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Jodhpur Travel Guide
A valiant sentinel in the desert, on the eastern fringe of the Thar desert has the distinction of neither being a part of the Thar desert nor out of it.

Jodh Fort, Jodhpur Holiday PackagesAt best it is a doorway to the wonderland of sand dunes and shrubs, rocky terrain and thorny trees. The home of the Rathroes - the awesome princely state of Rajasthan. They conquered Marwar or Maroodesh, land of the sand after the fall of Delhi and Kannauj.

In 1459 AD, Rao Jodha, chief of Rathore clan of Rajputs, who claimed descent from Rama, the epic here of the Ramayana, laid the foundation of Jodhpur. A high stone wall protects the well-fortified city. The wall is nearly 10km in length and has eight gates facing various directions.

Within, stands an imposing fort on a low range of sandstone hills, about 125m above the surrounding plains. Invincible! And dauntless in its league with time! The city lies at the foot of the hills. The clear distinction between the old and the new city is visible from the ramparts of the fort.

On the other side of the city, facing the fort is the Umaid Bhawan Palace. One of the most spacious, sprawling and well-planned palaces in India. And from here, as you look at fort, a tantalizing view rises before your eyes at sunset.

The peculiar slant of the sunset lends the desert landscape an awe-inspiring glow and the people, a chivalry undaunted .

This bustling desert city is the second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur and has landscape dominated by the massive Meherangarh Fort topping a sheer rocky ridge.

The old city is fenced by 10 km long wall with eight Gates leading out of it. The new city is outside the walled city. Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, founded the city in 1459 and it is named after him.

The Afghans drove the Rathores out of their original homeland Kaunaj and they fled to this region around Pali a short distance from present day Jodhpur. A manoeuvre lead to marriage between Rathore Siahaji and the sister of a local prince that helped the Rathores to establish and strengthen themselves in this region. In fact they flourished so well that managed to oust the Pratiharas of Mandore, just 9 km of present day Jodhpur.

By 1459 a need for more secured capital lead to the founding of Meherangarh Fort on its rocky perch and Jodhpur was thus founded by Rao Jodha. The Rathores enjoyed good relations with the Mughals and Maharaja Jaswant Singh (1678) supported Shah Jahan in the latter's struggle for war of succession. Only problematic relationship they had was with Aurangzeb.

After Auranzeb's death Maharaja Ajit Singh drove out Mughals from Ajmer and added it to Marwar. In the reign of Maharaja Umed Singh Jodhpur grew into a fine modern city. The quintessence of Jodhpur was its valour and equestrian skill. Polo has been the traditional sport of the Jodhpur nobility since medieval times.

Jodhpur has two railway stations, City and Rai ka Bagh both are outside the walled city. The bus stand is right outside the Rai ka Bagh Station. The High Court is a while from the bus stand after the Umed Gardens, after which is located the tourist reception centre and RTDC Hotel Ghoomer.

Ahead is the main market and entry in to the wall from Sojati Gate. This area also has many hotels. Jodhpur is also military and air force station and has a large cantonment and airbase.


Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur Tours & TravelsPlaces to see :

Fort & Palaces :
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Maharaja Umaid Singhji who built this palace was fascinated with western lifestyles so he marshalled the services of a well-known Edwardian architect, Henry Vaughan Lanchester, a creditable equal of Edward Lutyens (architect of New Delhi) to construct a three hundred and forty seven roomed Umaid Palace.

This was to become India last of the great palaces and the biggest private residence in the world. Spectacular Central Rotunda, the cupola rises to a hundred and five feet high; the Throne Room with its exquisite Ramayana murals; an elegant wood-panelled library, and even a private museum; an indoor swimming pool, a Billiards Room, tennis courts and unique marble squash courts makes Umaid Bhawan Palace is unabashedly the most magnificent.

The palace was also built with superficial intentions of providing employment to famine stricken farmers. The Palace now is a five star deluxe palace hotel. The museum of the palace is highly recommended for its display of weapons, an array of stuffed leopards, a huge banner presented by Queen Victoria and an incredible collection of clocks.

