Jodhpur, known as ‘blue city’, was founded by the ruler of Marwar, Rao Jodha. In 1459, advised by a sage to establish an impregnable base, Rao Jodha moved his capital from Mandore to Jodhpur and built one of Rajasthan’s most impressive fort with walls rising up to 120 feet. This wall is intercepted by seven gateways -Fateh Gate, Gopal Gate, Bhairon Gate, Toati Gate, Dodhkangra Gate, Marti Gate and Loha (Iron) Gate.
The palaces within are carved from hard sandstone which the sculptor’s chisels have carved as if it were soap. Fine filigree sandstone, jaali screens for the women’s quarters and silvered handprints of women who performed sati (at the Loha Gate) point to the strong Rajput traditions. An extensive museum displays paintings, thrones, banners, doors, weapons and a spectacular 17th-century tent.
Close to the fort at Jaswant Thada is a cluster of elaborate white marble cenotaphs built in 1899. Among the numerous palaces are Phool Mahal (flower palace), Moti Mahal and Sheesh Mahal.