner, Gaj Singh, this palace has 347 rooms and serves as the principal residence of the erstwhile royal family of Jodhpur. Umaid Bhawan Palace recently was awarded as the world’s best hotel at the Traveler’s Choice Award by TripAdvisor.
The entire palace, spread across an area of 26 acres that includes 15 acres of well tended gardens is built of sandstone and marble. The palace, outstanding in its prolific magnitude, consists of a throne chamber, an elite secretive conference hall, a Durbar Hall to meet the public, an arched dinner hall, private dining halls, a ball-room, a library, an indoor swimming pool, a billiards room, four tennis courts, two unique marble squash courts and long passages.
03. Jaswant Thada:
The Jaswant Thada is a cenotaph situated in Jodhpur in the state of Rajasthan. It was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur State in 1899 in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, and serves as the cremation ground for the royal family of Marwar.
The burial chamber is built out of intricately engraved sheets of marble. These sheets are particularly thin and elegant and they emit a warm glow when illuminated by the sun. The cenotaph’s grounds feature carved gazebos, a tiered garden, and a little lake.
04. Toor Ji ka Jhalra:
Built in 1740s, this remarkable structure was of late excavated and restored. Its unsoiled lines and clear, fish-filled water will leave you mesmerized. It serves as a great place to relax especially with the cafes opening adjoining to the Toor ji ka Jhalra. Jodhpur has more than 100 step wells, some still hidden away in its many tapered alleys.