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 about 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 on 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, Visiting Timing & Place to See
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 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 the south west 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. It’s 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 south east 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 south eastern 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 refers 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 evidences, 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 Parmara 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 it’s capital. His successors, Dewal Pratihars, resisted Allauddin Khilji’s aggression and even supported Maharana Pratap with men and money in 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.
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 the 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.
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 form of buildings and traditions.
In Jalore, the weather is typically dry with extremes. The temperature varies drastically tween 12-degree Celsius and 42-degree 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 rains. Varying seasonally, the avg. annual wind speed is 9 km/h.
- Summers: 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.
- Winters: From December to February, the city experiences a comfortable cool season. While the average temperature during winters is 28 degree Celsius, the mercury plummets to as low as 12 degree C in the coldest month, January. Again, the rains are scarce and sky is largely cloudless.
- Rainy Season: From mid-June to mid-September, Jalore experiences rains. The wettest month is July with average precipitation of around 0.04 inches. Also, the chances of rain shoots 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 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, the 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 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 belt. 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 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 the rural Jalore. Regardless of the 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 even year of the fort’s construction is uncertain, historians believe it to have 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 it’s erection.
Who controlled the Jalore Fort?
The control of the fort changed hands with time. Kirtipala, the founder of 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 first rays of 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 it’s 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.
- 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 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
Ujjain King Vikramaditya erected Topekhana as a “Sanskrit Pathshala” to promote education. The main structure comprises 276 stone pillars with exquisite carvings of flowers, chains, elephants, bells, vines, and geometry. One room is raised 10 feet above ground level in the right corner of the main structure, with stairs going there.
Inside the fort, there’s a headmaster’s or teacher’s seat for educating large groups of students. Within the fort’s grounds, a few magnificent Jain temples come across. A shrine on the left side of the main entrance, just inside the main entrance, may have originally held a Shiva Lingam statue. Raw art adorns an incomplete flank on the right side of the School.
The canopy’s main arch’s major arch is also gone. Several idols within the property have been damaged, including those of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Varaha. There are little temples on both flanks with no idols at the present.
3. Sundha Mata Temple
This temple in the Jalore district is about 900 years old and situated on the hilltop of the mountain Sundha. It houses Goddess Chamunda Devi. The temple premises have three historically significant inscriptions about the region’s history. An important inscription is from AD 1262, which tells of the triumph of Chauhans.
“Nath Yogis” used to worship in this temple. Many vacationers from neighboring states like Gujarat go there. The surroundings here are peaceful and appealing. The year-round waterfalls are a tourist attraction around the temple.
4. Sundha Mata Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary lies in the Jawai forest area in Rajasthan, Jalore. It has an area of around 107 square km and hosts Nilgai, Sloth Bear, Desert Fox, Striped Hyena, Vulture, Hanuman Langur, Indian Porcupine, and around 120 species of birds. It is an ideal getaway for wildlife lovers and photographers.
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 round 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 flavours. 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, Winters, 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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