JODHPUR TRAVEL GUIDE
Famous for its magnificent forts and palaces, Jodhpur is the second largest city of Rajasthan and a major tourist attraction in the country. The city is situated at the edge of the Thar Desert with Jaisalmer on its west, Barmar, Jalor and Pali on its south, Bikaner on its north, and Nagaur on the eastern side. Jodhpur was founded by the Rajput chief Rao Jodha in 1459. There is about 100 towers in the city, most of which are surrounded by defensive battlements. Jodhpur has a typical desert climate, dry and hot. The ideal time to visit this place is between November and March. The forts and palaces in the city are the major source of attraction in the city. Exploring the forts gives you a feel of the times when the Rajput might was at its peak. Some of the major attractions around Jodhpur are Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhawan, Mandore Gardens, the Government Museum and Zoo, Old Fort Museum and Balsamand Lake and Gardens. The desert hamlet presents a picturesque view and the forts converted into heritage hotels provide fascinating places to relax. Some of the major excursions around the city are Osian Dhawa, Nagaur, Rohet Fort and Khimsar.
Situated at an altitude of about 125 meters, the Mehrangarh Fort is spread over an area of 5 sq. km in the heart of the city. The fort has seven gates of which the noted ones are the Jayapol, built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806; Fatehpol or the Victory Gate built by Maharaja Ajit Singh; and the Lohapol or the Iron Gate. The 15 handprints, the sati marks of Maharaja Man Singh/'s widows who threw themselves upon his funeral pyre in 1843, canbe seen beside the Lohapol. On the wall, one can see the strategically located cannons.
It is a white marble memorial built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant II in 1899. A story goes that Maharaja Jaswant succumbed to injuries in this place while fighting the Mughal king Jahangir.
Made of marble and pink sandstone, the construction of the Umaid Bhawan started in 1929 and it took 16 years to complete it. This majestic building is presently the residence of the former rulers with a part of it running as hotel and remaining part as a museum.
About 8 km from Jodhpur, Mandore, the ancient capital of Marwar, has cenotaphs of the Jodhpur rulers. The beautiful gardens with high rock terraces make it a popular picnic spot.
Government Museum and zoo
The Sardar Government Museum, library and the zoo are located in the pleasant Umaid Gardens.
Old Fort Museum
This fascinating museum has palanquins, lavishly upholstered royal howdahs, a golden throne, shoes with pearls, paintings, mirrors, cribs weapons and a magnificently embroidered royal tent among its exhibits.
Balsamand Lake and Gardens
About 5 km from the city is the Balsamand Lake and Gardens, a splendid spot for excursion. This pretty lake was built in AD 1159.