Jodhpur stands at the edge of the Thar Desert and is the largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur. The city is totally dominated by the massive fort, topping a sheer rocky hill which rises right in the middle of the town. The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a 10 km. long wall. From the fort, you can clearly see where the old city ends and the new begins. It is fascinating to wander around the jumble of winding streets in the old city. 8 gates lead out from the walled city. It is one of India's more interesting cities. Meherangarh Fort : Sprawled across the 125 mtr. high hill, this is the most impressive and formidable fort in fort-studded Rajasthan. A winding road leads up to the entrance from the city below. The first gate is still scarred by cannon ball hits, indicating that this was a fort which earned its keep. The gates include the Jayapol and the Fatehpol, or Victory Gate. The final gate is the Lahapol, or Iron Gate. Inside the fort, there is a whole series of courtyards and palaces. The palace apartments have names like the Moti Mahal, the Sukh Mahal and the Phool Mahal. They house a fantastic collection of the trappings of Indian royalty, including an amazing collection of elephant howdahs, miniature paintings, superb folk music instruments, furniture and costumes. In one room, there is even an exhibit of rocking cradles. Finally, there is an enormous, luxurious and stunningly beautiful tent. The palace apartments are beautifully decorated and painted and have delicately carved lattice- work windows of red sandstone. It is one of the best palace museums in Rajasthan.



Jaswant Thanda : This white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II is a short distance from the fort, just off the fort road. The cenotaph, built in 1899, was followed by the royal crematorium and three later cenotaphs which stand nearby. Inside are portraits of the various Jodhpur rulers. Clock Tower and Markets : The clock tower is a popular landmark in the old city. The colourful Sardar Market is closed to the tower, and narrow alleys lead from here to bazaars selling textiles, silver and handicrafts. Umaid Gardens and Museums : The Tourist Bungalow is on the edge of the Umaid Gardens on High Court Road. The gardens contain a zoo and a library. Umaid Bhawan Palace : It is constructed of marble and red sandstone and is known as the Chhittar Palace. This immense palace was designed by the president of the British Royal Institute of Architects. Today, part of the palace has been turned into a hotel. The maharaja still resides in another part of the palace, and yet another part has been turned into an excellent museum. On display here is an amazing array of items belonging to the maharaja-model aeroplanes, weapons, antique clocks and fob watches, priceless crockery, and hunting trophies and there is even a private cinema.



AIR : The Indian Airlines office is south of the centre on Airport Road. Indian Airlines flies daily to Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Bombay and Aurangabad. BUS : State transport buses and private luxury buses connect Jodhpur with other cities and places of interest in Rajasthan. The best bus to Jaisalmer is the daily super deluxe which departs from the Ghoomar Tourist Bungalow at 6 am and arrives in Jaisalmer five hours later. The private buses to Jaisalmer only run during the offseason months. Buses to Ajmer go hourly and take 4.5 hours. The fastest state transport buses to Mt Abu leave from the bus stand at 6.30 am and 6 pm. Private luxury buses are also available. TRAIN : The railway booking office is on Station Road, between the railway station and Sojati Gate. There are superfast expresses between Delhi and Jodhpur and Ahmedabad and Jodhpur. To Udaipur there is a nightly train which takes 10.5 hours. For Barmer in the west of the state the daily train takes 5.5 hours.



The usual Rajasthani handicrafts are available here. Jodhpur is famour for its antiques. The greatest concentration of antique shops is along the road connecting the Ajit Bhawan with the Umaid Bhawan and the well-known Abani handicrafts is next to the Tourist Bungalow.

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