Magical Jodhpur captivates with all its layers that intrigue and excite one’s curiosity. This desert outpost was the Capital of the former Kingdom of Marwar, and became rich and prosperous because of its strategic location on the old caravan route, and offers one of India’s most dramatic panoramas – a dawn view over the blue mosaic of Jodhpur’s old city from the towering fortress-palace of Mehrangarh.
The skyline is dominated by the profile of India’s most fabulous fortress-palace – Mehrangarh, the biggest fort in all of India, a battle-scarred veteran sitting atop a dramatic escarpment overlooking a sea of blue-painted houses.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace is a magnificent example of the Indo-Saracenic architecture. Its construction was ordered in order to give employment to people affected by the famine in late 1920s. It is one of the biggest 20th century palaces in the world, the other being Viceroy’s House in Imperial New Delhi (now the Rashtrapati Bhawan or the Presidential Palace). For those keen on architectural details, construction began on Umaid Bhawan in 1929, the very same year Viceroy’s House was completed in New Delhi, and there are architectural facets and details of Umaid that seem inspired by Viceroy House. The palace is now divided into three sections: the royal apartments, a luxury hotel, and a museum of royal artefacts including the fine automobile collection.
A leisurely trip to Jodhpur would require 2-3 days, and allow you to savour the lively markets and some other places of interest such as Jaswant Thada, a beautiful marble cenotaph built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, who ruled over Marwar in the latter part of the 19th century, and the Sardar Government Museum showcasing an eclectic collection on the life and times of the royal family.