Erstwhile a part of the Gurjara Pratihara Empire, Jodhpur was ruled by a Baragujar King before it fell into the hands of a Rajput chieftain of the Rathore clique, who established the city of Jodhpur in the year 1459. Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur, was a Rajput ruler who ruled over Marwar before he was defeated in a power struggle. Jodha escaped from Mandore to avoid a fatal destiny and lived in the surrounding areas of Marwar before he went on to capture the neighboring territories. After a period of struggle with the enemies, the place came under the attack of outside intruders like the Mughals. During this time, Jodhpur witnessed more than a few wars, some with its internal rivals and others with the Muslim rule. Later in the 19th century, during East India Company invasion, Pratap Singh came to an agreement with the British Raj and was in good terms with the administers of the East Indian Company before it merged to the state of Rajasthan after Indian Independence. Read the article to know more about the history of Jodhpur.
A major part of Jodhpur's history revolves around the rule of Rathore kinfolk. The Rathore originated from the Kannauj tribe from Uttar Pradesh who were forced out by the Ghori tribe. Rathore community traces back their ancestral lineage to the Sun God, which earned it the name of Suryavanshi. The Rathore eventually settled in Mandore before they moved on to Jodhpur and made it their capital. Jodhpur gained its importance only in 1459 when Rao Jodha established his military base in the city by Chintamani Fort that was later renamed as Mehrangarh Fort. By then end of Rao Jodha's rule, he had captured the nearby region including his birthplace Mandore from where he had escaped from being murdered by Rana Kumbha.
Invasion Of The Mughal Warriors
When a group of Muslim warriors invaded the country in the 1500's, the Rajput kings united together to drive out the intruders in the battle Panipat. However, they failed miserably and Mughal Empire marked their establishment in India. The Mughal emperor did not find the fruitless land of Jodhpur an attractive prospective that was worth pursuing. Meanwhile Akbar's father (Humayun) was unseated from his throne in Delhi by Sher Shah Suri who later captured Jodhpur from Raja Maldeo, the then king of the province. After the death of Humayun, his son Akbar captured Jodhpur and Marwar. Maldeo's eldest son was later appointed as the administrator of this region. Relationship between Akbar and Udai Singh improved when his sister Jodha Bai married the Muslim king, which in return forced him to make Udai Singh the future governor of Jodhpur.
During the peace treaty between Akbar and Udai Singh, Jodhpur not only witnessed a cultural turnabout but also witnessed a thriving trade and commerce activity. The strained relationship took place when Jaswant Singh openly declared his dislike for Shah Jahan's successor. He was defeated by Aurangzeb and later sent on exile to the Afghan region. In the meantime, Jodhpur underwent sever internal strife for almost three decades before the death of Aurangzeb in 1707. His death marked the decline of the Mughal Empire as his successors were disinterested in the state affairs. Jaswant's son Ajit Singh was appointed as the king of Jodhpur who brought back the past Rajput glory but it was short lived as he was killed by his own son. The death of Ram Singh, the grandson of Ajit Singh gave rise to the Maratha Dynasty in Rajput terrain.
East Indian Company
Once the Maratha Dynasty had invaded the Rajputana province, Jodhpur saw further struggles for power. During this time, the British who had already entered the sub-continent in 1818, took advantage of this by signing a pact with Pratap Singh, the then descendant of the Man Singh family, to overthrow the Maratha rule. The English brought in peace in Jodhpur and knighted Pratap Singh as the future king of the dessert land. The relationship between the English and Pratap Singh not only strengthened its future but also prospered Indo-Anglo rule with a flourishing trade activities. He also went on to fight under the British rule in many parts of the globe.
After the death of Pratap Singh, his future heirs only worked toward the development of Jodhpur. By setting a base for Indian aviation, Umaid Singh built India's first airport that gave rise to the growth of the aeronautic industry in India. Once India got its independence in 1947, Hanwant Singh the ruler of Jodhpur was asked to join Indian politics but declined the request of the Indian National Congress by remaining independent. In 1956, Sardar Vallab Patel the then Home minister of India merged Jodhpur and other close by princely provinces as a part of Rajasthan state under the State Reorganization Act. Since 1956, the city has always had a member of the Parliament that has represented Jodhpur. Today, however the city is an important constituency for Indian politics.