Jodhpur is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar Desert.
Jodhpur is also known as the "Sun City" for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all the year round. Extreme heat in summer and cold in winter is the characteristic of the desert. Jodhpur is no exception. It is well-connectd with air, rail and road networks from all major cities of India.
Popular tourist destinations are Mehrangarh Fort, UmaidBhawan Palace, JaswantThada. etc.
Guarding the city below, crowning a perpendicular cliff, the Mehrangarh Fort was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 Ad when he shifted his capital from Mandore. It is one of the largest forts in India. Standing sentinel to the city below, it overlooks the rugged and rocky terrain and houses a palace intricately adorned with long carved panels and latticed windows exquistely wrought from red sandstone. The apartments with, have their own magic the MotiMahal (Pearl Palace), PhoolMahal (Flower Palace), Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), SilehKhana and DaulatKhana with a rich varied collection of palanquins, howdas, royal cradles, miniature paintings of various schools, costumes, furniture and an impressive armoury. The display of cannons on the ramparts near Chamunda temple is among the rares in India. As you climb up, folk musicians revive the grandeur of a bygone era.
Close to the fort complex, liesJaswantThada. This 19th century royal cenotaph built in white marble in commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II in 1899 and three other cenotaphs, stand nearby. The cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh holds the rare portraits of the rulers and Maharajas of Jodhpur. These four cenotaphs commemorate notable acts of bravery, generosity of the four successive rulers. A visit inside the cenotaphs, with some villagers of the region, would bring forward the reverence they still hold for their brave kings.
Built by Maharaja Umaid Singh (1929-1942), and named after him, this exquisite palace is also known as Chittar Palace because of the local chittar sandstone used. It is a splendid example ofIndocolonial and art deco style of the 30s. A unique feature of this palace is the fact that the hand chiselled sandstone blocks have been put together in a special system of interlocking, there is no mortar binding. A portion of the palace has been converted into a hotel, the other remains on view to visitors in form of excellent museum which houses model aeroplanes, weapons, antique clocks and bob watches, Priceless crockery, and hunting trophies. Both section retain the ambience of royal splendour.
The romantic looking UmaidBhawan Palace was actually built with the purpose of giving employment to the people of Jodhpur during a long drawn famine.The royal family of Jodhpur still lives in a part of the palace.