Mehrangarh Fort
Perched on a 150 m high hill its sprawl is the most formidable and magnificent fort in Rajasthan. Rao Jodha founded it in 1459 but subsequent rulers of Jodhpur have also added to it over the centuries. A meandering road leads to the from the city 5 kms below. Battle scars of canon ball hit by attacking armies of Jaipur can still be seen on the second gate. To the left is chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda, a soldier who fell on the spot while defending the fort against the armies of Amber.
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur Holiday Packages
There are seven gates, which include Jayapol meaning victory built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. Fattehpol also meaning victory gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of Mughals. And Lohapol meaning iron gate has a moving memorabilia on palm print of the queens of Maharaja Man Singh who threw themselves on his funeral pyre in an act of sati [self-immolation]. The palm imprints still attract devotional attention and are covered by vermilion paste and paper-thin silver foil.

This is one of the finest museums in Rajasthan and certainly the best layed out. In the palanquin section of the fort museum, you can see an interesting collection of old royal palanquins including the elaborate domed gilt Mahadol palanquin, which was won in a battle from the Governor of Gujarat in 1730. The museum exhibits the heritage of the Rathores in arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms.

Phool Mahal The grandest of Mehrangarh's period rooms, the Phool Mahal was in all likely hood a private and exclusive chamber of pleasure dancing girls once swooned in exhaustion here under a ceiling rich in gold filigree. The Phool Mahal was created by Maharaja Abhaya Singh (1724-1749) and the gold came from Ahmedabad in Gujarat as war booty after his famous victory over the rebellious Mughal governor, Sarbuland Khan. The paintings, royal portraits and the ever-popular raga mala, came much later, in the reign of Jaswant Singh II.

Jhanki Mahal The Jhanki Mahal, from where the royal ladies watched the official proceedings, in the courtyard, today houses a rich collection of the royal cradles. The cradles are decorated with gilt mirrors and figures of fairies, elephant and birds

Jaswant Thada
On the way down from the fort, on left is Jaswant Thada, the graceful marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. His son Maharaja Sardar Singhji built the Taj Mahal of Marwar in the memory of Maharaj Jaswant Singhji II of Jodhpur. The cenotaphs of earlier Maharajas and Maharanis are at Mandore.

Wives and concubines committed Sati on Jaswant Funeral pyre. The main memorial has been built like a temple with intricately carved marble stone that is sculpted by the genius artesian. A visit to this structure is through the rocky hills giving it a secluded and a mystic aura.


Excursions of Jodhpur :

Mandsor Temple, Jodhpur Holiday VacationOsian
The ancient town of Thar Desert was a great trading center between 8th to 12th centuries. Today it is desert oasis with 16 Brahamanical and Jain temples, beautifully sculpted and designed, most of which have stood ravages of time. The place is highlighted by its camel ride at the time of the sunset. The tourist's have the liberty to watch the architectural forms during that camel ride and return back to the camps or the resorts followed by drinks and thematic evening of performing arts and a choice of oriental cuisines arranged in the ethnic style of that region. The stay at the camps enriches the feel of the holiday. The camp Thar being the best among the staying facilities.

Machiya Safari Park
It lies on the way to Jaisalmer, about 1km from Kailana Lake. The key fauna of the safari park includes, deer, desert fox, monitor lizard, blue bulls rabbits, wild cats, mongoose, monkeys etc. There is also large number of birds, which can seen from an exclusive bird watching point and also nice sunset can seen from the fort of park.

Pali
Pali is named after the Paliwal Brahmins who once inhabited the area. Ancient Pali housed a highly evolved civilization. The land, was leased by the then chief of Mandore (the former capital of Jodhpur district), was cultivated diligently by the Paliwals who abandoned their former priestly profession. The temples of Somnath and Naulakha are very old. Naulakha Jain temple has elaborate carvings while Somnath Shiv temple is known for its handsome bulling having exquisite mouldings.

