The city Jodhpur is known by many names, including ‘The Blue City’, ‘Gate to the Thar’ and ‘Sun City’. Behind each of its walls, forts and face is a very rich history of splendid stories. With its gleaming bazaars, extravagant lights and colourful lanes, you will find yourself lost in the streets of Jodhpur. So, here are some facts about this magnificent city that will take you back in the ages.
A tip: If you want to explore Jodhpur, hire a taxi service in Jodhpur, which is the best way to explore Jodhpur.
Until 1100 AD, Jodhpur was part of the Gurjara-Pritchard kingdom, which was ruled by Raja Badgurjar. In the year 1459, Rao Jodha (Chief of Rajput belonging to the Rathor family) founded the city of Jodhpur. Rao Jodha was successful in capturing the bound province and named it Marwar.
Marwar, meaning ‘Land of Death’, refers to the harsh desert climate. It was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha, the chief of Rathor. The Rathors belong to the branch of the Kshatriyas known as the Suryavansh (solar race), the warrior caste of Hindus who are descendants of Lord Rama. Rao Ganga Singh of Jodhpur (reigned 1516–32) fought with the army of the great warrior king Rana Sanga of Mewar against Babur, the first Mughal emperor.
But over the next half-century, the rulers of Jodhpur allied themselves with Akbar, the grandson of Babur, and enjoyed autonomy for some time. Jodhpur benefited from the wide world of new styles and this display of art and architectural brilliance that is reflected in some of the monuments. Opportunities opened up for local traders to make their mark across North India as it was strategically linked to Gujarat and Delhi.
The blue colour of the city walls has been associated with Lord Shiva; there were many followers of Shiva in Jodhpur who consider the blue colour to be sacred. One theory says that traditionally, the colour blue symbolised the home of a Brahmin, but over time, non-Brahmins also got involved in the act. Thus, the city of Jodhpur now bathes in blue.
Rajan Shah shares:
“Jodhpur is one of the most beautiful cities I have visited. The city is clean and peaceful! The city has a great heritage and history. It is easily accessible and well connected by air, rail and road transport to all the major cities of the country. There is so much to see and experience in Jodhpur. To name a few – Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum, Jaswant Thada, Mandore Garden, Clock Tower. Jodhpur offers a great achievement to history and art lovers. Jodhpur is also famous for its hospitality and food. The food is rich and very tasty; especially the all-time famous dal baati and churma, a variety of namkeens and chaats, and best of all – mirchi vada! Simply mindblowing! “
Now, in modern times, Jodhpur has become a popular tourist destination with markets that have a great collection of jewellery and accessories for shopping. Even the streets are a feast for the eye! The handicraft industry is the main source of income in the city. Along with a number of growing higher education institutions, Jodhpur also houses training centres for the Indian Air Force, Army and Border Police.
Have you been to Jodhpur? Share your experience in a few sentences in the comments.
Note: The article was originally published here.