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Jodhpur

Jodhpur

[jod-per]
Jodhpur or Marwar, former principality, Rajasthan state, NW India. Except for the eastern section, it is largely an arid wasteland suitable only for the raising of goats and camels. Gypsum and salt are mined, and cotton is raised. The state was founded in the 13th cent. by the Rathor clan of Rajputs and was later a vassal of the Mughal empire. The British brought it under their control in 1818, and in 1949 it was merged with the state of Rajasthan. Jodhpur, city (1991 pop. 666,279), capital of the former state and now a district administrative center, was founded in 1459. It is surrounded by a wall nearly 6 mi (9.7 km) long. Jodhpur is an important marketplace for wool and agricultural products, and has a domestic airport. Its manufactures include textiles, metal utensils, bicycles, ink, and sporting goods. The city is noted for diversified cottage industries, including such manufactures as glass bangles, cutlery, carpets, and marble products. Towering above the city on a rock 400 ft (122 m) high is an old fortress housing several palaces and the treasury of the maharaja. The Indian air force maintains a training center at Jodhpur.
Jodhpur (जोधपुर), is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, also known as Marwar. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar desert.

The city is known as the Sun City for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all year. It is also referred as the Blue City, due to the indigo tinge of the whitewashed houses around the Mehrangarh Fort. Jodhpur lies near the geographic center of Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists. The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a thick stone wall.

History

Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput chief of to the Rathore clan. Rao Jodha succeeded in conquering the surrounding territory and thus founded a state which came to be known as Marwar. As Rao Jodha hailed from the nearby town of Mandore, that town initially served as the capital of this state; however, Jodhpur soon took over that role, even during the lifetime of Rao Jodha. The city was located on the strategic road linking Delhi to Gujarat. This enabled it to profit from a flourishing trade in opium, copper, silk, sandals, date palms and coffee.

Early in its history, the state became a fief under the Mughal Empire, owing fealty to them while enjoying some internal autonomy. During this period, the state furnished the Mughals with several notable generals such as Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Jodhpur and its people benefited from this exposure to the wider world: new styles of art and architecture made their appearance and opportunities opened up for local tradesmen to make their mark across northern India.

Aurangzeb briefly sequestrated the state (c.1679) on the pretext of a minority, but the rightful ruler was restored to the throne after Aurangzeb died in 1707. The Mughal empire declined gradually after 1707, but the Jodhpur court was beset by intrigue; rather than benefiting from circumstances, Marwar descended into strife and invited the intervention of the Marathas, who soon supplanted the Mughals as overlords of the region. This did not make for stability or peace, however; 50 years of wars and treaties dissipated the wealth of the state, which sought and gratefully entered into subsidiary alliance with the British in 1818.

During the British Raj, the state of Jodhpur had the largest land area of any in Rajputana. Jodhpur prospered under the peace and stability that were a hallmark of this era.The land area of the state was 23543 mi² its population in 1901 was 44,73,759. It enjoyed an estimated revenue of £35,29,000/. Its merchants, the Marwaris, flourished without let or limit and came to occupy a position of dominance in trade across India. In 1947, when India became independent, the state merged into the union of India and Jodhpur became the second city of Rajasthan.

Oswal Jains were mainly concentrated in Gorwar Region which was again ruled by Maharaja of Jodhpur . And Oswal jains also played main role in strengthening foundation of Jodhpur by donating mass wealth , gems to Maharaja of Jodhpur & in turn Maharaja of Jodhpur used to honour these wealthy Oswal Jain Merchants as Nagar Seth or various other honourable titles.

Geography and climate

Jodhpur is located at . It has an average elevation of 232 metres (761 feet).

The climate of Jodhpur is generally hot and arid but with a rainy season from late June to September (Köppen BWhw). Although the average rainfall is around , it is extraordinarily variable. In the famine year of 1899, Jodhpur received only , but in the flood year 1917 it received as much as .

Temperatures are extreme throughout the period from March to October, except when monsoonal rain produces thick clouds to lower it slightly. During these periods of heavy rain, however, the generally low humidity rises and this adds to the normal discomfort from the heat.

