Jodhpur is the second largest city of Rajasthan, it is set in the barren atmosphere of Thar Desert. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destinations with attractions like temples, palaces,forts and ruins of the former princely splendor. This city is also known as ‘Sun City’ due to the sunny and bright weather, all round the year. Some major attractions would be Umaid Bhawan Palace,Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada.
The Mehrangarh fort is on a vertical cliff, which is 400ft above the ground level of jodhpur. The fort is made of bright red sandstones which makes it look highly invincible with attractive balconies. It is one of the best preserved Indian Fort. The history of the fort is related to the 15thRathore ruler, Rao Jodha, in 1458, the Thousand year old Mandor fort was slowly getting into ruins. There was cannon marks on the thick walls, which is now painted with the picture of the pas.
The fort walls are 36m high and 21m wide, and you can enter the fort only after passing the 7 gates. In 19th century Maharaja Man Singh built the main gate Jayapol. The other victory gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh in 1708, which is known as Fateh pol, and it also marks the victory over the Mughals. The victory other gate which has restored the handprints of the wives of Maharaja Man Singh is Loh pol (Iron Gate) Within the fort, there are spacious courtyards and magnificent palaces like Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) and Sukh Mahal (Pleasure Palace),.
These palaces today serve as museum, entering through the Suraj Pol, you may find collections of lethal weapons,elephant carriages, , small canons, maharaja’s palanquin, beautiful paintings and covered palanquins for ladies. The glass tiles of Umaid Mahal shines beautifully in the fort.The Zenana Mahal also showcases about 150 designs of beautiful latticework which adds worth to the architecture.
Umaid Bhawan Palace was built by H.H Maharaja Umaid Singh, between 1928 and 1943. It is one of the largest of all private residences in the world. The palace was mainly build to provide employment to those who suffered a lot because of famine. It serves as the residence of erstwhile Jodhpur Royal family and has 347 rooms in total.
The present owner of the palace is Maharaja Gaj Singh. The palace is now divided into three parts which includes a luxury Taj palace Hotel which came into existence in 1972, A museum which focuses on the 20th century history of the royal family and the residence of the erstwhile royal family.
Balsamand Lake was built by Balak Rao Parihar in 1159 AD, This lake is situated on the Jodhpur-Mandore Road and it is just 5km away from Jodhpur. Earlier it was used as water reserve which provided water to Mandore.
The lake is surrounded by green gardens, and you can find many animals and birds like peacock and jackal. Visitors can also find fruit trees like pomegranate, guava, plum, mango and papaya trees.
Later, A Palace was built as a summer palace on the shore of the lake known as Balsamand Lake Palace. The palace is completely constructed using Jodhpur red sandstone and it houses antique traditional furniture. The architecture of the palace is traditional RajputanaStyle. The Balsamand Palace has now been converted into a heritage hotel.
Jaswant Thada was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh in the memory of his father Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. It is a white marble memorial. In the 19th century this royal cenotaph was built and it has two tombs inside. There are three cenotaph and oneroyal crematorium near Jaswant Thada.
Jaswant Thada has brilliant architecture as it is built out of marble sheets which are intricately carved. The stones that are used in the construction are very thin and well-polished. Beautiful Marble jail work is done on the cenotaph.
Kalyana Lake was built in1872 by Sardar Pratap Singh. The lake is the main supply of drinking water for Jodhpur. It was constructed on the ruins of the palaces of two Jodhpur KingsTakhat Singh and Bhim Singh. Kalyana Lake collects water from HatiNehar which gets linked to the Indra Gandhi Canal.
Many birds migrate in winters to this place, it is a perfect place for bird lovers. During the sunset the lake looks completely phenomenal, and people visit the lake specially in evening to see the sunset.