Jodhpur is in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, the capital of the kingdom 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 the year round. It is also referred to as the “Blue City” due to the vivid blue-painted houses around the Mehrangarh Fort. The old city circles the fort and is bounded by a wall with several gates. However, the city has expanded greatly outside the wall over the past several decades. Jodhpur topped Lonely Planet’s list of most extraordinary places to stay in 2014.
Jodhpur was also part of the Gurjara–Pratihara Empire and until 1100 CE was ruled by a powerful Gurjar King. Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput chief of theRathore clan. Jodha succeeded in conquering the surrounding territory and thus founded a state which came to be known as Marwar. As 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 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.
In between 1540 to 1556, Afghans were in control of most of North India. Rajasthan born Hemu who started his career as a supplier of various types of merchandise to Sher Shah Suri empire, held various positions in capital Delhias ‘Incharge of Food Affairs’, ‘Minister of Internal Security’, ‘Prime Minister-cum-Chief of Army’ with Islam Shah Suri and Adil Shah, who ruled north India from Punjab to Bengal at that point in time. Hemu, who took as the military commander of Afghan army in 1553, crushed the first rebellion, killing the Governor of Ajmer province Juneid Khan and appointed his own Governor inRajasthan. Hem Chandra won several battles throughout North India against Afghan rebels and twice against Akbar at Agra and Delhi, before his coronation at Purana Quila in Delhi on 7 October 1556 as a ‘Vikramaditya’ king. Hemu lost his life in the Second Battle of Panipat on 5 November 1556, and the area came under Mughal king Akbar.
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 Maharaja Ajit Singh was restored to the throne by Veer Durgadas Rathore after Aurangzeb died in 1707 and a great struggle of 30 years. 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 23,543 sq mi (60,980 km2) 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.
Jodhpur’s attractions include Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jaswant Thada, Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower). A number of Indian delicacies have originated in Jodhpur. To name a few, theMakhaniya Lassi, Mawa Ki Kachori, Pyaaj Ki Kachori, Hot & Spicy Mirchi Bada (A preparation made with potato, onion, chilli and gramflour), Dal Bati Churma(dal is lentils; bati is baked wheat ball; and churma is powdered sweetened cereal), Lasan Ki Chutney (hot fiery garlic chutney), Mirchi Ka Kutaa (hot recipe of crushed green chilies), Gatte Ki Sabzi (A delicacy made up of gramflour balls, curd and spices), Ker Sangri Sabzi (also known as Pachkutaa – the five ingredients of Pachkutaa are sangri, ker, kumatiya, dried goonda and dried red chillies), Raab (pearl millet flour and yoghurt curry), Lapsi (a special kind of dessert made with cracked wheat, Jaggery, coconut and ghee), Aate Ka Halwa (wheat flour dessert), Kachara Mircha Sabzi (made with chilli and Kachara, a special type of vegetable grown in desert area) and Kadhi Pakoda (recipe made with gramflour, curd and chilli) with Baajre Ka Sogra (a thick flat and round bread of pearl millet). Jodhpur is known for its sweets ranging from traditional “Makhanbada”, “Mawa Ki Kachori”, “Malpua”, “Ghevar”, “Motichur Ke Laddu” and “Besan barfi”.