JODHPUR A city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur was earlier the capital of the princely state of Jodhpur. In 2001 its population was 860,400. Jodhpur is the center of a region called Marwar (Land of Death), which borders the Thar Desert. Since its barren soil does not offer much scope for agriculture, many of its inhabitants have migrated to other parts of India, particularly the traders, who are mostly Jains by religious affiliation, and are kown as Marwaris throughout India. Many of the Marwaris are financial wizards, including the famous Birla family. The Birlas have made a mark as industrialists and have built many large Hindu temples; they long sponsored and hosted Mahatma Gandhi, who lived in their Delhi mansion during his last months in 1947–1948. The fact that Marwar has produced such enterprising traders is probably due to its location at the center of an important trade route linking Delhi and Agra with the ports of Gujarat.
The princely state of Jodhpur was founded in 1212 and was locked in constant conflict with the sultans of Delhi at that time. The city of Jodhpur was founded by Rao Jodha of the Rathor clan of Rajputs in 1459. In 1561 Jodhpur was conquered by the Mughals, and later the Marathas captured this area. Under British colonial rule, the maharaja of Jodhpur survived, as had several other Rajput princes. Umaid Bhavan, the enormous city palace of Jodhpur, built with "golden" (yellowish) local sandstone in the twentieth century is a symbol of princely splendor in the twilight of the British Raj.
Jodhpur houses a university and the High Court of Rajasthan. In recent years it has also attracted some minor industries. As a railway station and a shopping center, it services a vast region, as it is located at a distance of about 185 miles (300 kilometers) from Jaipur to the northeast and 125 miles (200 kilometers) from Udaipur to the southeast.
Upadhyaya, Nirmala M. The Administration of Jodhpur State,
1800–1947. Jodhpur: International Publishers, 1973.
Jodhpur (jŏd´pŏŏr) or Marwar (mär´wär), former principality, Rajasthan state, NW India. Except for the eastern section, it is largely an arid wasteland. The principality was founded in the 13th cent. by the Rathor clan of Rajputs and was later a vassal of the Mughal empire. The British brought it under their control in 1818, and in 1949 it was merged with the state of Rajasthan. Jodhpur, city (1991 pop. 666,279), capital of the former state and now a district administrative center, was founded in 1459. It is surrounded by a wall nearly 6 mi (9.7 km) long. Jodhpur is an important marketplace for wool and agricultural products, and has a domestic airport. Its manufactures include textiles, metal utensils, bicycles, ink, and sporting goods. The city is noted for diversified cottage industries, including such manufactures as glass bangles, cutlery, carpets, and marble products. Towering above the city on a rock 400 ft (122 m) high is an old fortress housing several palaces and the treasury of the maharaja. The Indian air force maintains a training center at Jodhpur.