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The main monuments of Jodhpur

Main monuments of Jodhpur

The second most important city in Rajasthan after Jaipur, Jodhpur is dominated by the Mehrangarh Fort. The monument, erected at the top of an imposing promontory, is defended by high and powerful walls against which numerous assaults came up. 

The capital of the kingdom of Marwar, the "land of death", was founded in 1459 by the reigning prince, Rao Jodha. He was the heir of the Rathore Rajput clan that had ruled Mandore since the 13th century. As the head of one of the most valiant Rajput clans, Jodha decided to found his new capital to be called Jodhpur. 

Of all the conquerors who swept through northern India, none managed to reduce Jodhpur. Not even the great Mughal emperor Akbar. He preferred to make a treaty with these diehards by marrying Jodh Bai, a Rathore princess, for whom he built a palace in Fatehpur Sikri. Thereafter, the maharajas of Jodhpur remained the most loyal allies of the Mughal Empire.  

Jodhpur's main monuments also include less martial attractions. These include its bustling bazaar and the stunning Umaid Bhawan, a 1930s princely palace converted into a hotel after Independence.

Mehrangarh fort
Mehrangarh fort jodhpur


The Mehrangarh Fort, or "Fort of Majesty" is one of the largest and most beautiful in Rajasthan. It is a suite of palaces built of dark red stone with amazingly elaborate windows. It houses remarkable collections of miniatures, weapons, palanquins, cradles and other precious objects.

Perched on an eagle's nest, it was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha. Since then, it has towered 120 metres above the arid plain and the city. It is said that thousands of men and 500 elephants hoisted the heavy stone blocks to complete the construction in 10 years. Victorious in many attacks, it was only taken twice.

Jodhpur Jaswant Thada


Below the Mehrangarh fort stands Jaswant Thada, a small white marble monument which is the majestic memorial of Jaswant Singh II. He was the first ruler of Jodhpur to be cremated here and not in Mandore as was the tradition.

This memorial, whose construction was undertaken by the maharaja's wife in 1899, is designed like a temple. The interior, immaculate and fresh, is bathed in a magnificent light, filtered through the jali of a very pure marble. The representation of the monarch is still venerated as it is believed that he has the power to answer prayers.

sardar bazar jodhpur


The clock tower marks the centre of the old town. At its feet, the Sardar market is always bustling with women in wide, colourful skirts and turbaned men.

The streets leading off from the tower, narrow and crowded, are lined with the stalls of craftsmen (jewellers, tinsmiths, babouche makers, puppet makers, etc.) or those of spice sellers.

It is good to get lost in this maze of narrow streets overflowing with activity. There are still some old houses with elaborate balconies, temples and a few palaces.

mandore gardens jodhpur


Former capital before the transfer to Jodhpur, Mandore was kept by the maharajas to erect their cenotaphs there, in particular in verdant gardens crossed by canals where the Indians like to come and walk in the shade of flamboyant trees, mango trees, peepals and other neems. ​

Some of these grandiose funerary monuments take on the appearance of temples, with porches, multi-storey galleries, towers, testifying to the growing splendour of the maharajas. The most opulent was built in 1730 for Ajit Singh who was accompanied in death by his six wives and 58 concubines!

Temples Osian


Located 65 kms north of Jodhpur, on the road to Jaisalmer, the village of Osian was once a great religious centre and a splendid city where a rich Jain community conducted a prosperous trade.

Only 18 very beautiful Hindu and Jain temples remain from this period, of which the best preserved are still in operation.

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