If wanderlust is overpowering you, why not add Jalore to your bucket list? It’s worth visiting for honeymooners, and solo, family, and group travelers alike. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Different people have different reasons to travel. Some travel to experience new places and cultures, some to break the monotony of the daily grind, and some to seek peace and discover themselves. After all, travel connects you to life and changes your perception of the world around you in a more meaningful way. Guess what? It can even strengthen familial bonds.
Whatever your reason for travel is, Jalore keeps you covered. It’s a small town in Rajasthan with a big presence in the tourism landscape. Each year, travelers from across the world take time from their busy schedules to visit this quaint town for new experiences. Let’s put it on your radar with a detailed guide on all things Jalore, from location and history to the best sights and sounds.
Jalore: History, Geography, Visit Timing & More
Jalore is a town of granite and grandeur, tucked away on the borders of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The town is home to some of the most prolific pink and yellow granite quarries, which has earned it the moniker, “India’s Granite City.” Several historical sites dotting the entire city give a sneak peek into the opulence of the bygone era. So, if history is your thing, the city has plenty to keep you hooked.
There’s plenty to explore for religious travelers as well, with some majestic Hindu and Jain temples and mosques scattered across the city. Just beyond the city limits stands tall the Sundha Peak, the Marwar region’s second Mount Abu. They even refer to the city as the “Cradle of the Marwari horse” – a local horse breed known for its endearing looks, longevity, and loyalty. The district is spread across a 10640 sq. km area and populated by 1830151 people (as of 2022) with a sex ratio of 951.
Jalore district sits at an elevation range of 245 to 136 meters. It is a constituent of 7 tehsils – Ahore, Jalore, Sayala, Bagoda, Bhinmal, Raniwara, Jaswantpura Chitalwana, and Sanchore. The city of Jalore serves as the district administrative headquarter. The city lies to the south of the tributary of the Luni River, which merges into the Sukri River. While the major languages are Marwaadi and Hindi, you will come across plenty of English speakers as well. As such, language isn’t such a barrier.
- Division: Jodhpur
- Headquarters: Jalore
- Language: Hindi and Rajasthani
- Population: 1830151
- Sex Ratio: 951
- Population Density: 172/ sq. km
- Literacy Rate: 55.58 percent
- Time Zone: IST (UTC+5:30)
Geography of Jalore
Where is Jalore? You might wonder. Well, the town is a part of Jalore district, which lies in southwest Rajasthan. Barmer lies on the north of Jalore while Pali is on the North East and Sirohi on the South East. Bordering Gujarat on the southwest, the city is just 420 kilometers away from the state capital, Jaipur, and 140 kilometers from Jodhpur. Its latitude & longitude are 25.344481 and 72.625374 respectively while the GPS coordinates read 25° 20′ 40.1316” N and 72° 37′ 31.3464” E.
Jalore district flaunts an oblong shape, wherein two sides are longer, two shorter, and four right angles. For the most part, the terrain is plain, except for densely forested mountains in the north and southeast while a few hillocks are also scattered in the center. In fact, the Sundha Peak (990 M), the district’s highest peak is found in the southeastern part. You’ll come across rocky terrain in the east and sand dunes in the west, which makes Jalore a geographically diverse district.
- Area: 10640 sq. km
- Longitude: 25.344481
- Latitude: 72.625374
- GPS Coordinates: 25° 20′ 40.1316” N & 72° 37′ 31.3464” E
- Elevation: 245 – 136 meters above sea level
Etymology of Jalore
Historically, the city was called Jabalipur after Maharishi Jabali, who resided here back in antiquity. Some historical sources also refer to it as Swarnagiri, due to the presence of the Swarnagiri peak in the city. And, the monikers – Cradle of the Marwari horse and Granite City – are self-explanatory.
History Of Jalore
Jalore’s history dates back to ancient times. In lack of documented evidence, no one knows when, how or by whom the city was founded. The documented history begins in the 8th century when the city was under Pratihar King Vatsa Raja’s reign. Somewhere between 972 to 990 AD, Parmara ruler Vakpati Munia annexed the city and put it under the rule of his kin, Dharnivarah Parmar. That brought down curtains on the two-and-a-half-century rule of the Parmar dynasty.
