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Jodhpur Overview

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Summarise the city :
Architectural delight

Best time to visit (High & peak months) :
Mid Oct - mid March

Experiences :
Heritage monuments and museums

City calling code :
+91-291

Recommended no. of days for a tourist :
1-2 days

Best buys :
Antiques and handicrafts

Essentials to be carried along :
Glares, sun blocks, woolens for winters (Nov-Feb), other wise light cotton wear

All about the city :
Standing on the threshold of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur is the second biggest city in Rajasthan after the capital city of Jaipur. It was founded by Rao Jodha, leader of the Rathore clan in 1459. The city seems to be capped by the rugged Meherangarh fort that rises majestically above the town area suggesting the turbulent past of Marwar. The old city is encircled by a 10 km long wall. The distinction between the old and new city is evident from the fort. While the old city has the impressive fort the new city has a large defense contingent, as it lies near Pakistan border, indicating that times may have changed but the military importance of it has not.

From the fort it appears as if there is a blue sea beneath - a sea of blue buildings. The houses washed in blue, once painted so as to distinguish the residences of the Brahmins who formed the upper strata of the society from the others, have now become the hall mark of Jodhpur and earned for it the sobriquet of The Blue City. The famed city has been the shooting venue for Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book that features Sam Neill and John Cleese. The tight fit trousers worn for horse riding get their name Jodhpurs from Jodhpur city.
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Jodhpur Tourist attractions

Name (suggested time required to see the place)DescriptionEntrance charges (if any) for Foreigner Close Day (if any) Open / Close time
Meherangarh fortEnsconced upon a 150 m high hill, the fort of Meherangarh is considered to be the most formidable fort in Rajasthan. The foundation of it was laid by Rao Jodha in 1459, but the subsequent rulers of Jodhpur have made significant additions to it. A 5 km road meanders its way up to the entrance of the fort from the town below. There are seven gates of which Jayapol (victory gate) was build to commemorate the victory of Maharaja Man Singh II over the armies of Jaipur and Bikaner and Fatehpol to commemorate Maharaja Ajit Singh's defeat of the Mughals. The second gate still bears the scars of the canon balls that the attacking Jaipur army hit on it.

To the left is the chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda, a soldier, who fell on the spot while defending the fort against the armies of Amber (Jaipur). Beside the final gate Lohapol, there are 15 palms imprints, covered with vermillion and silver foil, of Maharaja Man Singh's widows who threw themselves on his funeral pyre to become Sati.

The palaces inside the fort like the Sukh Mahal, Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal have now been transformed into a museum exhibiting a series of artifacts that range from palanquins to weapons to Rajasthani paintings. The Phool Mahal that was used as durbar hall by former maharajas has fine paintings adorning its wall. The specialty is that all these paintings are the work of a single artist who took over 10 years to complete them. Do look out the gold filigree work in its ceiling. The Jhanki Mahal displays the cradles of the infant princes of Marwar. At the southern end of the fort is situated Chamunda Devi temple. From here the view of the town is awesome.
INR 250 (includes charges for audio guide)No close days9 am - 1 pm & 2 pm - 5 pm
Umaid Bhawan Palace and MuseumSuch was the clout of Maharaja Umaid Singh of Marwar that the President of the British Royal Institute of Architects himself designed a palace for him. Around 3000 workers toiled for over 15 years to translate the design of this imposing edifice into reality. It was actually Maharaja's magnanimous effort to employ his people who were hard hit by a drought at that time. The specialty of the building is that for its construction hand chiseled stones are interlocked and there is no mortar binding. It is also known as Chittar Palace because of the use of local Chittar sandstone. Presently a portion of it is used by the descendents of the Maharaja while the rest of it is converted into a luxury heritage hotel and a museum that houses interesting photographs, model aeroplanes, weapons, antique clocks and watches and crockery etc and is open for visitors. INR 100No close days9 am - 5 pm
Jaswant ThadaDating back to 1899, this is the illustrious marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II that was built by his son Maharaja Sardar Singh. It lies to the left on the way down from the Meherangarh fort. The main memorial is built like a temple.The fine lattice work in marble over the windows and intricately carved doors are what catch the attention of visitors. Make a visit and see why it is called the Taj of Marwar. INR 20No close days9 am - 5 pm
Umaid Gardens and Sardar Government museumBesides a zoo, the Umaid Public garden also houses a museum that has a collection of stuffed animals, weapons, textiles and portraits and images of former Maharajas and Jain Tirthankars. Fridays10 am - 4:30 pm
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Getting there

AirRailRoad
The Jodhpur airport is just 5 km from city centre. It has regular flights to and from Delhi, Mumbai and Udaipur.Jodhpur is well connected by train from Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.As Jodhpur is an important tourist destination of Rajasthan it is very well connected through the road. It lies 208 km west of Ajmer, 256 km south of Bikaner, 275 km north west of Udaipur, 340 km south west of Jaipur, 305 km south east of Jaisalmer, 219 km west of Pushkar, 504 km south west of Delhi.
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Jodhpur Festivals

Name of festivalDates / MonthsFestival details with link for more information
Marwar FestivalOctober- NovemberEvery year a two days, one of which is a full moon day, Marwar festival is celebrated here in the memory of the valiant heroes of Marwar. The folk singers and dancers present the tales of their valour, virtues, lifestyle, and love life through their performances. Other attractions are Camel show and Polo. The mighty Meherangarh fort and fantabulous Umaid Bhawan are the main venues for these celebrations.
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Jodhpur Excursions

Excursion (distance in kms)Description
Mandore (9 km north of Jodhpur/15 minutes)This was the former capital of Marwar. The tourist attractions of the place include Mandore gardens, imposing Cenotaphs of Maharaja Dhiraj Ajit Singh and Maharaja Dhiraj Jaswant Singh. At the rear of this the Hall of Heroes has 15 figures of Hindu deities and local Rajput heroes carved out of a single rock and then coloured brightly. Besides there is a Shrine of 33 crore gods and goddesses.
Osiyan (65 km north of Jodhpur, towards Jaisalmer/1.5 hrs)Dominated by wealthy Jain merchants, Osiyan was a great trading centre between the 8th - 12th centuries. As the merchants had plenty of money to spare they constructed lavish temples with intricate carvings. These temples are said to compare to the Hoysala temples of Karnataka and Sun temple of Konark.This place gives the complete feel of the desert. Going on a camel safari in the evenings with the sun going down is a nice experience.
Bishnoi Village GudaThis place is famous for Demoiselle cranes that fly every morning and evening to the fields here in huge numbers, between September and March, to feed on the grains spread for them by the villagers. The Bishnoi community is renowned for their conservation of plants and animals. You can also sight black bucks and Chinkaras around the small artificial lake of this area. One can also visit to the villages of potters, weavers, shoe makers, shepherds, Bishnois, etc. in the area around.
Nagaur (135 km north east of Jodhpur/3 hrs)Almost mid way between Jodhpur and Bikaner is Nagaur. Constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar, the historic Ahhichatragarh fort is the major attraction here. Protected by double walls the fort encompasses a richly painted palace and several mosques of which the five domed mosque that Akbar built draws attention. Every year in January-February Nagaur hosts the second biggest cattle fair in Rajasthan after Pushkar.
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