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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Blue City - JODHPUR

JODHPUR CITY




Jodhpur is the second biggest city in Rajasthan. It is about 335 km west of Jaipur, the capital city. Since it lies on the geographic centre of the state, it has emerged as an important tourist transit base.This city is known as Marwar, was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput chief of the Rathore clan.

The city was located on the planned road linking Delhi to Gujarat which enabled it to profit from a prosperous trade in opium, copper, silk, sandals, dates and coffee. Under the rule of Maharaja Umed Singh, Jodhpur grew into an excellent modern city. During the rule of the British, Jodhpur was went on to become the largest city in Rajputana. It thrived under the British; its merchants, the Marwaris, prospered and came to occupy a leading position in trade all over India.
In 1947, India became independent and the state merged into the union of India. The people of Jodhpur are warm and welcoming. The elegant palaces and  temples around the city carry the remarkable splendor of this city. Adding to the glamour of Jodhpur, are its stunning handicrafts, folk dances, folk songs and also the brightly dressed people. The enthusiasm during the famous Marwar festival is infectious.
The bazaars of Jodhpur are a treasure trove of tie-and-dye textiles, embroidered leather shoes, lacquer-ware, antiques, carpets and puppets to the attractive Rajasthani textiles, clay figurines and classic silver jewelry.
 Nai Sarak (or New Street) that leads to the clock tower and the main market is the center of all activity in Jodhpur. Sample ghevar, the Rajasthani delicacy (or its far richer and tastier version the malai ghevar) and pyaaz ki kachori (or onion kachori) at the famous Janata Sweets or eat (yes, eat) the thick Makhaniya Lassi at Mishralal Hotel just around the corner from the clock tower.
Indique, the open-to-air hotel at Pal Haveli across the road from Mishralal’s serves the most delicious laal maas (or red meat), which will be a well-deserved treat after a long, long walk at Mehrangarh.
 MEHRANGARH FORT















One of the largest forts of Rajasthan, Mehrangarh Fort was the seat of the Rathore rulers from the House of Marwar. Located at a height of 400 feet above the city of Jodhpur, the fort is named after the Sun deity, from whom the Rathores claim descent.
The foundation of the fort was laid by Rao Jodha, a Rathore ruler on May 12, 1459. Though the Marwar royal family later shifted to much opulent palaces, the fort continued to be a reflection of Rathore glory and basis of the clan’s strength.
Almost every ruler of Marwar has left his mark and the fort is a magnificent fusion of different styles and influences. Its 125 feet high towering battlements, are made of solid stone and are at places six metres thick. Palaces inside the fort whisper tales of intrigues, riches and even patricide.


The fort through its 554-year-history has been occupied only five times. The fort even offered sanctuary to Mughal emperor Humayun, who was fleeing to Persia after his defeat at the hands of Sher Shah Suri.


The fort now houses a museum which enlightens visitors about the golden age of the Rathores. It showcases collections of palanquins, furniture, cannons, paintings and folk musical instruments. The Daulat Khana, a gallery of the museum houses one of the finest collections of Mughal miniature paintings.
The fort is also the venue for the Rajasthan International Folk Festival and World Sufi Spirit Festival. While RIFF is dedicated to promote and showcase folk music, Sufi festival promotes Sufi music.

 The foundation of Mehrangarh Fort was laid on May 12, 1459 by Rao Jodha, the fifteenth Rathore ruler. Mandore used to be the capital; however, Rao Jodha felt it was not sufficient to provide safety and security and hence the capital was moved to Mehrangarh fort.

The hill on which Mehrangarh stands was known as ‘Bhaurcheeria’.  Rao Jodha had to displace the only human occupant of the hill, a hermit called Cheeria Nathji. Upset with the displacement, the hermit cursed Rao Jodha that the fort would suffer scarcity of water. 

To circumvent the curse, Rao Jodha buried a man alive in the foundations. The man, Rajiya Bambi, was promised that the Rathores would take care of his family in return for his life. Rajiya’s descendants still live in Raj Bagh to this day.

According to legends associated with the fort, four people including Rajiya Bambi’s son and a Brahmin named Mehran were buried alive so that the fort could be constructed. It is believed the fort is named after the Brahmin ‘Mehran’.

    Walls of Mehrangarh are 125 ft high and made of stone·      In its entire history, the fort has been under the control of Rathore rulers. It has been occupied only five times.  Shah Jahan’s mother Mani Bai was from the House of Marwar.


·         The fort is open on all days. Visitors can visit the fort between 9 am to 5 pm.

·         Every year on May 12, the foundation day of the fort, entry is free.

·        The fort had more accommodation for women than for men as two thirds of the palace is taken up by the zenana (for ladies).

