Capital of the warrior Rathores, Jodhpur was founded by Rao Jodha, the chief of the Rathore clan in 1459, after whom the city is named. Popularly known as the "Sun City", it enjoys a bright sunny weather throughout the year. This city remained the great seat of power of the Rathores for a long time and is also referred to as the "Blue City" due to indigo whitewashed walls of most of the houses of the city. Jodhpur is among the oldest of the Rajputana cities founded much before other royal cities of Jaipur, Udaipur, and Bikaner. The old city of Jodhpur is enveloped by a 10 km long and immensely thick wall, with the entrance being the massive twin domes of Fateh pol.
Jodhpur is also home to one of the most majestic forts of India, the Mehrangarh Fort which served as a residence for the generation of Rathore kings and witnessed many intrigues and invasions during its centuries old history. Due to the strategic position of this place and its proximity with many trading centers like Arabia, Persia, Agra and Delhi, Jodhpur city flourished during the medieval ages, especially when the Rathores struck an alliance with the Mughals in the 16th century. During this period, this historic city also witnessed an amalgamation of Rajput and Muslim traditions which is reflected in its rich architecture and folk arts.
For people who want to taste the true sense of royalty, Jodhpur is an ideal destination to experience the lifestyle of royals and nobles. The present Maharaja, Gaj Singh, and the heir to Jodhpur throne, Yuvraj Shivraj Singh still reside in the historical city of Jodhpur. The grandiose Umaid Bhawan Palace is the house of the royal family and was built by the Late Maharaja Umaid Singh under whom Jodhpur transformed into a modern city, while keeping its customs and traditions alive. This majestic city is a paradise for people who love indulging in hefty shopping, particularly, handicrafts, antiques, and ethnic goods. The city market is filled with traditional handicrafts, fine Jodhpuri fabrics, and camel leather goods. The royal city of Rajasthan leaves a lasting impression on the minds of the visitors, enticing them to visit it again and enjoy the splendor and genuine hospitality of this awe-inspiring destination.
Mehrangarh Fort, built by Rao Jodha in 1459, is one of the largest citadels in India. Shortly after his accession to the throne, Jodha shifted his capital to the safer location of Jodhpur as the old Mandore Fort was no longer secure. The splendid Mehrangarh Fort is situated atop a 150 m high hill and oversees the entire city of Jodhpur. One can capture the breathtaking view of the entire city from the fort.
Rohetgarh Fort is the bastion of the chivalrous Champawat clan of Rathores. Even though this fort is one of the lesser known forts of Rajasthan, its architectural marvel and exquisite carvings and paintings speak volumes about the beauty of the citadel. This fort hotel is a paradise for nature lovers, known for its peaceful haven with well manicured lawns, where one can easily sight peacocks roaming freely in the fort and the only sound one can hear is the chirping of the birds.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
One of the largest and grandest private residences in the world, Umaid Bhawan Palace, located in Jodhpur, was built in the 20th century and took 16 years to complete. The palace derives its name from Maharaja Umaid Singh who was fond of western lifestyle and hence, appointed the Edwardian Architect Henry Vaughan Lanchester to build the splendid palace. Situated on the highest point in Jodhpur, Chittar Hill, the palace was initially called Chittar Palace. The palace comprises of 347 rooms, which declared it the first biggest private residence in the world.