Soojat
Sojat city, is situated on the left bank of the Sukri River near Pali town, known as Tamravati in the ancient times, the fort has a big reservoir and several temples like Sejal Mata, Chaturbhuj and much more. The old temple of Chamunda Mata located on the top of one of the hillocks. Dargah of Pir Mastan is the main attraction at the time of Urs- the Muslim festival. One of the major attractions of this city is the plantation of mehandi trees, a herbal plant where the leaves are squashed into a thin paste and applied on the hands and the feet in various attractive designs.

This traditional art form is now known all over the world and is internationally adopted in the fashion circuit. Many of the foreign tours who happen to cross this perticuler route towards Udaipur or Mount Abu often takes a break and get there palms and feets decorated by the Mehndi of Sojat as it is very popular across the country.
Another prominent place to be seen are the temple of Ramdeoji near village Biratiya, the fort of Desuri, Kurki the birth place of Mirabai the legendry poetess who dedicated her whole life worshiping lord Krishna and spreading his message all over, that attracted the Mughal rulers too. Following these are few more locals like Jawai bandh, Jain temples of Narlai.

Nimaj
Nimaj boasts of a temple built in 9th century. It was dedicated to goddess Ma Durga . It also covers a unique art gallery showcasing some masterpieces of sculptural art, adorned within natural surroundings so as to provide an authentic ambience.
Luni Fort, Jodhpur Travel Vacation
NagaurThe Ahhichatragarh Fort is medium sized, which have been built by Mughal Emperors Akbar and Shaha Jahan. A well planned Mughal Garden, which retains its pleasant appearance even today. The city has distinct Muslim influences and a Five Domed Mosque built by Emperor Akbar dominates the landscape. The city is best visited during the Ramdeoji Ka mela and Tejaji ka mela in February and August respectively. Nagaur is approachable by express busses of RSRTC and by taxi.

Kailana Lake
Situated on Jaisalmer road. This is a charming picnic spot with a small artificial lake. And if you are here to stay on to take delight in the sunset. It is like a canvas with a splash of romantic colors. The beauty will linger on with you for a long time.

Balsamand Lake & Palace
An enchanting picnic spot with cool breeze weaving through the lush grove of mango, guava, papaya and other fruits. A placid artificial lake with a summer palace on the embankment. It was built by Balak Rao Parihar in 1159 AD. The serene surroundings will leave you at peace with yourself.

Sardar Samand Lake & Palace
As you go up to the shimmering lake and palace, a meandering and interesting drive will keep you entraced. The countryside with its lively villages and smiling, gay village folk of Jhalamand and Goora, will make you stop by and taste a bit of their hospitality. Photographers and adventurists can have day packed with enthralling excitement. Freely roaming herds of Chinkaras and Black Bucks can be seen here in large numbers.


Fair & Festivals of Jodhpur :

Nagaur Fair
This eight days fair held every year during the month of Jan-Feb, is popularly known as the Cattle fair and is the second largest in Rajasthan. Nagaur Town is the most picturesque of Rajput townships. Nagaur is a sea of animals, trading over 70,000 bullocks, camels and horses every year. The bullocks are known for their fleetness. Not only are the animals lavishly decorated, even their owners flaunt wearing colourful turbans and long moustaches.

Shearing sheep, handsome marwari horses to spices all compiled in one fair. Attractions include the mirchi bazaar (largest red-chilly market of India), wooden items, iron-crafts and camel leather accessories.

Sports like tug-of-war, camel races, bullock races and cock fights; jugglers; puppeteers, story-tellers; and exciting campfire evenings are held to entertain the tourists. Folk music of the Jodhpur variation echoes the tranquil desert sand. Nagaur is well connected to the major cities by road and rail. Nearest airport is Jodhpur, some 135kms away.

