It was a decade ago when I first saw the impressive Umaid Bhawan Palace. A college trip introduced me to one of the world’s largest private residencies. From Rajasthan’s postcard perfect deserts to the grand architecture and varied food of Jodhpur, everything has etched itself in my memory.
I was happy to know that a short trip by Oman Air can transport me back to revisit my memories. Once the capital of Marwar Kingdom, Jodhpur is a prominent tourist attraction featuring temples, forts and most importantly, its many palaces. Set in a parched Thar desert landscape, the ‘Sun City’ is known for its bright and sunny weather. Jodhpur is also regarded as the ‘Blue City’ as it is dotted with several blue houses. Today, Jodhpur is the second largest metropolitan city in Rajasthan.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace was initially known as the Chittar Palace as the stone used in its construction was from the Chittar Hill. Later, the palace was christened as the Umaid Bhawan Palace after the Maharaja Umaid Singh. With over 357 rooms, the palace continues to serve as the residence of erstwhile Royal Family of Jodhpur.
Currently, the palace serves as a museum—deeply rooted in history, rich in culture and heritage that transcends time. The palace is still the home to the Maharaja Gaj Singh and the Royal Family of Jodhpur and is the last palace that was constructed in India. The museum boasts of several vintage and working cars and clocks amidst the many paintings and sculptures. The palace is famous for playing host to several fairs and festivals.
Jodhpur’s other landmark structure—the Mehrangarh Fort—stands atop a cliff with brilliant prospects of the city. It narrates the glorious past through its sprawling gardens, fascinating rooms and amazing panoramic views. The most fascinating of all the rooms is the Phool Mahal, where poets would chant new verses and dancers would entertain the king. After exploring the fort’s inner complex, I walked alongside the top of the fort walls to enjoy a breathtaking view of Jodhpur from above.
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The other experience I distinctly recall was the desert safari. Through the unknown hamlets and rural settlements of Rajasthan on camel back, I explored the Thar’s dense sand dunes to untouched arid landscapes. On casual encounters, I met the friendly and warm Bishnois that support and promote an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. To add to the experience was the delicious rural Rajasthani cuisine. I still crave for the crispness of ker-sangri, a vegetable native to the land.
If I got a chance to revisit Rajasthan’s Jodhpur city, I would happily endure the solace, luxury and the landscapes once again.
Have you visited Jodhpur’s magnificence yet?
Note: This post has been sponsored by Cleartrip.