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Rajasthan Tours Travel  »  Fascinating Cities of Rajasthan  »  Jodhpur

Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Culture ans Traditions of JodhpurAt the very edge of the Thar Desert in a an uncompromising land called Marwar or 'Region of Death' lies the city of Jodhpur. Built by Rao Jodha in 1459 as the capital of the Marwar state, Jodhpur is still the second biggest city in the province of Rajasthan. It is an ode to the spirit of the brave Rathore clan who tamed this land and brought prosperity to it. Jodhpur remains steeped in culture and tradition which gives this city a unique medieval character. The old city is a maze of narrow lanes with all of its houses painted blue, earning it the sobriquet, 'The Blue City'. A photographer's paradise, Jodhpur is visually hypnotic, every sight a flash of colours, in the swishing skirts of the local women, their gaily painted dupattas (head scarves) that flutter in the wind, the fiery turbans of the men, the glint of jewellery as it catches the sun and the heavy embroidery on their clothes, the streets are lined with shops that spill onto the side walks and it's roads run amok by brightly decorated auto rickshaws. Abundant with many architectural treasures, forts, palaces and monuments, a unique culture, a heady cuisine and many fares and festivals, Jodhpur offers a lot to any visitor.

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Major Tourist Attractions of Jodhpur
Mehrangarh Fort
Perched on a rocky cliff at the height of 125m, the Mehrangarh Fort is one of the most indelible sights you will ever see. A winding road leads up the four gates that guard the entrance to this monolith. Begin your exploration from the Fort's museum, a good way to get introduced to much of what you will experience later. This little history tour through the museum will get you acquainted with the opulent lifestyles of the Maharajas, their ornately decorated and exquisitely carved palanquins and howdahs (Elephant seats) put our humble automobiles to shame. An extensive collection of miniature paintings, murals, Murano glassware, Chinese tiles and artwork from around the world can also be found here. Now that you know a bit about their history, head for the period rooms and palaces that housed the monarchs of yore. Beautifully built and decorated, The Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana and the other rooms and courtyards here will ask for time and attention, but before you leave save a few minutes to enjoy the splendid panoramic view that the fort offers.

Umaid Bhavan Palace, JodhpurUmaid Bhavan Palace
The grand Umaid Bhawan, a dream in sandstone, is also one of the largest private residences in the world. Jodhpur's erstwhile royalty not only lives here but has converted a part of it into a museum, and part a luxury hotel. The museum here contains the kind of things that the Maharajas loved to collect, crystal, glass, chinaware, fancy clocks, stuffed animals and even some model planes.

Jaswant Thada
Just a little further down the road from Mehrangarh is Jaswant Thada, a beautiful marble memorial dedicated to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. It is a delicate construction and the people of Jodhpur often offer flowers at the shrine located within.

Kaylana Lake
A lake in any desert town becomes a cause for not only sustenance but also celebration. The Kaylana Lake is no different, popular with the locals for an evening stroll and a charming picnic spot.

Clock Tower
Back in the olden days when clocks and wristwatches were rare. The then rulers built clock towers so that people could easily find out what time of the day it was, usually in the busy thouroughfare of the city. Since the kings were building it therefore it had to stun the people and it had to have that royal stamp on it so that it could become a popular landmark. The clock tower is replete with wood carvings, wrought iron, silver and ivory ornamentation and leatherwear. In short, the extremity of craftsmanship is visible in its full splendour here.

Quirks and Cuisine
Along with the regular Rajasthani fare, Jodhpur dishes out some of its very own spicy specialities. Try the sizzling hot mirchi vada, pyaz-ki-kachori and samosas at the local eateries. The best thing to follow a spicy treat is of course something sweet, but Jodhpur has a unique custom, instead of ending a meal with dessert, you start the meal with a bit of sweet, Mave ki Kachori , Besan ki Chaaki and Maakhan Vade are the some of the best sellers. Jodhpur's Makhania Lassis are also well known and just the right refreshment after a long hard day of sightseeing.

Shopping in JodhpurJodhpur's colourful and hectic bazaars are a veritable shopper's paradise. Laden with all the goods now synonymous with Rajasthan itself, like bandhini (very fine tie and dye), handicrafts made of wood, iron and camel bone, classic silver jewellery, embroidered leather shoes, lacquer ware, carpets, puppets, clay figurines, miniature camels and elephants, textiles and its famous red chilli. In recent years however, Jodhpur has become an important 'antique' shopping destination in India. Here you will find doorways, lintels, carved balconies and windows, pillars and furniture, both genuine antiques as well as some treated to look so. The classic 'Jodhpurs' or breeches are a must buy from this place of their origin. The main shopping enclaves include Tripolia bazaar, Sarafa bazaar, Sardarpura Market, Sojati Gate, and the Jutti corner. Both Umaid Bhawan Palace as well as Ajit Bhawan sell exclusive, boutique-style jewellery, handicrafts, accessories and souvenirs.

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Getting There
Air : The Jodhpur Civil Aerodrome is 5km from the city center. There are daily flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur and Jaipur.

Rail : The Jodhpur Junction is well connected to all major cities of the country. The Mandore Express connects it to Delhi, the Ranakpur Express to Mumbai and the Howrah-Jodhpur Express to Kolkata.

Road : Jodhpur is a comfortable six and a half hour drive from Jaipur, the Capital city of Rajasthan. RSTC buses and private luxury buses connect Jodhpur with almost all major places of Rajasthan.

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