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Jodhpur District, Rajasthan

Jodhpur District is a district in the State of Rajasthan in western India. The city of Jodhpur is the administrative headquarters of the district.

As of the 2011 census, it is the second highest populated district of Rajasthan (out of 33), after Jaipur district.

Jodhpur is the historic center of the Marwar region. The district contains Mandore, the ancient capital of the Pratihara Rajput kings
(6th-13th centuries), and the Pratiharas’ temple city of Osiyan. Jodhpur was founded in the 15th century by Rao Jodha, and served as the capital of the
kingdom of Marwar under the Rathore Rajput dynasty until after Indian Independence in 1947.

Geography of Jodhpur District, Rajasthan

The district is located in the State of Rajasthan in western India. The district is bounded on the north by Bikaner District, on the northeast by Nagaur District, on the southeast and south by Ajmer District, on the southwest by Pali District, and on the west and northwest by Jaisalmer District.

The district stretches between 26 00’ and 27 37’ north latitude and between 72 55’ and 73 52’east longitude. This district is situated at an altitude between 250 to 300 meters above sea level.

History of Jodhpur District, Rajasthan

According to Rajasthan district Gazetteers of Jodhpur and the Hindu epic Ramayana (composed up to the 4th century AD), Abhiras (Ahirs) were the original inhabitants of Jodhpur and later Aryans spread to this region.

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 the Rathore 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 Delhi as ‘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 in Rajasthan. Hem Chandra won several battles (22) 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.

At the time of partition, ruler of Jodhpur Hanwant Singh did not want to join India, but finally due to the effective persuasion of Sardar Vallab Patel, the then Home Minister at the centre, the princely state of Jodhpur was included in Indian Republic. Later after State Reorganisation Act, 1956 it was made part of the state of Rajasthan.Jodhpur.

Tourism

Jodhpur is famous for its rich history. It is also referred to as the Blue City and “Sun City”. Blue City is derived due to the blue tinge to the whitewashed houses around the Mehrangarh Fort. Other notable places of interest are the Umaid Bhawan Palace which a portion currently serves as the residence of the current Maharaja Gaj Singh’s family and the remaining portion is a 5 star hotel under the Taj Group of Hotels.