JODHPUR : STATE OF MARWAR
Jodhpur, once the capital of the former princely state of marwar, is now the second largest city of Rajasthan, flanked on its western side by the mehrangarh fort, and on the eastern side by the stately sandstone place of unaid Bhawan: the monuments, temple and gardern of Jodhpur depict a multy facted grndeur. founded in 1459A.D. by the Suryavanshi Rao Jodha.
Jodhpur gradually grew around the toweling Mehrangarh Fort built as a stronghold on the advice of a sage. Along with bikaner and Jaisalmer Jodhpur too is situated on the ancients silk route that linked Central Asia and Northern India the Seaports of Gujarat. As a result it became a major trading center in the 16th century. Reminiscent of the bygone years is the fact that jodhpur is still the leading trade centre for camel, wood, salt and agricultural crops. The beauty and imagination that have gone in to the making of this monumental city proclaim the life springs of creative genius that appear incongruent with the harshness of this land and its climate.
In the turbulent political times of 1459 A.D. Rao Jodha was advised by a saint to established an impregnable head Quarter and so, the Mehrangarh fort was built on a steep hill . this formidable hill-Top fort is among the best in India with exquisitely latticed windows in residential apartments within. Carved panels and porches, elaborately adorned windows and wall of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mhal , Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana, seem to make the medieval splendor came alive. A Collection of musical instruments, palanquins , royal costumes, furniture and the cannons on the fort's ramparts are preserved.
Close to the fort complex lies this 19th century royal cenotaph, built in white marble, in cdommemoration of Jaharaj Jaswant Singh. Rare portraits of Jodhpur's rulers are also displayed at Jaswant Thada.
Umaid Bhawan Palace:
The only palace built in the 20th century , as a famine relief project which gave employment to the people for 16 years. Its sculpted lawns with sandstone pavements and bouquets of bougainvillea bushes, are a soothing sight in the midst of this desert city. The palace now runs as a hotel though part of it is retained as museum and part as royal residence.
Mandore (8 KM.):
The former capital of Marwar, north of Jodhpur. Worth Seeing are the Old cenotaphs and caves in the crags. Which once sheltered ascetics. the exquisite landscaped gardens come alive with peacocks and monkeys and the sprawling preenery of sacred peepal banyan, bottle brush, pome granate, palm & plantians and bubbling fountains are a feast for the eyes. Set against a rocky wall is a pillared compound, housing the "Hall of Heroes" and "Shrine" of the 330 million gods.
Built in 1812, this is an old walled town comprising of few hundred houses. Mahamandir is famous for its 84 Pillars, beautifully carved all around their circumferences.
An ideal picnic spot. Chinkara and Black buck might frisk part to break the monotony of the drive.
Osian (65 Km.):
A great centre of Brahmanical and Jain religions. The temples here belong to two peiods an early period to two periods-an early period represented by nearly 12 temples and a later period of 6 temples. The Jain Mahavir Temple is unique among the Osian Temples with the vaulted design of its hall -ceiling. The main Sachiya Mata temple appears to be made in 1178 AD and has a shikhar clustered by two rows of turrets, an ambulatory and a large assembly hall with an elaborate ceiling.
Gida Hishnoi (25 Kms.):
These are immaculately kept villages of the Bishnoi community of plant and animal like Khejri tree and deer thive in these villages.