Founded in 1459, the oldest great city of the Rajputana, Jodha’s Jodhpur preceeds Bika’s Bikaner by thirty years, Udai Singh’s Udaipur by about a hundred years, and Jai Singh’s Jaipur by about 300 years. Standing tall, one of India’s mightiest fortresses, the Mehrangarh Fort, the capital of the Rathore clan, this royal city has hosted Kings, Emperors & Tsars; to Holy Saints and immortal soldiers; to several distinguished statesman of our times and of times gone by. Jodhpur is the gate-way to the Great Indian Thar Desert, the city stands alone as the cultural and royal capital of this, the great Land of Kings.
Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan and is one of the most Royal and vibrant cities in India well known for its colourful rural backdrop, Crafts, Forts and beautiful Palaces. The city is distinctive for its blue painted houses and is aptly titled the ‘Sun City’ for it has the sun shining down during all 12 months of the year. The winters in Jodhpur with the warm sun shining warm on your back are particularly mesmerizing.
The Marwar region still holds its character of Royalty as it has been very carefully and painstakingly maintained and restored by the Maharaja of Jodhpur, HH Gaj Singh – II and his contemporaries.
Jodhpur is the last point before the Great Indian Thar desert while going westwards into the Thar itself. The city of Jodhpur with all its due regality has of late become a destination for grand Wedding!
Jodhpur is home to Bishnoi Villages and the several experiences and stories woven around them. It is a grand city with an air of its own, and one has to come here to experience it!
Flying Fox, will give you a Hawk’sview of the city from the Mehrangarh Fort, very thrilling indeed
Trod into the Bishnoi Villages of Jodhpur in a Jeep to experience the vibrant colours and the rural lifestyle of the villages
Lying in ruins is the ancient city of Ossian near Jodhpur. It is approximately 65 Kms from Jodhpur. The several temples in this city are mesmerizing to visit as they have all splendidly stood the test of time. They are beautifully designed and architectured.
The Sachiya Mata Temple
Pippala Devi Temple
Jain temples were built as long ago as the 8th and 11th century.
At a time in the past (8th – 12th century), Ossian was a trading town. Today, it is an oasis in the desert of Rajasthan. Besides its artistic temples, the city of Ossian is known for its camel rides. All of these make the excursion to Ossian a must on your to-do list, while in the City of Jodhpur.
Shopping in Jodhpur
Any traveler is a natural shopaholic and would like to take home something memorable that s/he would not find anywhere but that destination. Jodhpur has many things to offer to all shopaholics trotting the city.
Jodhpur is home to several talented and skilled craftsmen; textile dyers, metal engravers and die-makers. Jodhpur also has the last of the tailors of the ethnic ‘Jodhpur’ breeches. The Jodhpuri Suit is a must buy for those looking to carry back an apt memoir back home.
Mathaniya’s Red Chillies
Major Shopping Markets
Sojati Gate: The famous items available here are Tie and Dye Sarees. Station Road: Leather, Embroidered shoes, Utensils Tripolia Bazaar: Handicrafts and Textiles Mochi Bazaar: Lac bangles and Lac artifacts NaiSarak: Dye dresses, Leather goods and Handlooms Clock Tower: Spices, Handicrafts & Textiles
History of Bijolai palace
The 150-year-old Bijolai Palace is one of the oldest residences in Jodhpur built in 1859 by Maharaja Takhat Singh as his summer hunting home which has been declared as a “Heritage Property” by INTACH. It had been used for many years as a lively royal paradise surrounded by lakes in the midst of the Aravali Hills.
The present Maharaja of Jodhpur-Marwar, His Highness Gajsingh II gifted the Bijolai Palace in 2004 to Jal Bhagirathi Foundation. Subsequent to a period of restoration, the palace was opened to guests in 2012 after being fully refurbished with modern amenities.
The Bijolai Palace snuggled between lakes and hills in a peaceful valley away from the hustle and bustle of Jodhpur but still only eight kilometers away from the centre of the city, is a remarkable example of the ancient wisdom of traditional water harvesting to survive in the desert by collecting rainwater. The Palace Hotel is entirely self sufficient in its water requirements by storing rainwater during monsoons.
The Bijolai Palace has had the privilege of hosting His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness Victoria Bernadotte, Crown Princess of Sweden among many other dignitaries.
Treehouse Hotels is now currently operating the Bijolai Palace and it has been rebranded to The Bijolai Palace, a Treehouse Palace Hotel.
The Historical context of The Palace
Marwar itself lies in the eastern extremities of the Great Indian Thar Desert. Said to be cursed by an ancient hermit CheeriaNathji, this region is one of the most water distressed zones in the world, with a great propensity for drought.
