Jodhpur is the second-largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan and officially the second metropolitan city of the state. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name. Jodhpur was historically the capital of the Kingdom of Marwar, which is now part of Rajasthan. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar Desert. It is popularly known as Blue city and Sun city among people of Rajasthan and all over India. The city is also said to be the cultural capital of Rajasthan state.
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 lies near the geographic center of the Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists.
The city is also home to several educational institutions, the most prominent being AIIMS Jodhpur, IIT Jodhpur, SNMC Jodhpur, DSRRAU Jodhpur, NLU Jodhpur, NIFT Jodhpur. Many research institutes like Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), Arid Forest Research Institute (AAFRI), Desert Medicine Research Centre (DMRC) are also located in the city .
According to the Rajasthan district Gazetteer Ahirs were the inhabitants of Marwar and later on the Rajputs established their rule in Marwar. There may have been small settlements before Rathore rule.
The Jodhpur city 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 kingdom 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, sandalwood, dates and other tradeable goods.
Early Modern period
After the death of Rao Chandrasen Rathore in 1581, the kingdom was annexed by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, Marwar thus became a Mughal vassal owing fealty to them while enjoying internal autonomy. Jodhpur and its people benefited from this exposure to the wider world as new styles of art and architecture made their appearance and opportunities opened up for local tradesmen to make their mark across northern India.
View of the Rajasthan High Court, Sardar Museum in Umaid Park and upper right is Jodhpur fort in 1960.
Aurangzeb briefly sequestrated the state (c. 1679) after the death of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, but the prior 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 the help of the British and entered into a subsidiary alliance with them. There was a major revolt in 1857 by some Rathore nobles of Pali led by Thakur Kushal Singh of Auwa, however, the rebels were defeated by the British army under colonel Holmes and peace was restored.