1. Pratihar Dynasty:
The displaced king’s son, Dewalsimha Pratihar tried to regain the lost territories but failed. However, he succeeded in occupying parts of Bhinmal with Jaswantpura as its capital. His successors, Dewal Pratihars, resisted Allauddin Khilji’s aggression and even supported Maharana Pratap with men and money at different points in time. Later, Parmars came up with the Jalore Fort in the 12th century. It’s a landmark structure known for its magnificence and charm, reminding us of a glorious past.
2. Chauhan Dynasty:
Kirtipala, the youngest son of Arhan, the Nadol King, took over the reins of the area in 1181, which marked the beginning of the Chauhan dynasty. His grandson, Samarasimha went on a conquering spree to claim lost territories from the Turks. Come 1311, Jalore faced an onslaught from Alaudin Khilji. With King Kanhadadeva dying defending, it became a subordinate state to the Delhi Sultanate. As a side note, Maharana Pratap’s mother, Jaiwanta Bai, hailed from the city.
3. Mughals & Bhatis:
Abdul Rahim Khan Khana conquered the fort on behalf of the Mughal emperor, Akbar. History credits his successor, Jehangir, to erect the walls of the fort. By the end of the 17th century, Jalore briefly became a part of the Jodhpur kingdom under Yadu Chandravanshi Bhati. Come 1704, the city again became a part of Marwar and the status stayed intact until India achieved freedom in 1947. The remains of the era gone by are still evident in Jalore in the form of buildings and traditions.
In Jalore, the weather is typically dry with extremes. The temperature varies drastically between 12 degrees Celsius and 42 degrees Celsius with May being the hottest month and January, the coldest. For about 9 months, the skies are clear and cloudless. The annual precipitation is low, 530.3 mm with August receiving the bulk of rain. Varying seasonally, the avg. annual wind speed is 9 km/h.
Lasting for approximately 3 months from April to June, summers are short, harsh, and humid. The mercury hovers around 28 degrees Celsius to 42 degrees Celsius with May being the hottest month. The sky is clear for the most part and precipitation is next to negligible.
From December to February, the city experiences a comfortable cool season. While the average temperature during winter is 28 degree Celsius, the mercury plummets to as low as 12 degrees C in the coldest month, January. Again, the rains are scarce and the sky is largely cloudless.
3. Rainy Season:
From mid-June to mid-September, Jalore experiences rain. The wettest month is July with an average precipitation of around 0.04 inches. Also, the chances of rain go up by 18 percent for any given day in July. Save for these 3 months, the city experiences a dry spell.
Jalore Weather: Takeaways
- Hottest Month: May (35°C avg.)
- Coldest Month: January (20°C avg.)
- Wettest Month: July (190.9 mm avg.)
- Clearest Month: October
- Windiest Month: June (14 km/h avg.)
- Annual Rainfall: 530.3 mm (annual)
|Avg. Temp.||18 C||22 C||27 C||32 C||35 C||34 C||31 C||29 C||30 C||28 C||24 C||19 C|
Flora and Fauna of Jalore:
Jalore has its share of flora and fauna, much to the delight of wildlife watchers.
- Fauna: It is a natural habitat of the Indian Wild Ass, an endangered specie, which crossed over to the district’s border area from the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. The forested area close to the Gujarat border hosts chinkaras, wolfs, common fox, desert cat, hyenas, and many more exotic species.
- Flora: In the hilly terrains of Jalore, you will come across Babuls, Khair, Thar, and other varieties. When you move to the plains, Kiker, Aawal, Akra, Cactus, and other varieties make themselves visible.
Dances of Jalore
Jalore has a rich, vibrant culture, which reflects in its prolific dance forms. You’ll come across four major dance forms, each with a characteristic nature and performance style. These include:
1. Dhol Dance
In Jalore, traditional weddings are incomplete without the Dhol dance. Primarily performed by males, it involves heavy drums (Dhols), hence, the name. It begins with the beating of drums in ‘Thakna Shaili’ and lead performers inserting swords into their mouths. The other performers get into the act swinging wooden sticks and/or handkerchiefs. The dance form is a specialty of the Bhil, Dholi, Mali, and Sargara communities. Even spectators can join in if they can’t resist the beats.
2. Dandiya Dance
This dance form reflects the local culture optimally. It’s a male dance form, usually involving over 20 performers, each flaunting wooden sticks and donning traditional dresses. The performers move around beating their sticks rhythmically and encircling drummers, clarinet players, and folk singers. The dance happens on traditional songs that glorify Bhairuji, the fifth incarnation of Shiva. However, Bollywood Holi songs are also a fixture. The dance is performed for weeks, starting just after Holi.
3. Gair Dance
This dance form is all about a group of males (Gairiyas) carrying wooden sticks or swords while dressed in white attire with leather waist belts. The performers form smaller groups to dance to the beats of drums, plates, and other traditional instruments. It resembles Dandia and Girad dance forms, except for the quicker leg work and facial expressions depicting divinity. Just like Dandia, this dance also marks post-Holi celebrations with the participation of all local communities.
4. Loor Dance
It’s a predominantly female dance form, performed for about 30 days prior to the arrival of Holi mainly in rural Jalore. Regardless of age or marital status, the local ladies, after rushing through their daily chores, gather at convenient places to dance their hearts out. The performers dance in a massive circle to the tunes of local folk songs, accentuated by traditional instruments.
5. Minor Dance Forms
Depending on the occasion, locals also perform other dance forms like Shakur, Matki, and Chang. Shakur celebrates wild pig hunting with loud drumming while Matki Dance involves performance with pots on heads. Chang is a state-wide dance form though, it assumes a distinct form in Jalore.
Places to Visit in Jalore
With an illustrious history, Jalore has several stories to tell. All it needs is a patient listener. So, if you have it, it’s time to experience the tales of chivalry, architectural prowess, and more through the landmark monuments scattered across Jalore. Here’s your rundown on the places to explore.
1. Jalore Fort
As majestic as it gets, the Jalore Fort is the city’s principal attraction. The structure, built on a steep hill by the Paramara kings, has withstood several invasions and the test of time. Though the exact date or year of the fort’s construction is uncertain, historians believe it has come up anywhere between the eighth and tenth centuries. Historical records refer to it as Svangiri, meaning the “Golden Hill.” Obviously, it has been the city’s cultural center since its erection.
Who Controlled the Jalore Fort?
The control of the fort changed hands with time. Kirtipala, the founder of the Jalore line of Chauhans, snatched it from the Paramara dynasty in 1181. Iltutmish laid siege to the fort in 1228 but received stiff resistance from the Chauhan king, Udayasimha. However, Ala-Ud-Din Khilji annexed the fort in 1311 after defeating Kanhadadeva, the last Chauhan ruler. The fort finally fell to Rathores of Jodhpur and remained under their control until 1947. Even today, the Jodhpur State manages the fort.
As is the case with all hill forts, it sits atop a perpendicular hill and features a towering, sturdy wall that accommodates several bastions and a cannon. At certain points, the wall gives way to four massive gates (Dwars) – Suraj Dwar, Dhruv Dwar, Chand Dwar, and Sire Dwar. However, only one allows entry into and exit from the fort at present. Interestingly, the Suraj Dwar allows the entry of the first rays of the sun into the complex and features a watch tower on top. No other Dwar matches the grandeur of Suraj Dwar. Speaking of the fort’s architecture, it’s predominantly traditional Hindu.
In many areas, the fort’s stone wall is still intact and undamaged, allowing visitors to envision what a formidable stronghold it once was. Inside the fort, there is a deserted castle, a few sizeable water tanks, graves and mosques, and antique temples devoted to Shiva and other gods and goddesses. Also, a few lovely Jain temples adorn the fort’s grounds. The “residential palace” sitting pretty within the complex is in ruins but the remains suggest its magnificence and opulence in the era gone by.
A major attraction within the fort, the Shiva temple was erected by Kanhaddev somewhere in the 14th century. The subsequent rulers pursued some renovation work of the temple, which includes an addition of Samadhi of Jalandharnath. Guess what? The temple got a facelift recently in 2005. Another temple, dedicated to three deities – Hanumanji, Amba Mata, and Ashapuri, is also there.
The presence of a few prominent Islamic mosques offers Jalore Fort a multi-religious dimension. The Kila Masjid (Fort Mosque) and shrines dedicated to Rehmad Ali Baba and Malik Shah are worth visiting for their unique Gujarati architecture, besides, of course, for their religious significance. Interestingly, these structures were built on the remains of Hindu and Jain temples.
The city attracts a deluge of Jain pilgrims due to the presence of some key Jain temples, including the Adinath temple. Standing tall since the 8th century, the temple sticks out for its imposing built and shiny white marble walls. Likewise, the Parsvanath temple is also a sight to behold with a mesmerizing golden copula and an archway. The Mahavira temple has been around since the 14th century while those dedicated to Santinatha and Ashtapads came up in the 13th century.
- Nature: Hill fort
- Built: 8th to 10th centuries AD
- Entry Fee: Zero
- Open: 9 am to 5 pm
- Visit Duration: 3 to 4 hours
- Managed by: Jodhpur State
- Coordinates: 25.3373°N 72.6144°E
- Address: 8JP8+Q9Q, Jalore, Rajasthan 343001
A vision of Raja Bhoj, this once-magnificent structure still attracts crowds. The structure was originally built as a Sanskrit school in the 8th century but was used to store cannon and other ammunition in the pre-independence era. That speaks for the name, Topekhana. It is one of the three Sanskrit schools built by Raja Bhoj, with the other two located in Dharanagri and Ajmer.
Even though the structure is in bad shape, it is still a sight to behold. As you enter the premises, the main structure adorned with over 276 stone pillars greets you. Intricate motifs of flowers, elephants, bells, chains, and vines grace the pillars, telling stories of artistic skills and cultural sophistication. Upon stepping foot inside the main structure, the lotus motifs and other ornamental carvings will keep you spellbound and so will the spacious room standing about 10 feet above ground level.
Topekhana’s vast compound is home to the ruins of many temples that once adorned magnificent idols of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Varaha. These statues stand decapitated though, they retain an air of ancient grandeur and spiritual significance. Just head to the left of the entrance, and you will come across a temple with no idols. However, locals believe that it once housed a Lingam. The canopy extending over the compound is missing now.
- Nature: Ex-cannonry
- Built: 7th – 8th centuries AD
- Entry Fee: Zero
- Open: 24/7/365
- Visit Duration: 2 to 3 hours
- Managed by: Rajasthan State Archaeological Department
- Coordinates: 25.3467° N, 72.6178° E
- Address: 8JW9+M46, Ghanchiyo Ki Pilani, Bhawrani, Jalore, 343001
3. Sundha Mata Temple
Dedicated to Chamunda Devi, the ancient temple is another attraction in Jalore frequented by locals and devotees from Gujarat and other parts of India. Just 64 km from Mount Abu, Sundha Mata temple is nestled on a 1220-meter-high hillock amidst a serene and attractive environment. The cool breeze, great views, and majestic waterfall compensate for the effort you put on to reach the temple. Plus, several community-operated night-stay facilities are available near the temple.
Sundha Mata Mandir is one of the 64 Shakti Peeths. So, you can imagine its religious significance for Hindus across India and beyond. If legend is something to go by, Lord Shiva decapitated the body of Sati and scattered the body parts across different locations. While the trunk fell in Korta and the legs in Sundarla Pal, this particular location received her head. So, you’ll be worshipping the goddess in the form of Adhghateshwari, meaning a Goddess without a torso, in the Sundha Mata Temple.
You can attribute the temple construction to the Dewal Pratiharas with active support from the Chauhans of Jalore in the 11th century. The temple is situated on a site where Nath Yogis used to worship Goddess Chamunda. The ruler of Sirohi state offered a couple of villages to a revered Nath Yogi, Rabad Nath Ji, sometime in the 12th century. The revenue from these villages helped extend and maintain the temple over the years. Presently, it is managed by the Sundha Mata Trust.
Within the temple premises, you will come across three stone inscriptions that offer information on the local history. Dated 1262 AD, the earliest stone inscription talks about the Chauhans defeating the Paramaras in a historic battle. The other two belong to 1326 AD and 1727 AD respectively. Even if you are not a fan of history, these inscriptions will transport you into the bygone era.
When you reach the hilltop after beating the odds, the sight of the majestic Sundha Mata temple will spellbind you. Clad in pristine white marble, the temple has all the characteristics of classical-style architecture with towering columns, ornate friezes, and a meticulously carved statue. The columns mimic the motifs and architecture of Dilwara temples in Mt. Abu. The Chamunda Devi statue stands majestically under a massive stone overlooking the green surroundings. Right in front of the statue, you will find a BhurBhuva Swaweshwar Shivling and an idol of Shiva-Parvati in the main temple.
If you do not approve of walking your way up the hillock, a ropeway service is for you. You will be paying INR 130 for up and down and INR 106 for up. However, elderly people can buy the ticket at subsidized prices, for INR 65 upon providing appropriate age proof. If you are coming from Gujarat, Gujarat Roadway buses from Deesa, Palanpur, and other locations offer cheap access to the temple during Navratri celebrations. Food and night-stay facilities are also readily available.
- Nature: Hindu Temple
- Built: 12th Century AD
- Elevation: 1220 meters
- Open: 5 am to 8 pm
- Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours
- Managed by: Sundha Mata Trust
- GPS Coordinates: 24.833°N 72.367°E
- Address: 8JCM+JCX, Bhinmal -Jalore Road, Jalore, Rajasthan 343002
4. Sundha Mata Wildlife Sanctuary
If you are a wildlife lover or a shutterbug, the Sundha Mata Wildlife Sanctuary should be on your bucket list. This reserve lies in the Jawai forest area, scattered across an area of around 107 square km. It is home to Nilgai, Sloth Bear, Desert Fox, Striped Hyena, Vulture, Hanuman Langur, Indian Porcupine, and around 120 species of birds.
Other prominent places to visit in and around Jalore include:
- Malik Shah Dargah
- Jahaj Mandir
- Apeshwar Mahadev
- 72 Jinalaya Jain Mandir
How to Reach Jalore?
Planning to visit Jalore? Here’s how to get there.
- Airport– Jodhpur Airport is the closest airport, about 140 km, and is connected with major metros around the country.
- Railway– Jalore is well-connected with railways and has passenger trains plying all around the week.
- Road– The city has road connectivity with all major towns and cities around it. One can opt for either Government buses or private buses and taxis to reach Jalore.
Hotels in Jalore
Jalore, being a mineral-rich city as well, has a good range of hotels and motels to accommodate all types of visitors. Some good options are given below:
- Savera Hotel & Resort
- Hotel Geetco
- Hotel Mansarovar
- Hotel Manu
Jalore’s cuisine is a mix of fiery Rajasthani and sweet Gujarati flavors. There are several varieties of food joints across the city where one may sample authentic Rajasthani food. Vegetarian cuisine is vastly popular here. Pyaz ki Kachori, Jalori Rasmalai, and Marwadi Kulfi are among the city’s well-known delicacies.
Best Time to Visit
Autumn, Winter, and Spring are the best for visiting the city. Plan your tour anytime between October and March. The weather is lovely and peaceful during this time of the year. Without having to confront the burning heat, one may explore the city and its environs.
Jalore is a must-see destination for vacationers, adventurers, and mineralogists. That’s thanks to its mineral wealth, rich history, and abundant natural beauty. Jalore, known as India’s Granite City, has a lot more to offer than simply granite, after all. So, pack your bags and head straight to this quaint town in Rajasthan. And, Jalore photos would be a rage on social media.
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