Exploring Jodhpur's Radiant Past.

Ziplining at Mehrangarh fort, Rajasthan

by Ekta Bhatnagar.

Never underestimate the traffic of Delhi - Yes, I learnt this when we were on our way to catch the Mandor express to Jodhpur. Somehow, stricken with panic and frustrated at my husband, we did make it to the station, ran towards the platform where we saw the train just entering. An adventurous start to our much awaited, much needed trip of the year!

We reached Jodhpur on the dot, freshened up, had a lovely brunch and were off to our first destination - the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The beautiful, picturesque palace was made by Maharaja Umaid Singh who was the grandfather of Maharaja Gaj Singh, the present owner and king of Jodhpur. A part of the palace has been given to Taj Hotel group, and another part of it has been turned into a beautiful museum. Similar to other buildings in Jodhpur, the palace is also made up of yellow sandstone and has around 26 acres of garden area. 

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan

The museum holds pictures of how the palace was built, the various ancestries, the intricate paintings and detailed carvings, the collection of antique glasses from wine to champagne to kettles, art d├ęcor furniture, and also a collection of vintage cars. The palace has 347 rooms making it one of the largest private residences in the world. One of the best features of the palace are the Ramayana Paintings, which have been so beautifully painted by a Polish artist. 

After we had a photography stint at the palace we left for other site seeing trips around Jodhpur which included the Bishnoi village and the Kaylana lake. These can be avoided as there is nothing much to see here. The Bishnoi village is still a work in progress by the government of Rajasthan where they are planning to start a resort as well. Thus we returned to our hotel for a nice relaxed evening, where we saw an entertaining magic show by the local artists.

The next day, we geared up for the most adventurous part of the trip- Zip Lining at the Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India. The Zip Lining tour is a one and a half hour tour conducted by the Flying Fox organization. We had booked the tour for two people for 11:30 and were supposed to be there by 11. The charges for us were INR 1600/- per person (worth it!). Once we were geared up there was a practice session of 5 minutes where the trainers showed us how to zip line. Excited we went to our first zip from one end of the fort to another. The adrenaline rush, wind banging on our face, look down and you see the blue city of Jodhpur, it is an experience you cannot explain! There are 6 zips and each is longer and higher than the first. They take you in groups of twelve and the trainers are friendly and really helpful! If you are young, love adventure and are not afraid of heights - go for it! 

Ziplining at Mehrangarh fort, Rajasthan

After the zip line we were super energetic and we went ahead to explore the rest of the fort from inside. The amazing fort walls hold the beautiful rooms of the palace inside. There are seven doors to the fort, each with a different name and significance. There are four period rooms of which the Sheesh Mahal and Takhat Villa give the nostalgic feeling of life during the princely periods. The fort has a display of armoury, clothes, elephant seats, paintings and the various treasures of the Rathore rulers of Jodhpur; it also holds a Chamunda Mataji temple. 
Sheesh Mahal
Mehrangarh fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Mehrangarh fort
Well in the Batman movie Dark Knight Rises, Rajasthan
The well shown in the Batman movie 'The Dark Knight Rises'
One needs an entire day to explore the fort, especially if combining the Zip Line experience. On our way back we went to a Handloom store just a little away from the fort where we bought some Rajasthani souvenirs. Still we kept our spending spree on a limit as we were now off to Jaisalmer where the local markets are quite famous.


Author Bio: Ekta's love for travel was ignited by her father, who used to take her to different places every year during school holidays. Since then, she has tried to capture the places she has travelled to with her camera and the pen. She is a dreamer, a writer, a travel enthusiast, and a foodie. 


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