Jaswant Thada – The Taj Mahal of Marwar in Jodhpur

posted in: Asia, Heritage, India, Rajasthan | 96

If you are visiting Mehrangarh Fort and you miss visiting this gorgeous Taj Mahal of Marwar – Jaswant Thada, I would say your visit to the famed fort is quite incomplete. I spotted this white gorgeous building partially hidden by the greens, from Mehrangarh Fort and even before I had entered the fort, I was sure that I wanted to visit it.

Jaswant Thada from Mehrangarh Fort
Jaswant Thada from Mehrangarh Fort

Even from afar, there was something quite mesmerizing about it. Little did I know that it was termed as the Taj Mahal of Marwar. It was my guide at Mehrangarh Fort who revealed the information and after I had visited it, I wholehearted endorse this term given to Jaswant Thada. Starting with brief introduction to Jaswant Thada, let me walk you through my visit. At the end of it, I am sure you too, will agree that this is indeed the Taj Mahal of Marwar.

History of Jaswant Thada

Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur
Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur

With the new capital established at Mehrangarh after moving from Mandore, the cenotaph of the royal, I suppose the royal family of Marwar, wanted a new cenotaph. Jaswant Thada was named after the first royal Maharaja Jaswant Singh II , for whom it was created. Built by his son – Maharaja Sardar Singh, this memorial also, houses the paintings and pictures of the other Marwar Rulers. The monument is not as old as the Mehrangarh Fort and was built much later in the year 1899. This possibly is one of the reasons why this place looks as stunning and fresh as it does.

These cenotaphs are quite different from the ones in Mandore. While those were made of earthy red material, these were pure white buildings. Having said that, the red walls of Mandore remained a connect here – and you will discover why I say so.

Red contrasting with the White

Red steps going up to Jaswant Thada
Red steps going up to Jaswant Thada

The first thing that struck me was the contrasting colors of the whole monument. The red walls contrasting the white monument that towered in the background. The entire contrast was further enhanced by the greens that framed its entrances and small pavilions along the walls.

The lake around Jaswant Thada
The lake around Jaswant Thada

On one side you see a little lake. It was a little dirty when we went there, but I suppose that was owing to the low water levels. Cute little ducks kept swimming along it. The purpose of this lake was to perform Pujas for the deceased .

The musician entertaining the visitors at Jaswant Thada
The musician entertaining the visitors at Jaswant Thada

On the other side of the path, soothing music greeted us. The local musician’s tunes were in perfect harmony with the calm, serene atmosphere of Jaswant Thada.

The terrace overlooking the lake at Jaswant Thada
The terrace overlooking the lake at Jaswant Thada
The view of the lake, Jaswant Thada
The view of the lake at Jaswant Thada

As you climb up the red stairs of the monument, you enter a huge area that opens up to the same lake. I guess, with the water levels full in the lake, it would make an amazing place to just lean over and enjoy the winds. For now, I was content examining the intricate carvings of the red walls that made up these areas.

Carvings on the walls around Jaswant Thada
Carvings on the walls around Jaswant Thada

The White memorial at Jaswant Thada

One of the Memorials at Jaswant Thada
One of the Memorials at Jaswant Thada

Climbing up the stairs, the first thing that you encounter is this white memorial on a base of red. I am not sure whose memorial this is. Somewhere I read that it was dedicated to the mother of the Royal Maharaja. However, irrespective of whose it is, there is no denying the beautiful intricate work on it.

Close up of a memorial at Jaswant Thada
Close up of a memorial at Jaswant Thada


The Green Doors & windows

Elaborate doors at Jaswant Thada
Elaborate doors at Jaswant Thada

Now this is something curious. I found these really ornate Green doors and windows across the monuments. Why green – I have no idea but they definitely added to the majestic look of the place. On the reds, they stood out by contrast and on the whites, they just blended in seamlessly.

Green doors seamlessly blending in with the whites, Jaswant Thada
Green doors seamlessly blending in with the whites of Jaswant Thada

The main marble building at Jaswant Thada

Jaswant Thada - The Taj Mahal of Marwar
Jaswant Thada – The Taj Mahal of Marwar

Have you ever felt like saving the best for the last and still hesitate before you start using it? That is what I felt about this grand piece of architecture. I wanted to rush in and yet savor it for some more time before I did. I took my time circling around it to discover the beautiful blend of Rajputana style with the Mughal one.

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The small jhalis and jharokas with the intricate carvings around them were typical of Rajasthan while the huge dome like structures came in from the Mughal sense of architecture.

The main memorial at Jaswant Thada
The main memorial at Jaswant Thada

Once you enter the memorial, you are bound to feel calm. The cool interiors and the serene atmosphere are really soothing to your senses and for a few minutes, you do forget to rush around. One of the things to note here are the marble walls that actually glow golden with the sun rays falling on them. They say that the marble sheets were deliberately kept thin to allow this effect. You can spot the same in the picture above.

Here you can see the pictures of the various rulers of Jodhpur with the main focus on Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. All the while I kept hearing melodious flute notes and after I had paid my respects to the dead, I turned around to spot this magical silhouette of the flute artist against the carved entrance of the memorial. A magical moment indeed!

