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Kanika Nevatia Apr 01 2014

Which are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Jodhpur?

Benazir Khan Apr 01 2014
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Jodhpur Town can be covered in two to three days in a leisurely manner. You can take a direct Delhi to Jodhpur flight to save time. Otherwise, cabs from nearby cities can also be opted for, if road trips are your thing. About three days should be kept aside for touring around. The heritage properties here are excellent stay options, provided their high tariffs are not a deterrent.


A photo of Jodhpur (by Lokankara)

A day could also be devoted to a visit to Osian where you can go on a camel safari or stay at a night camp. Keep aside a day for the Bishnoi village safari.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

The palace is a magnificent structure that’s representative of the Indo-Saracenic
style of architecture, and is made of sandstone that has been put together without the use of mortar.

Umaid Singh, the then Maharaja of Jodhpur, ordered the construction of the palace in order to give relief and work to the people affected by the famine of the late 1920s. The project took 15 years to complete and gave employment to 3,000 artisans.

In 1977, following the abolition of the privy purses, the current royal Maharaja Gaj Singh converted a part of the Umaid Bhawan Palace into a hotel. Today, the palace is divided into three sections: the royal apartments, the hotel that is now run by the Taj Group, and a museum.


A photo of Umaid Bhawan Palace (by Ajajr101)

The royal wing is closed for tourists. To enter the hotel, one has to pay a cover charge of INR 3,000 per head, which is then adjusted against the expenses of eating and drinking inside the hotel.

The museum has a display of royal artifacts collected over the years, such as crystals, clocks, crockery and anything else that might have caught the royal fancy. The clock collection is perhaps the most interesting of all.

◆Location: To the east of the town, adjacent to the cantonment. Museum entry fee: Indians INR 15, foreigners INR 50. Cameras Not allowed. Timings 8.30
am-5.45 pm.

Mehrangarh Fort

The most imposing structure in Jodhpur is also the biggest fort in Rajasthan. Built atop a 150 m high hill in 1459 by Rao Jodha, the fort has withstood many a battle, as is evident today from the marks of cannonballs on the fort walls.

The entrance ticket has to be bought at the main entrance at Jai Pol, built by
Maharaja Man Singh. From here you can either climb up or take the elevator
service. For me, the best part of any visit to the fort is the walk up to the ramparts, and beyond that to the mandir located in one corner of the fort.

The view from here in Mehrangarh Fort, of the entire city, is simply breathtaking. To the south you can see the Umaid Bhawan Palace and closer to the fort, the Old City, famously painted blue to ward off Marwar’s terrible heat.

There is a museum here with an exquisite collection of artefacts, including some very fascinating war booty and even more fascinating armoury (perhaps some of the deadliest looking swords one might ever get to see).

The first several rooms of the museum are arranged around a courtyard called Sangar Chowki, where coronations were held until 1952. Inside, in the delicately worked sandstone apartments, there is a wonderful collection of palanquins and
elephant seats (howdahs), the outstanding one being a silver howdah gifted by Shahjahan.

It is decorated with a relief of lions, whose faces look peculiarly like shocked Rajput warriors. Up one level is a room full of excellent miniature paintings in the Marwar style of the 18th and the 19th centuries.


A photo of Mehrangarh Fort (by Knowledge Seeker)

After this comes a series of apartments decorated with gilded wood, Murano glassware, Chinese tiles, an opulent mix-and-match from different regions and historical periods that covers every available square inch of space.

The royal splendour of the first family of Marwar is evident in the spread of costumes on display. The Zenana Mahal and the Phool Mahal have frescoes and stained glass. If you want to pick up souvenirs, the museum gift shop has designer items as well as stalls run by local craftspersons.

When you’re done with the museum, turn left and take a 1/2-km walk past the Chamunda Mata Temple to catch wonderful views of the Old City. Return to the right of the museum to exit the fort via Loha Pol, where you can see handprints of Raja Man Singh’s widows, who committed sati in 1843.

On your way down you’ll pass Rao Jodha Ka Phalsa, where folk musicians will greet you. This used to be the last point of the old fort in the times of Rao Jodha. Walk past Fateh Pol and turn right for Jai Pol to exit the fort. To get to the Old City go straight down from Fateh Pol.

◆Entry fee Indians INR 30 (50 per cent concession for defence personnel, students below 18 and senior citizens), foreigners INR 250 (this includes the charge for the audio guide) Cameras Still INR 50, video INR 200. Timings 9 am-5 pm. Guide fee INR 150 (for 4 pax).

Jaswant Thada

Jaswant Thada is a beautiful marble cenotaph that was built by Sardar Singhji in the memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, who ruled over Marwar in the latter part of the 19th century. Jaswant Singh tried to set up a welfare state and was known for his reform measures. The grounds around it became the crematoria for subsequent rulers.


A photo of Jaswant Thada (by KenWalker)

◆Location 1/2 km from the Mehrangarh Fort Entry fee Indians INR 15, foreigners
INR 30 Cameras Still INR 25, video INR 50. Timings 8.30 am-5 pm.

Mandore

Mandore, the erstwhile capital of Marwar, lies on the outskirts of Jodhpur, about 9 km north of the main city. The Mandore Gardens today are better known for the cenotaphs of the former rulers, built not as chhatris but like temples. The Hall of Heroes and the Shrine of the Three Hundred Million Gods here are worth a dekko.
Further on lie the ruins of the abandoned Mandore City, which today serve as the stage for a number of cultural programmes. Also at Mandore is a temple to Mirabai.


A photo of Mandore (by Kavita Morty)

◆Garden timings 8 am-8 pm.

Kaylana Lake

On the western outskirts of Jodhpur, about 11 km from the city, lie the Kaylana and Takhat Sagar lakes, adjacent to each other, separated only by a narrow strip of land through which the Jodhpur-Jaisalmer Highway passes. The Kaylana Lake is a picnic spot where visitors can go boating. Even though Kaylana is not clean, it is still popular with the locals, given the picturesque landscape.


A photo of Kaylana Lake (by Archan dave)

Shopping

Jodhpur is a paradise for shoppers. It is well-known for its tie-and-dye fabric, jootis and mojaris, lacquer-ware, silverware, semi-precious stones, antiques, woodwork and marble souvenirs. The area around Ghanta Ghar or the Clock Tower is the best place to shop. For tiedyed fabrics, head to Kapra Bazaar, and for silver jewellery, Sarafa Bazaar.

National Handlooms, which has branches on Nai Sarak, near the Circuit House, Pratap Nagar and Gandhi Maidan, and Thar Handlooms, Shyam Silk Store and Lucky Silk Store, all near Sojati Gate, are good for saris, dupattas, block-printed textiles and suit pieces. Camel leather-work and jooti shops are to be found all over the city, but the best place to shop for traditional Jodhpuri mojaris and jootis is Juti Corner, right across the railway station.


A photo of typical juttis in Jodhpur (by Ekabhishek)

Prices begin at INR 150 and can go up as high as a few thousand rupees depending on the kind of craftsmanship you are looking for. The area between the Palace Road and the Circuit House has a number of antique and woodwork shops. Doors, jharokhas, chowkis and Jodhpur’s trademark miniature wooden musicians
may be picked up from here, although these are by no means cheap.

Prices start at around INR 250, and can go up to a lakh or more. Some of the
better handicraft stores include Lalji Handicrafts, Shekhawati Art Emporium, Rajasthan Art Emporium, Maharani, Heritage Art School and Rama Bazaar. Both Umaid Bhawan and Ajit Bhawan hotels have shops that sell exclusive, boutique-style jewellery, Rajasthani handicrafts, accessories and souvenirs.



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