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Maharajas' Express Train Jodhpur Tour

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History

This bustling desert city is the second largest in Rajasthan after Jaipur. It was founded by Rao Jodha, the leader of the Rathore clan, in 1459 AD. The mammoth, imposing fortress (Meherangarh) has a landscape dominating a rocky ridge with the eight gates leading out of fortress. The new city is outside the structure.

The Rathores enjoyed good relations with the Mughals. Maharaja Jaswant Singh (1678) supported Shah Jahan in the latter's war of succession. The relations with the Mughals soured during the reign of Aurangzeb who launched a crusade against the Hindus, made preparations to bring the state of Marwar under his control, ordered demotion of temples and revival of Jeziya. After Aurangzeb's death, Maharaja Ajit Singh drove out the Mughals from Ajmer and added it to Marwar.

In the reign of Maharaja Umed Singh Jodhpur grew into a modern city. The quintessence of Jodhpur was its valour and equestrian skill. Polo has been the traditional sport of the Jodhpur nobility since medieval times.

Places
Fort museum

This is one of the finest museums in Rajasthan and certainly the best laid out. In the palanquin section of the fort museum, you can see an interesting collection of old royal palanquins including the elaborate domed gilt Mahadol palanquin, which was won in a battle from the Governor of Gujarat in 1730. The museum exhibits the heritage of the Rathores in arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms.

Govt. Bangur museum

This Museum was opened for public on 19 July, 1991. The main attractions of this museum is the idol of Sukali Mata brought from Auwa. The idol of Vishnu, paintings from the Jodhpur school of painting and a rich collection of coins and idols are other attractions. It is situated in the Pali City.

Jaswant thada

On the way down from the fort, on left is Jaswant Thada, the graceful marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. His son Maharaja Sardar Singh built this monument known as the Taj Mahal of Marwar in the memory of Maharaj Jaswant Singh II of Jodhpur. The main memorial has been built like a temple with intricately carved marble stone. A visit to this structure is through the rocky hills giving it a secluded and a mystic aura.

Jhanki mahal

The Jhanki Mahal, from where the royal ladies watched the official proceedings, in the courtyard, today houses a rich collection of the royal cradles. The cradles are decorated with gilt mirrors and figures of fairies, elephant and birds.

Mehrangarh fort

Perched on a 150 m high hill its sprawl is the most formidable and magnificent fort in Rajasthan. Rao Jodha founded it in 1459 but subsequent rulers of Jodhpur have also added to it over the centuries. A meandering road leads to the fort from the city 5 kms below. Battle scars of canon ball hit by attacking armies of Jaipur can still be seen on the second gate. To the left is chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda, a soldier who fell on the spot while defending the fort against the armies of Amber. There are seven gates, which include Jayapol meaning victory built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies.

Fatehpol also meaning victory gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of Mughals. The palm imprints still attract devotional attention and are covered by vermilion paste and paper-thin silver foil.

Phool mahal

The grandest of Mehrangarh's period rooms, the Phool Mahal was in all likelihood a private and exclusive chamber of pleasure dancing girls. It has a ceiling rich in gold filigree. The Phool Mahal was created by Maharaja Abhaya Singh (1724-1749) and the gold came from Ahmedabad in Gujarat as war booty after his famous victory over the rebellious Mughal governor, Sarbuland Khan. The paintings, royal portraits and the ever-popular raga mala, came much later, in the reign of Jaswant Singh II.

Umaid bhawan palace

Built by Maharaja Umaid Singh ( 1929 - 1942 ) and named after him, this exquisite Palace is also known as Chittar Palace because of the local chittar sandstone used in it. It is a splendid example of Indo-colonial and art deco architecture of the 30s. A unique feature of this palace is the fact that the manually chiselled sandstone blocks have been put together in a special system of interlocking. There is no mortar binding. A portion of the palace has been converted into a hotel, the other remains on view to visitors in the form of an excellent museum which houses model aeroplanes, weapons, antique clocks, bob watches, priceless crockery and hunting trophies. Both sections retain the ambience of royal splendour.

Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd

(A Govt. of India Enterprise)
B-148, 11th Floor, Statesman House, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Companion-Pays-50

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