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Jodhpur
 
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 Palace of Umaid Bhawan; the monuments temples and gardens of Jodhpur depict a multi-faceted grandeur.

Founded in 1459 AD by the Suryavanshi Rao Jodha, Jodhpur gradually grew around the towering Mehrangarh Fort, built as a stronghold on the advice of a sage. Alongwith Bikaner and Jaisalmer, Jodhpur too is situated on the ancient silk route that linked Central Asia and Northern India with the seaports of Gujarat. As a result it became a major trading centre in the 16th century. Reminiscent of the bygone years is the fact that Jodhpur is still the leading centre for cattle, camels, wood, salt and agricultural crops. The beauty and imagination that has gone into the making of this monumental city proclaim the life-springs of creative genius that appear incongurent with the harshness of this land and its climate.

Mehrangarh Fort- In the turbulent political times of 1459 AD. Rao Jodha was adviced by a saint to establish 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 exquisitively latticed windows in residential apartments within. Carved panels and porches, elaborately adorned windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Sileh Khana, seem to make the medieval splendour come alive. A collection of musical instruments, palanquins, royal costumes, furniture and the cannons on the fort's ramparts are preserved.

Jaswant Thada-Close to the fort complex lies this 19th century royal cenotaph, built in white marble, in commemoration of Maharaja 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.
It's sculpted lawns with sandstone pavements and bouquets of bougainvillaea 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 a museum and part as royal residence.

 

 

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