Opening hours of Mehrangarh fort:

Open all days 09:00 am to 05:00 pm

Entry fee for Visiting Mehrangarh fort:

The entry fees for Mehrangarh fort is mentioned below. We have listed the entry fees for Indians, the entry fees for foreigners, camera fees and other charges if applicable.
·         Domestic Adult: 60
·         Foreigner: 400
·         Still Camera Fee: 100
·         Video Camera Fee: 200
 
UMAID BHAWAN PALACE

 





Among the world’s largest private residences, Umaid Bhawan Palace is located at Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The palace has been divided into three wings – museum, residence of the erstwhile royals and the heritage hotel.

The palace was designed by Henry Vaughan Lancaster, who planned it as a cross between ancient Hindu temples at Angkor Vat and a British town hall. During the construction of the palace, it was called the ‘Chittar Palace’, due to its location on Chittar Hill which is the highest point of Jodhpur.

The palace was built to replace Mehrangarh Fort as the symbol of new Jodhpur and to provide employment to the people during drought and famine.

The foundation of the palace was laid on November 18, 1929 by Maharaja Umaid Singh, after whom the palace is named. The palace was completed in 1945.

The palace is built from yellow sandstone and the interior of the palace is designed in Art Deco style, which was the raging trend in Europe and America during the first half of the 20th century.

The palace built over 26 acres of land was the world’s largest private residence with 347 rooms. However, the distinction is currently enjoyed by Lakshmi Vilas Palace at Vadodara. During the visit, one can see 105 foot high cupola, a Durbar Hall, a billiards room, two marble squash courts, an indoor swimming pool and heritage spots in the palace.

A part of the palace was converted into a five star hotel in 1972 and is managed by ITC hotels. The hotel is designed to give the experience of royal lifestyle to its visitors.

One of the major art works inside the palace are the murals drawn by Stefan Norblin grandson of Peter Norblin, considered the father of Polish genre painting. Norblin, who fled to India during the WWII, was the court painter during his stay in Jodhpur. He painted Ram, Sita and other mythological characters. The Hindu gods and goddesses have European look and are distinct from those drawn by Raja Ravi Varma and others.

Umaid Bhawan has been a favourite with celebrities. Mick Jagger, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Diana Ross, Sarah Ferguson, Bob Geldof and Eva Herzigova are among the few who have stayed at the palace. Supermodel Naomi Campbell booked the entire hotel tο celebrate birthday οf hеr Russian boyfriend Vladimir Doronin in November 2012.


JASWANT THADA







Considered to be one of the architectural landmarks of Jodhpur, Jaswant Thada is popularly known as the ‘Taj Mahal of Marwar’. The royal monument is a cenotaph dedicated to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, the 33rd ruler of Jodhpur.

Located in the vicinity of Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh, for his father in 1899.

The structure is an epitome of a Rajputana style of architecture. Built from intricately carved marble sheets, the polished stone exudes a warm glow when sunrays fall on it. The structure also has some beautiful carved marble lattice work.

The main memorial has been built like a temple with beautiful sculptures, frescos, domes and pillars. The cenotaph also features portraits of the rulers and Maharajas of Jodhpur. Carved gazebos and a multi-tiered garden surround the monument. The cenotaph complex also houses the royal crematorium and three other cenotaphs. The monument also houses a memorial to a peacock which flew into a funeral pyre.
From the structure, one also gets to see impressive views of Mehrangarh Fort.

MANDORE GARDEN






Mandore was the former capital of Maharajas of Marwar and is located about 5 miles north of Jodhpur. It is known for the dewals or cenotaphs of Jodhpur’s former rulers, the most impressive one being the dewal of Maharaja Ajit Singh (reigned 1678-1724).

OSIAN








Surrounded by golden sand dunes and hamlets, Osian, located 65 km north of Jodhpur, is famous for its Hindu and Jain temples and is known as the Khajuraho of Rajasthandue to the erotic sculptures on the temples. A prominent trading center on the Silk Route from the 8th to the 12th century AD, Osian was also a major pilgrimage site during the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty, who ruled much of northern India from the 6th to the 11th centurty and was known as Upakesapura.
A famous pilgrimage site of the Oswal Jain community, most of the shrines and temples in Osian lie in ruins today.
Among the most famous tourist attractions of the village are the 16 temples that include Sachiya Mata temple, Sun temple, Mahaveera Jain temple, etc dating back to the 8th to the 11th century. With their intricate carvings, the Sun Temple, Sachiya Mata Temple and the Jain temple dedicated to Lord Mahavir stand out in their grace and architecture.
Apart from the temples, Osian is also popular for camel safaris.

Source - rajasthan tourism guide.

1 comment:

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