This post was written by Rohit Agarwal from India.
Browsing through the Internet and lifestyle magazines, one tends to see that Jodhpur is almost everywhere there is a city, a district – and even pants that share the name. Well, we’re going to explore the city in Rajasthan that’s perennially decked in blue. Jodhpur has a fair bit of both history and skyscrapers. It used to be home to the Mewar dynasty that inspired a lot of literature, and nowadays it’s going around as Rajasthan’s city that’s a tourist hub and smaller to only one other city. Even then, the historical sites remain the main sources of interest for a lot of global tourists, and this list tries to figure out the how’s and why’s.
1. The Siddhanth Shiv Temple
The history of greats is often littered with anecdotes of struggle. This place has no exception. The location used to be a spot frequented by no man before the temple cropped up. Next, the founder was a saint and a hermit who had four digits per limb. And here’s what can link you to the greats – it’s situated in a place that makes it hard to reach. But the journey is worth it, as you get to witness architecture, past relics and a view of surrounding rivers – a combo which makes this one of the hotspots of Jodhpur travel.
2. The Mehrangarh or Jodhpur Fort
Mehrangarh Fort is another historical highpoint of the place with the moniker of “blue city”. It is a fort which adds a museum, surrounding temples and a rock park into the bargain. It has symbols of victory on its surface, and palanquins on display inside the museum. It pays tribute to a soldier who died on duty in its defence through such symbolic architecture.
3. The Jaswant Thada
This is one historical tourist attraction that offers select architectural diversity that would satisfy even the expert eye. Jaswant Thada features an empty tomb, or cenotaph. It also has prominent gazebos. It was constructed by Jodhpur royalty, the Marwars, by a son, Maharaja Sardar Singh, and dedicated to his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The other contributions made to increasing its aesthetic appeal are by colours and paints, shades on the building that make it luminous when touched by light.
4. The Umaid Bhawan Palace
This is one of the grandest entrants that could ever have graced a list. It was home and abode to Jodhpur’s monarchs, and features on global lists among the most splendid of privately owned realty. Besides being a blindingly beautiful castle in its own right, it is now extended to being the home of a museum, and upkeep by the Taj Hotel Group. Yes, you read that right – the Taj. Once any estate is owned by them, grand is what it automatically becomes, and this one’s no exception – being converted by Taj into one of the most coveted hotels in the country.
5. The Sachiya Mata Temple
The Sachiya Mata Temple, located in Jodhpur, boasts of history as old as the hills and as wonderful as fairytales. It was built in honour of goddesses born to demon kings, who fed Brahmins and dueled with Gods like Shiva. And is worshipped by Kshatriya clans, to top it all. The multi-clan backstory of this temple lives in present times, attracting worship from different tribes of people, with worshippers set in hierarchy like members of some secret organisation. It has fine architecture and offers paintings, statues and historical samples to interest the attentive learner or fascinated tourist.
History is one of the defining features of India tourism, and archaeology and folklore the defining features of historical tourist attraction sites in turn. Rajasthan has always been one of the parts of India so steeped in indigenous cultures like the Mewar rule that it escaped the onslaught of later, mainly British colonialism more than parts like Kolkata did. Jodhpur seems to bring out that essence by presenting a number of historical artefacts that spoil the tourist for choice and makes one marvel at the days India saw in its prime.
Rohit Agarwal is a traveler and a blogger at Trans India Travels. An architect by profession, Rohit was influenced by the architecture of the ancient monuments in India and is in search to find the most interesting tourist sites in India.