It has appropriately been quoted by Theodore Roosevelt that 'the more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.' Let us begin discussing this vast topic with the Sun City, i.e. Jodhpur.
History Of Jodhpur City
The city of Jodhpur was founded by the Rajput chief of the Rathore clan, Rao Jodha. It was believed that the Rajput clan that he belonged to were the successors of Lord Rama.
What Really Happened? The Actual Story
As per the history of Jodhpur, a kingdom was set up at Kannauj by Naya Pal which thrived there over seven centuries till it was taken over by Mohammad Ghori. Jai Chand, who ruled Jodhpur at that time, died while he was trying to escape. After which, his son Shivaji took over the kingdom and established the Rathore Kingdom at Mandore after conquering the Pratiharas.
To back up a little, what exactly happened was that the Afghans made the Rathores leave their homeland, Kannauaj. They escaped to Pali, near Jodhpur city which still exists. After this, Rathore Siahaji got married to one of the local princesses there, to help expand the clan and strengthen them. Eventually, they took over the Patiharas of Mandore (whose kingdom was situated at a distance of 9 km from the present-day city of Jodhpur).
At the start, Mandore was declared as the capital. However, by 1459, Rathores felt that there was a need for a safer capital which led to the formation of the city of Jodhpur by Rao Jodha. Rainmal, the father of Rao Jodha, was killed in a court conspiracy which forced Rao Jodha to escape to save his life. Post few years, he was able to regain control over his lost kingdom after one of his trusted fellow men advised him to establish his capital on the top of a hill made up of sandstone by the edge of the Thar sands.
The Mughal-Rajput Relationship
The Mehrangarh Fort thus became unbeatable making Jodhpur immune to any enemy attacks. However, the Marathas, as well as Mughals, always kept their eye on this region. This unconquerable nature of the city in the history of Jodhpur took a huge turn after Akbar; the Mughal Emperor became an ally of the city.
The Rathores had good relations with the Mughals except for Aurangzeb. During his reign, Shahjahan was given full support by Maharaja Jaswant Singh at the time of trouble. However, after Aurangzeb died, Maharaja Ajit Singh threw the Mughals out of Ajmer and added it to Marwar (now known as Jodhpur).
The Appropriate Location Of The City
The location of Jodhpur in the barren land with a minimal supply of water has never posed any difficulty in the prosperity of the city since despite its location. Rather, it grew well and with real elegance. Jodhpur was located on the very famous silk trade route which connected India and the various parts of Central Asia. Jodhpur was always a land of the rich, defined by the endless richness and the royal grandeur of the people residing there.
What Happened Post-Independence?
The eighteenth-century of the history of Jodhpur witnessed numerous battles fought between Jodhpur and other states of Rajasthan, Jaipur and Udaipur in which millions of soldiers lost their lives. Maharaja Abhai Singh who was the descendant of Ajit Singh took over Ahmedabad after which the Jodhpur came into agreement with the British in 1818. This settlement offered peace and wealth in the kingdom. Jodhpur became the largest amongst the Rajputs with respect to its land area. Jodhpur progressed immensely under the Britishers. The Marwaris, who were the merchants, were given a significant position in the trade across the entire nation. However, after India gained independence after 1947, the then state of Jodhpur was merged into the Union of India and instead became the second city of Rajasthan.
The Last Ruler Of Jodhpur
The city of Jodhpur flourished into a modern city with all amenities under the kingdom of Maharaja Umaid Singh. Umaid Bhavan has been named after Maharaja Umaid Singh and he was the grandfather of the present Maharaja Gaj Singh. Maharaja Umed Singh is said to be the last ruler before independence.
Jodhpur 'Blue City'
Basically, the houses in the city of Jodhpur are painted blue in colour thereby giving the city a sky or sea like the look when sun rays fall on the city. The rainy season starts from the month of June and goes up till September but famines keep occurring in the area since the city is situated right next to the Thar Desert, in the state of Rajasthan. Jodhpur history says that the land has been cursed with this hot and thirsty fate by the hermit. While some of the households of Jodhpur say that they paint their houses blue so as to keep them cool but more or less they are just following the tradition set by their ancestors of painting their houses blue. Apparently, this tradition was started by the Brahmins who started to paint their houses so as to keep a distinction between the upper class (them) and the rest of the people. This was then blindly followed by the rest of the population.
So to conclude it all,
The city is famous for its handicrafts which is the main income-generating activity of the inhabitants of the city. It is flocked by tourists every year to admire the beauty of Moti Mahal (also known as pearl palace), Sheesha Mahal (also known as the hall of mirrors), Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jaswant Thada, Mandore Gardens, Mahamandir Temple and other such humongous and brilliant traditional artworks. At times it so happens that the secret is lying out in the open and we end up digging deep inside. There are so many interesting facts about the city and the history of Jodhpur which is yet to be discovered. People who love travelling and exploring new places are likely to have an amazing time here with its exquisite beauty and ancient attractions. A trip to this beautiful city is a must add-on to the travel diaries.