Makar Sankranti
The festival is celebrated on the 14th of January every year. This has now become the festival of kite-flying which does not spare the soaring spirits of anyone in Jaipur. The devoted ones, however, take a holy dip in the kund at Galtaji. The traditional sweet associated with it is Phirni, made in abundance by the halwais of Jaipur

Gangaur
tYoung girls and newly married women praying for their loved one or husband respectively, offer prayers to Goddess Parvati in spring (March-April). A colourful procession follows the silver and gold palanquins of Goddess Parvati brought out from the City Palace. Ghever, the traditional sweet associated with this festival is prepared all over the city.
Elephant Festival, Jodhpur Fair & Festival Tour
Elephant Festival
This festival is held on the day of Holi, the festival of colours, at the Chaughan stadium. Beautifully decorated and caparisoned elephants assemble to participate in the royal procession. Elephant polo, elephant race,elephant tug-of-war with a few tourist and holi on elephant back are some of the exciting events.

Teej
To celebrate the advent of the monsoon, girls and young women dressed in colourful leharia sarees or costumes, sing songs and offer puja to goddess parvati, and pray for conjugal bliss and happiness. An elaborate procession comes out of the City Palace for two consecutive days. Villagers come to watch it in large numbers and buy knick-knacks from the stalls on the footpaths of the main bazars.

Dussehra
Dussehra is celebrated by staging Ramlila in different parts of the city and cuminating in the ceremonial burning of the giant effigies of Ravan, Kumbhakaran and Meghnath, celebrating Lord Rama's victory over the Demon King, and victory of Good over Evil. A mela is organised at Amer and thousands of devotees visit the templeof Shila Mataji situated there. Special puja is offered by the former Maharaja in the City Palace amidst traditional fanfare. Durga Puja is celebrated in several community pandals for four days by the large Bengali population in the city.

Diwali
Celebrated every year in October- November, Diwali is perhaps the most popular of all Indian festivals. The origin of this festival can be traced back to the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, when Lord Rama returend to this kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. The whole kingdom was lit up with diyas (earthen lamps ) to celebrate his return. To date, on Diwali day, houses all over India glow with the twinkle of innumerable divas, candles and electric lights. The night is illuminated with the flaming lights of fireworks, creating kaleidoscopic design against the black canvas of the sky. During the Diwali celebration decoration and lighting is done throughout the walled Pink City, with every market competing with the others to pick-up the best decorated market award. There are special prizes for the best decorated individual buildings as well. Most people prefer walking through the street to enjoy this dazzling extravanganza.


Museums in Jodhpur :

Mehrangarh Fort Museum
In the middle of the Umaid Public Garden, this museum houses a rich collection of exhibits armoury, textile, local arts and crafts, and miniature paintings. And even portraits of rulers, manuscripts and images of Jain Tirthankars. Umaid Public Garden houses a zoo and public library. This building and the garden were developed during the time of Maharaj Umaid Singhji.

Jodhpur Temple, Jodhpur Travel VacationUmaid Bhawan Palace Museum
Maharaja Umaid Singhji who built this palace was fascinated with western lifestyles so he marshalled the services of a well-known Edwardian architect, Henry Vaughan Lanchester, a creditable equal of Edward Lutyens (architect of New Delhi) to construct a three hundred and forty seven roomed Umaid Palace. This was to become India last of the great palaces and the biggest private residence in the world.


Parks in Jodhpur

Mandore Garden
Mandore was the former capital of Maharajas of Marwar and is located about 5 miles north of Jodhpur, but was later abandoned for the security of Mehrangarh fort. Here you will find the dewals, or cenotaphs of Jodhpur's former rulers.

Unlike the usual chhatri-shaped cenotaphs typical of Rajasthan, they were built along the lines of a Hindu temple, four stories high, with fine columns and an elegant spire, all in red sandstone. The most impressive is the dewal of Maharaja Ajit Singh (reigned 1678-1724). These cenotaphs are set in beautiful landscaped gardens.

