The Chokhelao garden sits at the foot of the Mehrangarh Fort. This over two hundred year old garden has recently been restored, complete with the scents, sounds and textures of a garden of eighteenth century Marwar. The garden today, as in the past, is truly a celebration of nature as it captures the changing colours of the seasons in the upper terrace of flowerbeds. It is equally magical for night viewing when the mehtab bagh or moonlight garden laid out in the lower terrace comes alive with the white flowers of chandni (Tabernaemontana coronaria) and the sweet smelling kamini (Maurya exotia). While paintings capture the activities in the garden in the form of music and dance performances in pavilions and terraces within the garden, romantic interludes in the shade of trees of the orchard area, holding durbans on platform under colourful awnings, the garden today houses a restaurant in the upper most terrace, which enjoys the spectacular view of the garden and the ramparts of the city of Jodhpur beyond. Visit this gem of a garden and carry back the sensuous experience of eighteenth century Rajput garden.
The Moti Mahal can be dated, on historical and stylistic grounds, to the reign of Maharaja Jaswant Singh ( 1638 – 78 ). Adjacent to the Motivilas, to the south is another Zenana Court which seems to be slightly older. This primacy is suggested largely by the high plinth on which the cloister of each wing is raised. Such plinths are not found in the rest of the palace; they are taken from the domestic architecture of the city, but were presumably soon found to be unnecessary in the palace, where there is no dusty street from which they could afford protection . The cloisters alone are sufficient to afford protection from the monsoon rains. Thus the Motivilas has cloisters, but no plinths. On the evidence of the plinths and carving, the southern court can be dated to no longer than the beginning of Jaswant Singh’s reign." by GILES TILLOTSON
On the south side of Moti Mahal Chowk is a doorway labelled ‘Zenana Deodhi’. Here is the third barrier, and this one is unambiguous: everything beyond this point was the exclusive preserve of the women. Spread out over a large area beyond this door was a series of courtyards and gardens to accommodate the large number of wives, unmarried sisters and daughters of the ruler, the many dowagers surviving from previous reigns, and a multitude of female servants. Unfortunately, a great deal of the zenana has disappeared or has been destroyed. Historical records speak of various rulers adding a garden court, or two dozen havelis (free-standing houses), or special apartments for favoured queens; but little of this can be traced and none identified with certainty. A massive wall (built by Maldeo, as part of his inner defences) encloses a large area to the south of the main palace. (By Giles Tillotson)
The steps of the Suraj Pol lead up to the first courtyard of the palace, known as Shringar Chowk. Indian palaces are strictly arranged – even when their layout appears geometrically irregular, as here – so that private activities are far removed from the main entrance and public functions can be held in the most accessible spaces. This courtyard was used for one of the most public events of any reign, the raj tilak or enthroning ceremony, when new rulers were anointed by priests and representative subjects in the presence of their nobles. A modest marble seat, the throne stands on a platform with late Mughal-style ornament. (by Giles Tillotson)
The Daulat Khana itself: a three-storey building with arched openings on all levels (this is the front of the building whose rear balconies were glimpsed earlier from the outwork below). Built in the early 18th century by Ajit Singh, it was called by him Ajit Vilas. Its present name (which dates from the early 19th century) literally means ‘wealth store’ and is a term that is often used to indicate a treasury, but sometimes (as here) indicates the most prestigious royal apartment. The ground floor is an audience hall or main reception room; the middle storey contains Ajit Singh’s personal apartment and sleeping chamber; and the top storey was an open terrace with pavilions, a place for recreation.
A stone's throw from the Mehrangarh Fort, built at the turn of the nineteenth century by Jaswant Singh's Maharani in her husband's memory, the shining white Jaswant Thada serves as a shrine to the Rathore dynasty. All around it today are the chattris or cenotaphs of the rulers and their queens who followed Jaswant Singh II for the complex, on the banks of the Dev Kund, The Pond of the Gods, serves as the royal cremation grounds
The historic high walls of the fort with bastions, today lined with cannons offer spectacular views of the city and beyond. The festival guests get exclusive access to a view of the blue city like no other in Jodhpur.
Bhure sa a warrior in the army of Jodhpur died fighting - he is immortalized with his mazzar right at the entrance of Mehrangarh. The festival offers a tribute to the legendary warriors through qawwalli.
This temple is devoted to the family deity of the ruling dynasty of Jodhpur - Nagnecha Mataji. The festival celebrates the temple with sacred music in this sacred setting.
The inner sanctum of the palace once guarded by eunuchs, this is where the Maharaja's wives whiled away their days. The delicate sandstone screens and carvings are exquisite.
An intimate courtyard with arched hallways and wall paintings, lends beautifully for any performance with excellent acoustic