Nestling within the depths of the Thar desert, Jodhpur today is known as
one of the three sculpted cities of Rajasthan, each known for its distinct
flavour. Flanked on the western side by the Mehrangarh Fort and on the eastern
side by the stately sandstone palace of Umaid Bhawan, its monuments, temples and
gardens depict a multi-faceted grandeur. The second largest city of the state
not only serves as the hub and gateway to the desert triangle but also attends
as the commercial heart. It is one of the largest centres for production and
export of handicrafts, which net over Rs. 2,000 cr in a year. While the city may
have changed its character, from martial to economic, it has lost nothing in its
charms. It is one of the cleaner cities of India with wide uncluttered roads,
good communications infrastructure, numerous attractive sites like the richly
sculpted palaces and havelis, lakes and gardens, wealth of culture and arts,
and, above all, a very friendly citizenry.
Fort: Standing guard over the city from an
isolated hill, the fort is the most imposing feature of
the city. Built in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha, the founder of
the city, Mehrangarh houses beautiful, intricately
carved red sandstone palaces and temples. The museum in
the fort displays many of the erstwhile regal trappings,
paintings and artefacts.
for visitors in the fort include a souvenir shop, a café,
toilets/restroom, and a lounge. The café also serves a
thali and a-la-carte meals including authentic
Rajasthani cuisine. There is also a soft drinks counter
at Point 28.
Mehrangarh Trust has now started an audio tour of the
fort, which covers 33 most important sites and
information on some historical and social aspects of the
region: subjects like caste system, Mughal alliances
with the Rajputs, miniature school of painting and
commentaries on the present members of the royal family.
At present the 70 minutes audio commentary is available
in Hindi, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and
Japanese. More languages will be added soon. The audio
tour costs Rs. 150 (refundable security – driving
licence/passport/Euro 20/$ 20/Rs. 1,000 –returned at
exit) Tel: 2548790; Open: 9 am-5 pm; Entry: foreigners
Rs. 250 (includes audio tour and still camera fee),
Indians Rs. 20.
Thada: Standing on a lower slope just half a
kilometre away from the fort, the imposing white marble
cenotaph was built in 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja
Jaswant Singh II. It houses portraits of successive
rulers. Another interesting feature is a translucent
marble panel used in construction. Open: 9 am-5 pm;
Entry: Rs. 10.
Bhawan Palace: Also known as Chittar Palace,
the palace built by Maharaja Umaid Singh is a splendid
example of Indo-colonial architecture. A unique feature
of the palace is that the hand chiselled sandstone
blocks have been put together in a special system of
interlocking without any binding mortar. A part of the
palace is now a luxury hotel while the rest is open to
visitors in the form of a museum retaining the original
furnishings and ambience Tel: 2510101-12; Open: 9 am-5
pm; Entry: foreigners Rs. 40, Indians Rs. 10.
Old City, with its intricate canvas of busy
market streets, is a visual pleasure for any visitor to
Jodhpur. Nai Sarak, Clock Tower and Gulab Sagar area is
a good introduction.
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