At the entrance of Jaswant Thada
At the entrance of Jaswant Thada

Gazebos around the building

Gazebos at Jaswant Thada
Gazebos at Jaswant Thada

Stepping out into the lawn, you spot a row of these gorgeous Gazebos. These are cenotaphs for the other rules. Nonetheless, the placement of these gazebos against the natural greens are quite a sight to behold.

Official Crematorium of the Royal Marwars

The Royal Crematorium in the backdrop - Jaswant Thada
The Royal Crematorium in the backdrop – Jaswant Thada

Far beyond you see earthen structures – some of which are essentially cenotaphs of the royal family. A little beyond that is the official cremation ground for the Royal family – where you can spot some dead and burnt wood pieces. In the cenotaphs area, I am told that there is one built in memory of a peacock who flew into the burning pyre of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Curious indeed!

Relaxing lawns at Jaswant Thada

Relaxing in the lawns of Jaswant Thada
Relaxing in the lawns of Jaswant Thada

The green lawns with its little flowers and beasts are indeed a perfect place to relax before you head out again. As you can see, two from my troop took full advantage of that and while they were at it, I discovered the mischievous squirrels and the cute birdies playing around.

Playful Squirrels at Jaswant Thada
Playful Squirrels at Jaswant Thada
Caught in action at Jaswant Thada
Caught in action at Jaswant Thada

Now that I have shared all that I saw, don’t you agree that the title of the “Taj Mahal of Marwar” is quite apt for Jaswant Thada? You know where comment in. And just so that you don’t forget to visit this magnificent piece of heritage, here is a pin for your board.


Getting to Jaswant Thada:

  • Jodhpur has its own airport with connectivity to major cities of India. In addition, you can reach Jodhpur either by road or by rail.
  • Jaswant Thada is located enroute to Mehrangarh Fort. You will need to either board a tourist bus or hire an auto or taxi from Jodhpur to get here. You can ask your driver to stop at this place, either before you head to Mehrangarh Fort or after you have visited it.

Travel Tips:

  • The entrance fees for this attraction is INR 15 for Indians and INR 30 for foreign tourist. For a still camera, you need to pay INR 25 and for a video on INR 50.
  • Jaswant Thada is open from 9 am – 5 pm on all days.
  • Don’t miss the gorgeous view of Umaid Bhawan from up here.
Umaid Bhavan from Jaswant Thada
Umaid Bhawan from Jaswant Thada
  • Remember to remove your footwear before entering the cenotaph buildings
  • On an average, keep aside 30 mins – 45 mins for this attraction





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96 Responses

  1. Rohini

    What an architectural marvel ! The post draws detailed attention to the intricacies and serenity of this place. The green doors – a good contrast with white marble and red- kind of blends in with the surrounding sandstone hills and lush greenery. I wonder if the minty green color of the doors is due to a copper coating ? Tarnished copper due to reaction with air and humidity forming a greenish patina layer ?!

    • Ami

      Thanks Rohini. I doubt that this is due to a Copper reaction. I remember seeing them as Green paint and that too, it was evenly painted. 🙂 But the green really catches your attention there.

  2. John Rodgers

    This was such a nice post and reminded me of my trip to India last year. We were in Jaipur and Pushcar last December and Jodhpur was the next city on our list before we were forced to cut our tip a little short. This alone would have made the trip worth it, great pictures and a great post.

    • Ami

      Thanks John. Pity you missed Jodhpur. It sure is a lovely place. Take a virtual tour of it on my website, there are tons of places that you can enjoy here. 😀

  3. The Tiny Book

    The place looks majestic indeed, is it entirely made of marble? And what are the green parts made of? Is it carved wood? The craftsmanship is indeed stunning! Thanks for sharing, I hope there is more about Jodhpur to come!!

    • Ami

      Thanks. I have done numerous posts on Jodhpur. Do check those out too 😀 The main building in Jaswant Thada is made of marble and the green parts are green paint on wooden doors. Quite unusual.

  4. Punita Malhotra

    Love the detailed description of the architectural nuances. History and architecture are so addictive..the more you learn, the more you want to learn. A wonderful read.

    • Ami

      Thanks Carmy. I would attribute the colors to the superior creative sense of the architect :D. An inspiration for us.

  5. GeekGirlGoes

    I love finding less visited places when traveling! The pictures look fantastic! And you’re right, the red and white together looks great!

  6. The Solivagant Soul (@Thesolivsoul)

    I will always be amazed about the temples that you have in India. They are so unique, so delicate… I don’t think there’s anything similar elsewhere. I am not planning on going there any time soon, but I’ll come back here whenever it’s time! Beautiful post!

    • Ami

      Thank you. There is so much heritage in India that it is hard for even us, to cover it all. Do plan on visiting us soon.

  7. vishvarsha

    So many different shades of architecture and such a beautiful place. Haven.t been there and your posts on Rajasthan are the reason I feel i will need a lot more visits to the state to explore it properly. 🙂

  8. theglobeater

    Thi Taj Mahal is marvelous and I really like the unusual color contrast. It looks like such a quiet place, were there many tourists or is it like a more off-the-beaten-path attraction?

    The squirrels in the park are adorable!! 🙂

    • