12th May, the date which we can’t forget, the date which is the reason of existence for many of us, for all of Jodhpur. Yes, the place from which I belong, the city which is as blue as the sky and as sweet as its mithais, and a reason of pride for its citizens, came into existence on this day by the blessed hands of Rao Jodha Ji.
Jodhpur: Foundation Day: How Jodhpur came into existence and beginning of its Royal journey
Jodhpur, unarguably the cultural city of India was founded by Rao Jodha Ji on 12thMay 1459, however, Jodhpur has history beyond 1459 but I will enlighten that part sometime later. Jodhpur itself holds many stories of heroics, bravery, loyalty, mystic etc. Once you have been there, you won’t be able to forget the amazing hospitality you get to experience by the gestures of Jodhpurites. I will surely write on all of the aspects of Jodhpur gradually to present my native city in front of you along with my personal experiences. For today, let’s talk about the events that lead to the founding of this city and so, I present to you one of the famous tales related to the foundation of this magnificent city. But, before I proceed to the story, I feel that I should provide a brief insight into Rao Jodha Ji’s life just to make you familiar and comfortable.
Who was Rao Jodha Ji?
Rao Jodha Ji (28thMarch 1415 – 6thApril 1489) was the son of Rao Ranmal Ji who secured the throne in 1427,he was the administrator and the assistance of Maharana Mokal Singh (King of Mewar and father of Rana Kumbha). When Maharana Mokal Singh was assassinated by his two brothers Chaha and Mera in 1433. He was too assassinated by Rana Kumbha and thus Rao Jodha escaped with his 700 men. Upon reaching his capital, he was left with just 7 horsemen along with him and he fought valiantly against pursuers at Someshwar Pass. However, later he managed to collect whatever force he could and in 1453, he captured his capital, Mandore.
Legend of Rao Jodha Ji and about the Capturing of Mandore
Once, at late night, Rao Jodha Ji who had been relentlessly fighting and attempting to capture Mandore for 15 years, stopped at a farmer’s house. There, he asked for some food as he had been starving for days. The farmer’s wife served him a hot bowl of *Kheech** Hungrily, he put his fingers in the middle of the hot bowl and thus burnt his hands. Seeing this, the wife of the farmer scolded him and compared this act of his with that of King Rao Jodha Ji’s mistake of attacking Mandore rather than capturing outlying small forts. She was unaware of the fact that he is the King himself. This incident prompted him to reconsider his strategies and to stop worrying about Mandore and shift his focus to adjacent forts. He won the outlying forts with ease. Thus, by 1453, he was able to conquer the kingdom’s capital Mandore and soon after, he conquered adjacent territories like Sojat, Merta, Koshana, etc. This enabled him to establish the Jodhpur State which then came to be known as Marwar.
In 1459 he shifted his capital from Mandore to a more secure place at the hilltop of “Panchetia Hill”, however, he had wished to built it on “Masuria Hill” but shortage of Water forced him to shift it to “Panchetia Hill”. Like I said Jodhpur is full of stories as there is another story behind the above mentioned incident but let’s leave it for another time. Till then, let’s join our hands and celebrate the 562nd birthday of Jodhpur.
*“Kheech”or “Bajre ro Kheech”– a Marwari dish made from Pearl Millet’s flour