As the story goes, in the 15th century Rathore ruler RaoJodha began work on the very majesticMehrangarh Fort despite the hermit’s wish for peace. In retaliation, the hermit cursed RaoJodha’s kingdom to languish without water. And, in the last 50 years of records, an overwhelming 43 years have had droughts in this region. Marwar stretches approximately one hundred and thirty-five kilometers, and has low and erratic rainfall. This instability exasperates the danger of drought and creates a constant tension for water security. Despite these challenges, incredibly, it is one of the most densely populated deserts in the world- with a density of 90 people per square mile, compared to typical concentrations of 3-4.
Yet, the Maharajas of Jodhpur – Marwar even in those eras had the wisdom and insight to create a sustainable living by developing water harvesting systems all through the region. This tradition lives on even today and is perhaps the best preserved inheritance of the Maharajas and their subsequent bloodlines that has given sustainable life to several villages in the Marwarregion. The Bijolai Lake is one such scientific wonder that as constructed in 1850 by Maharaja Takhat Singh.
The BijolaiLake lies conveniently close to the city of Jodhpur, but far enough for the surroundings to be quiet and adorns the unalloyed air clean. The architecture of the lake is an amazement of the vision of the Maharajas, as it exhibits the meticulous planning of the old rulers and a bygone era.
The Bijolai Lake, caresses the adjoining rocky hills of the Aravalis, beautiful temples, canvassing the colours of the setting sun, fresh breeze, ambient music, and has an aura of vibrancy, sensuality and a tinge of melancholy attached to it. It paints the picture of the reality of Marwar so aptly, so less water, yet so full of Life.
Jodhpur, “the sun city”, the “blue city”, and so many more phrases that the city has been awarded with to describe the magnificent experience it offers to everyone who visits here, is indeed one of the favourite Indian destinations of a traveler.
Water Walk Experience
Jodhpur ,situated in the Marwar region of Rajasthan receives an annual rainfall of less than half of Indian average rainfall and is one of the driest regions in the countries today . There are many fables including the curse by a hermit and many more folklores which abound the region……
The ‘Water Walk’ through the Bijolai Palace is a unique learning experience designed to provide first hand information about traditional water harvesting techniques. It’s a crash-course to understanding the brilliant technology and rainwater wisdom developed over millennium in the desert. The Water Walk at The Bijolai Palace is a perfect example of the traditional water harvesting system conglomerated with the modern wisdom. In the meantime, please enjoy this short introduction and excerpts from a number of our water harvesting structures:
Traditional Wisdom of Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater harvesting is a two part endeavor. First, the water must be efficiently captured. Secondly -because monsoon rains are concentrated over a short period of two months- the rain must be stored for the remaining 10 dry months of the years. In this process of storing water for the Water Habitat Retreat, we make use of a wide range of structures: from man-made underground storage tanks, to natural underground storage, to open-water ponds. All of these are necessary to harvest every drop of the short monsoon rains. A sprawling lake known as the Bijolai Lake – a traditional rainwater harvesting structure – lies adjacent to the palace. Rainwater from the surroundings hills flows into this lake to be collected with the help of a check dam. In the courtyard, there is a perennial well recharged by water from this lake. And finally, the overflow from the Bijolai Lake goes into the Kayalana Lake, a vast water body about one kilometer away, supplying water to Jodhpur city.
Our Team conducts water walk tours each day for our guests and will be happy to take you through this tour.
For Special group tours or queries, kindly write to us at email@example.com
There are several hotels in Jodhpur that offer a splendid taste of the traditional Marwar, but there are only a few heritage hotels in Jodhpur that have their own private lake and that are a little away from the city, offering a tranquil, almost spiritual experience. One such Palace in Jodhpur is the Bijolai Palace, A Treehouse Palace Hotel.
Just a mere 6 kms from the district centre of Jodhpur, the Palace is situated amidst the Aravalis, with the wind blowing briskly all through the Palace.
There is a Galore of experiences awaiting you here, in the Land of Blue Houses.
As soon as you awaken take a little trek to the old traditional temple up the hill for a great work out experience and feel entirely energetic for the day ahead.
The Bijolai Lake is quite the centre of attraction in the Palace, offering a treat to the eyes to a few and totally rejuvenating a few others. The 101 family of Geese are very fascinating to observe while they swim and talk to each other while living in harmony. The Lake has been artificially built by Maharaja Takhat Singh in 1859 with a noble vision of providing water to his ‘Praja’ in the water depleted land of Marwar. Take a tour of this architectural marvel of the Palace also known as the ‘Water Walk’ to understand how the vision of the Maharajas of Marwar still keeps the city alive today.
The various bespoke dining options in the Palace along with the Gourmet Delights accentuating the dining experience are one not to be missed here. Choose to dine as per your fancies, either in the Swan, the multicuisine restaurant and lounge overlooking the lake or the Bijolai Terraces or the verdant green Gardens, they are all yours to savour.
We can only write to lure you enough to come and experience staying at Bijolai Palace, A Treehouse Palace Hotel.