Monuments

A number of historical monuments dot the city and surrounding region. Some of these monuments are described here.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

The Umaid Bhawan Palace is not only one of India's most imposing palaces but also among its most recent. This lavish art deco monument to royal living had an improbable conception: it was built as a public relief and employment project during a long period of drought. Over one million square feet (90,000 m²) of the finest marble was used in the construction of the palace. A special type of sandstone, called Chittar sandstone, has been used in constructing the palace and this gives it a special effect. For this reason, it is also referred to as Chittar Palace by the locals. Its style of construction, with beautiful balconies, charming courtyards, green gardens and stately rooms, makes it a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The project employed three thousand artisans over a period of 15 years (1929-1943). The palace is named after its builder, Maharaja Umaid Singh (1876-1947), who was incidentally the president of the British Royal Institute of Architects. In 1977, the palace was segmented into the royal residence, the Heritage Hotel and a museum. It has total 347 rooms.It is the biggest private residence in the world, out of which 98 air-conditioned rooms are elegantly decorated with antique furniture as well as all the other amenities for a five star hotel.

Mehrangarh Fort

The Mehrangarh Fort lies at the outskirts of Jodhpur city and is located atop a 125 m high hill. The magnificent Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur ka kila) is the most majestic and one of the largest forts in India. It was originally started (c.1459) by Rao Jodha, founder of Jodhpur. However, most of the extant fort dates from the period of Jaswant Singh (1638-78). The walls of the fort are up to 36 m high and 21 m wide; they enclose some exquisite structures. The fort museum houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs, royal cradles, miniatures, musical instruments, costumes and furniture. The ramparts of Mehrangarh Fort provide not only excellently preserved cannons but also a breath-taking view of the city.

Jaswant Thada

The Jaswant Thada is architectural landmark found in Jodhpur. It is a white marble memorial built in 1899 in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The monument, in its entirety, is built out of intricately carved sheets of marble. These stones are extremely thin and polished so that they emit a warm glow when the sun's rays dance across their surface. Within this cenotaph, there are also two more tombs.

Osiyan Temple

An ancient temple, well worth the visit, lies in the village of Osiyan, about 60 km outside Jodhpur. It is believed that all the Oswal (a Major Jain community) originated from Osiyan only. There are many sections of this temple, which was built in several distinct phases.

Other

  • Girdikot and Sardar market
  • Maha Mandir (temple)
  • Government Museum
  • Mandore park
  • Kailana lake

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Jodhpur had a population of 846,408. Men constitute 53 percent of the population and women 47 percent. Jodhpur has an average literacy rate of 67 percent, higher than the national average of 59.5 percent: male literacy is 75 percent, and female literacy is 58 percent. In Jodhpur, 14 percent of the population is under six years of age.

Economy

The Handicrafts industry has in recent years eclipsed all other industries in the city. By some estimates, the furniture export segment is a $200 million industry, directly or indirectly employing as many as 200,000 people. Other items manufactured include textiles, metal utensils, bicycles, ink and sporting goods. A flourishing cottage industry exists for the manufacture of such items as glass bangles, cutlery, carpets and marble products.

After handicrafts, tourism is the second largest industry of Jodhpur. Crops grown in the district include wheat and the famous Mathania red chillies. Gypsum and salt are mined. The city serves as an important marketplace for wool and agricultural products. The Indian Air Force, Indian Army and Border Security Force maintain training centres at Jodhpur.

Excursions

  • Mandore
  • Kaylana Lake and Garden
  • Balsamand Lake
  • Sardar Samand lake and palace
  • Dhawa (Dholi) forest area
  • Khichan
  • Osian

Fairs and festivals

Cuisine

A number of Indian delicacies have originated in Jodhpur . To name a few, the delectable Makhaniya Lassi, Mawa Kachori, Pyaaj Kachori, Hot & Spicy Mirchibada (A preparation made with potato, onion, chilli and gramflour), Panchkuta, lapsi (a special kind of dessert made with wheat, Jaggery, and ghee), kachar mircha curry (made with chilli and kachar, a special type of vegetable grown in desert area) and Kadhi (made with gramflour, curd and chilli), Baajre ka sogra.

Judiciary

Education

See also

References

External links

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