Historical Monuments of Jodhpur
Some of The Most Famous Historical Monuments in Jodhpur
Mehrangarh FortNo description of Jodhpur and its rich historical heritage would be complete without the mention of the Mehrangarh Fort, which is the largest fort in Rajasthan. It was founded in the year 1458 as the site of the new capital of the kingdom of Marwar, and it was around the fort, that the eventual city of Jodhpur took form. In almost five and a half centuries after its inception the fort has never been taken by force, owing to its location and size of the massive ramparts that surround and fortify it. Mehrangarh Fort is not just an average fort, as within the fort complex lies the Maharaja Palace, various temples, and in the backside there is a massive garden that is still farmed and boasts of beautiful greenery.
Some of the interesting highlights of the fort complex contain:
Moti Mahal: Moti Mahal or the pearl hall is decorated with windows of coloured glass, and is the hall where the Maharaja would hold his audience. The farthest wall of the hall has on it five alcoves that would allow the queens to be privy to the happenings of the court.
Sheesh Mahal: Sheesh Mahal, or the Hall of Mirrors as the name suggests is decorated with different mirrors that give the hall an almost surreal effect.
Phool Mahal: Phool Mahal or the Hall of Flowers, was basically the pleasure chamber of the royalty. Being the most extravagant of them all, this is where all the gatherings used to take place which involved dancing women and revelry.
Zenana Deodi: Zenana Deodi, was the Chamber for the Royal Ladies, as it was located in the innermost sanctum of the fort and was guarded by eunuchs. In the Deodi, all the royal ladies spent their days, and the architecture of the place is marked by delicate carvings in sandstone, which are exquisite to behold.
Chamunda Mataji Temple: At the farthest end of the battlements lies the Chamunda Mataji Temple, who was the favoured goddess of Rao Jodha. To this date the goddess is a local favourite and festivals dedicated to her are celebrated with much fanfare throughout the city.
Apart from these architectural feasts that the fort affronts, there are museum galleries that are dedicated to various things like, palanquins, howdahs, arts, weapons etc. and also the famous Turban Gallery that one can indulge in. Another major attraction of the fort is the Flying Fox zip line that is located in Chokelao Gardens in the fort, and is owned by an English company that provides adventure sports experience.
Jaswant ThadaBuilt in the year 1899 by Maharaja Sardar Singh in the memory of his father Maharaja Jaswant Singh, Jaswant Thada is a mausoleum that has been made out of intricately carved marble sheets. The beauty of the cenotaphs lie in the way the marble sheets have been polished, so that when it catches the rays of the sun, it emits a warm glow that is mesmerizing. Since its inception Jaswant Thada has been the traditional burial ground for the Jodhpuri rulers, and houses within it two more tombs. The mausoleum grounds are also home to gazebos that are exquisitely carved along with mulch tiered gardens, and also a small lake.
The cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh which lies in this complex, displays various portraits of the rulers and Maharajas of Jodhpur. The main memorial has been built like a temple, and to access the complex one has to pass through the rocky hill terrain that surrounds the nearby Mehrangarh Fort, which lends an almost mystical aura to the entire experience.
Umaid Bhavan PalaceTouted as the last great palace of India, Umaid Bhavan Palace was inaugurated in the year 1944 and has housed the Jodhpur Royalty ever since. Half the building was converted into a heritage hotel by the Taj Group in the year 1972, however it still retains its status as one of the largest private residences in the world, with almost 347 rooms existing within it. Also known as the Chittar Palace, as it was carved in Chittar stone in its entirety, it was constructed by the then Maharaja of Jodhpur, Maharaja Umaid Singh.
The palace complex houses within its grounds, a museum that puts on display the Rajputana regality and also a gallery showcasing all the exotic and exquisite automobiles owned by the royalty of Jodhpur.
Rai Ka Bag PalaceConstructed by the queen of Maharaja Jaswant Singh - I, Hadiji, Rai ka Bag Palace is located near the railway station. Constructed in the year 1663, it was one of the favourite palaces of Maharaja Jaswant Singh – II and most of his days were spent in the octagonal Bungalow that is located in Rai Ka Bag Palace.
The famous palace was frequently visited by Swami Dayanad Saraswati too, and all his sermons were delivered in the Palace grounds. In the present day the palace houses, the income-tax office of Jodhpur, however the place is worth a visit to marvel the architectural heritage of the Rajputana.