Jodhpur is the land of Royalty is a glittering jewel in the golden
sands of the barren desert landscape. The light that reflects of
the golden sands engulf a land renowned for its vibrant
colours, people in the bright clothes and beautiful jewellery,
living in city dotted and dominated by towering fort and palaces
that rise from sand like a mirage. Besides a tour of the massive
and impregnable Mehrangarh Fort, we also decide to go Native here.
We ride horse carriages, as do the natives, to the Clock Tower
Bazaar. This is guaranteed to be a fun experience as the carriage
plods along through bustling parts of the Old city. The Clock
Tower bazaar itself is a fascinating and colourful "you name it we
have it" kind of bazaar.
Palaces to See
Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest
forts in India. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in
the fort narrates a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the
chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
The only palace built in 20th century under the famine relief
programme, has now been converted into a hotel with some parts
being retained as a museum.
The 19th century royal cenotaph is built in white marble, in
commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Some rare portraits of
the rulers of Jodhpur are also displayed here.
This museum has a rich collection of weapons, textiles, miniature
portraits, local crafts and images of Jain Tirthankars. It is
situated in the middle of the Umaid public gardens.
Mandore : Towards
the north of Jodhpur is the ancient capital of Marwar, Mandore. It
is just 8 kms from the city. Main attractions of the place are
Hall of Heroes with sixteen huge figures carved out of a single
rock, the shrine of 330 million Gods and the royal cenotaphs. But
one can not miss the caves in crags and the sprawling gardens,
which are now shelter place for monkeys and peacocks. Greenery of
the place makes Mandore, in true sense, an oasis.
Ossian : 65-km from
Jodhpur, lie ruins of an ancient city called Ossian. This city is
famous for Brahmanical and Jain temples, which belong to 8th and
11th century. Surya or Sun temple and the Sachiya temples are
famous for their beauty. The 'shikhar' of Sachiya temple is
clustered by two rows of turrets, an ambulatory and a large
assembly hall with an elaborate ceiling.
Guda Bishnoi : The
villages are inhabitated by the Bishnoi tribe who are staunch
believers in the sanctity of plant and animal life. Villages are
marked by Khejri trees and deers, which thrive there. 25 kms from
LAKES AND PALACES
Balsamand Lake & Palace :
This picturesque artificial lake is 7 kms from the main city.
Summer palaces along the embankment and a bird sanctuary has made
it a picnic spot.
Sardar Samand Lake and Palace :
Rajasthani village life and vibrant cultural colours come
alive as you drive along the 55 kms stretch. The monotony of the
drive is broken by Chinkaras and Black Bucks who frisk pass the