The Sun City of Jodhpur, with the golden sands of the Thar Desert all around, is Rajasthan in all its glittering glory. The historic city with its narrow, old-world lanes and streets, colourful folklore and handicrafts, and forts and monuments that talk of a time bygone, define the heritage of the city. It is the erstwhile capital of the Marwar kingdom for centuries, and was a part of the Mughal Empire for a long time. Interestingly, Jodhpur’s forts and monuments even today stand untouched by the ravages of time. When you visit this popular tourist destination in Rajasthan, make sure to explore the many forts and monuments.
One of the gateways to Mehrangarh Fort, Loha Pol, which literally means ‘Iron Gateway’, shares a fair bit of its history too. The Loha Pol, the heaviest of the seven gateways within the fort, leads to the residences and palaces of the Marwar royal families. Unfortunately, it is more popular for a darker history of the handprints of queens who killed themselves in the ancient practice of Sati.
Located a few kilometres out of Jodhpur city, Mandore Gardens has an interesting history. Mandore was the erstwhile capital of the Jodhpur kingdom and is situated in the square, right in the middle of the city. All through history, the town saw many invasions, but today its main attraction is its manicured gardens. The gardens still retain various remnants of the ancient empire. There lies quite a few empty tombs of several Jodhpur emperors, intact in all their glory, somewhere in the garden. Cheap air tickets are available online, so book one and discover unexplored places here. You can easily find hotels in Jaipur to enjoy a comfortable layover.
Zenana Mahal, also a part of the Mehrangarh Fort, was once a home for the queens of Jodhpur. The Zenana Mahal stands as a reminder of the lives of the womenfolk in Marwar. Moti Mahal Chowk, popular court for the Jodhpur queens, is an example of the grandeur that was so common at the time. Walk through its numerous corridors and relive a glorious era of the past.
Not very popular among tourists, but the Jai Pol is rich in historical significance. The Jai Pol is one of the seven gates situated at the entrance of the Mehrangarh Fort. Built elegantly, in the traditional Rajasthani architecture in the year 1806, the upstanding Jai Pol commemorates the victory of Maharaja Man Singh, the ruler of Amber and general to Mughal emperor Akbar, over the armies of Bikaner, Udaipur and Jaipur. The victory memorial leads you into the Mehrangarh Fort citadel, where you can still see the impact scars of cannon balls fired by invading armies.
Rai ka Bagh Palace
Rai ka Bagh Palace was ordered to be built by the mother of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, Queen Hadiji, in the year 1663. The palace is more famous in some circles for being the place where Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj reform movement in the 19th century, gave his sermons. As of today, the Rai ka Bagh Palace houses the offices of the income tax department. It is still as enchanting as ever, and deserves a visit.
Add Jodhpur to your travel bucket list and explore the beauty of the royal state of Rajasthan.