Jodhpur is the second largest city in the Indian in state of Rajasthan. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, also known as Marwar. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination, featuring many beautiful palaces, forts and temples, apart from a stark, scenic desert landscape. The city is known as the "Sun City" for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all year. Jofhpur lies near the geographic center of Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists.
Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput chief belonging to the Rathore clan. Rao Jodha succeeded in conquering the surrounding territory and thus founded a state which came to be known as Marwar. As Rao 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 Rao 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, sandals, date palms and coffee.
Jodhpur as seen from the Mehrangarh Fort.Early in its history, the state became a fief under the mughal empire, owing fealty to them while enjoying some internal autonomy. During this period, the state furnished the mughals with several notable generals such as Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Jodhpur and its people benefitted from this exposure to the wider world: new styles of art and architecture made their appearance and opportunities opened up for local tradesmen to make their mark across northern India.
Aurangzeb briefly sequesterated the state (c.1679) on the pretext of a minority, but the rightful ruler was restored to the throne after Aurangzeb died in 1707. The mughal empire declined gradually after 1707, but the Jodhpur court was beset by intrigue; rather than benefitting from circumstances, Marwar descended into strife and invited the intervention of the Marathas, who soon supplanted the mughals as overlords of the region. This however did not make for stability or peace; 50 years of ruinous wars and humiliating treaties dissipated the wealth of the state, which sought and gratefully entered into 'subsidiary alliance' with the British in 1818.
During the British Raj, the state of Jodhpur was the largest in Rajputana, if size be reckoned by land area. Jodhpur prospered under the peace and stability that were a hallmark of this era. Its merchants, the Marwaris, flourished without let or limit and came to occupy a position of dominance in trade across India. In 1947, when India became independent, the state merged unto the union of India and Jodhpur became the second city of Rajasthan