Jodhpur India

Jodhpur is a historic city that was founded by Rao Jodha, the Rajput chieftan of the Rathores in 1459 AD. It is the second largest and one of the three sculpted cities of Rajasthan. It is flanked on the western side by the Mehrangarh Fort and on the eastern side by the sandstone palace of Umaid Bhawan Palace. It has been the hub of traders since time immemorial. It consists of old havelis, bazaars and other sightseeing attractions. Its merchant class dominates the business sector across India. Jodhpur city is divided into two sections, the old city that is fortified by a long high wall and the new city with modern buildings. This city still retains the medieval charm with magnificent forts, palaces, temples and Havelis. It is a popular tourist city known as the Sun City also. It is set in the stark landscape of the Thar Desert and blessed with bright, sunny weather it enjoys all over the year. It is also referred to as the Blue City also due to the indigo tinge of the whitewashed houses around the Mehrangarh Fort.

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Mehrangarh Fort: The iconic Mehrangarh Fort lies at the outskirts of Jodhpur city and is located atop a 125 m high hill with an area of 5 sq kms. Rao Jodha founded it in 1459. Mehrangarh literally means “Majestic Fort”. The fort is the most majestic and one of the largest forts of India. It has seven gates that have to be crossed to reach the fort. The gates still bear the marks of the various battles fought in the bygone era. Its second gate still stands witness to canon ball hits by attacking armies of Jaipur during wars. At present this fort is managed as a museum by the royal trust. There are only some of the palaces of the fort are open to the visitors as Moti Mahal, Jhanki Mahal, Chandan Mahal, Rang Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Umaid Vilas and Maan Vilas. The fort museum houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs, royal cradles, miniatures, musical instruments, costumes and furniture. The ramparts of Mehrangarh Fort provide a breath-taking view of the city.

The Umaid Bhawan Palace: This is one of India’s most imposing and new palaces. This lavish art deco monument to royal living had an improbable conception; it was built as an employment project during severe drought. Over one million square feet of the finest marble was used in the construction of the palace. The project employed three thousand artisans over a period of 15 years. Maharaja Umaid Singh that named after him built it. He utilized the services of a well-known architect, Henry Vaughan Lanchester for the construction of this palace. Another special feature of the palace is the use of a special type of sandstone, called Chittar sandstone, giving it a special appearance. It is the fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. It is the largest private residence in the world that has finest art-decoration, the only palace to have painting from the Ramayana painted by a Polish artist, the first to use air-conditioning, electricity and elevators, and the most impressive for its size and dimensions. It is a formal building that is perfectly symmetrical and consists 347 rooms.

Jaswant Thada: It is a cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in 1899 A.D. in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, the 33rd Rathore ruler of Jodhpur. You may see the portraits of various Jodhpur rulers within the main cenotaph. It is the architectural landmark of Jodhpur that is located to the left of the Mehrangarh Fort complex. The cenotaph has two more tombs within it that are the royal crematorium and three other cenotaphs. The monument, in its entirety, is built out of intricately carved sheets of marble. These stones are extremely thin and polished so that they emit a warm glow with the rays of The Sun.

Government Museum: Jodhpur has many museums, which are the perfect reminiscence of its history. The Government Museum in Jodhpur is very famous. It is situated in the Umaid Public gardens. This museum has fine collection of sculptures, weapons and stuffed animals including almost featherless desert birds in two glass cases. The military section includes wooden biplane models.

Rai ka Bag Palace: It is another tourist attraction in the city that was built by the queen of Maharaja Jaswant Singh-I, Hadiji in 1663. It is situated near the Raika Bag palace railway station. It was amongst the favorite palaces of King Jaswant Singh-II. He stayed most of the time in the octagonal bungalow of Rai Ka Bag palace.

Umed Garden: It covers an area of 82 acres. It was developed by Maharaja Umed Singh that consist green lawns, ashok trees, roses, seasonal flowers, museum, fountains, library and zoo. In 1978 ‘Walk-in Aviary ‘ was made where consisting variety of local birds, African and Australian parrots, ducks, rabbits etc in the natural environment. There is a large cage for bears and opposite to the cage there are foxes, deers, lions and leopard etc.

Mandore Garden: It is also spread in an area of 82 acres consists of several varieties of trees. It seems that this beautiful garden existed during the reign of King Maldeo (1532-1572). King Maldeo was married to the princess of Jaisalmer. The beauty of the garden has been captured on celluloid by reputed filmmakers. The jet fountain is an all-time tourist attraction. There is a natural pond known as Nagadari. Local fairs Nagpancharni and Veer puri are organized in this garden.

Nehru Park: It has an area of 14 acres. This park was developed as a children park. It was inaugurated in 1966 that consists fountain, pond, swings flower beds, trees and plants etc.

Clock Tower and Sadar Market: A prime attraction of the city is clock tower and the colorful sadar bazaar close to it. These colorful markets with tiny shops dotting the narrow lanes are situated in the heart of city and popular for a wide range of handicrafts making them the favorite haunt of shoppers.

Balsamand Lake and Palace: This beautifully carved palace is built on a hillock facing Balsammand Lake. This is the popular excursion of Jodhpur that was constructed in 19th century and is made up of sandstone. Maharajah Sur Singh of Jodhpur, as a summer pavilion, built this palace encircled by the hills. The lakeside, in front of the palace, has domed structure that provides fabulous views of the lake. The gardens get water from an artificial waterfall, bringing down water from the reservoir. The palace has now been converted into a heritage hotel.

How to Reach Jodhpur ? 

By Air: The Jodhpur Airport is 5 km from the city center. Regular flight services connect the city with other major cities in and around Rajasthan. There are daily flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur and Jaipur.

By Train: Jodhpur is well connected by railway lines. Trains to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata are easily available. The ‘Palace on Wheels’ also visits this city of royal splendor.

By Road: Another convenient mode of transportation to Jodhpur is by road. The main highway between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer is via Agoli and Pokaran. The highway is well connected with Agra, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur.

Local Transport: Means of transport in Jodhpur include Taxis, Auto-rickshaws and Tongas. Taxi stand is near the main railway station. Auto-rickshaws are best suited for the narrow lanes of the old city. You can also explore Jodhpur with a bicycle also.

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