Nearby is the hall of heroes, dedicated to various deities and fabled Rajput folk heroes, whose statues are carved out of rock and painted in bright colours. Next door is a larger hall called "The Shrine of the Three Hundred Million Gods", filled with brightly coloured images of the various Hindu Gods. As you climb up the hill, you come to the ruined city of Mandore, with its old palace.

The beautiful Maharani's cenotaphs set apart on a rocky outcrop - a ten-minute walk over the hill. Today its extensive gardens with high rock terrace make it a popular local attraction. Timings: 8 AM to 8 PM


Lakes in Jodhpur


Kaylana Lake
Located 8 kms. West of Jodhpur, Kaylana lake was constructed in 1872 by Pratap Singh. It is spread over 84 square kilometers' area. Earlier this area had palaces and gardens made by two rulers of Jodhpur-Bhim Singh and Takhat Singh. These were destroyed to make Kaylana lake. Near the lake is a Dak Bungalow of Irrigation department. This famous picnic spot has taken the lives of many youngesters trying to swin across this deep lake.

Bal Samand Lake Palace, Jodhpur Holiday TravelsBal Samand
Bal Samand lake and agarden are located on Jodhpur-Mandore road, 7 kms from Jodhpur. It was constructed in 1159 by Parihar Balak Rao. Approximately one kilometer long, 50 meters wide and 15 meters deep this lake has been made by storing the rain water. Water was supplied to Gulab Sagar, Fateh Sagar and Sardar Sagar canals from this lake.

Umed Sagar Umed Sagar dam near Kaylana lake was constructed in 1933 by Maharaja Umed Singh, It is spread over an area of 27 square kilometers.

Guda
It is the nearest point form Jodhpur to exotic wild life & nature. During the session thousands of birds can be seen here, like domicile Cranes etc. This pond is water-drinking point for the antelopes and black bucks of near by area.

Fateh Sagar
140x75 m sized Fateh Sagar was made near Merti Gate by Maharaja Vijay Singh in 1778. It used to get water from it's Sourthern canal linked with Bal Samand as well as Kaylana lake. Beside this is a temple named Ramanuj Kot, belonging to Vaishnavs of Ramanuj cult. This temple was made in 1986.

Gulab Sagar
150x90 m sized Gulab Sagar water storage was constructed by Gulab Rai in 1788, who was a mistress of Maharaja Vijay Singh. Earlier there was another source of water here, called 'Bawri', which was converted into Gulab Sagar. Located near Sardar Market in old city area, it's construction took 8 years. It is said that this part was made in 1835, in the memory of Sher Singh, Gulab Rai's son. The water for it came through a canal from Bal Samand lake and was used for drinking earlier. But now, it's only the rain water which brings all the garbage and dirt into this neglected monument of Gulab Rai.

Tapi Bawdi
Constructed in 1675 by Tapoji Tejawat, 40 feet wide and 250 feet long Tapi Bawdi is located at Hatdiyon Ka Chowk in Bhimji Ka Mohalla. It was constructed in four year with 72 thousand rupees. This longest Bawdi of the city was the main source of water in Jodhpur for three decades. It has six beautiful and artistic storeys.

Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur Tours & TravelsJaswant Sagar Dam
In 1892, Maharaja Jaswant Singh constructed Jaswant Sagar in Pichiyak village between Bilara and Bhavi of Jodhpur district.The Water from this dam is sued for irrigating The greenest part of Jodhpur receives water from this dam. Boating facilities have also been made available for tourists here..

Ranisar-Padamsar
Ranisar near Fateh Pole of Mehrangarh was made by Queen Jasmade Hadi, Rao Jodha's wife in 1459. Padmasar was made near it by Queen Padmini of Rao Ganga, daughter of Rana Sanga of Mewar


How to reach :

Ajmer : 205kms

Agra : 577 kms.

Bikaner: 245kms

Delhi : 602 kms


Jaipur : 343 Km

Jaisalmer : 295 kms

Mount Abu : 264 kms

Udaipur : 275 kms


Jodhpur Travel Guide, Reservation Form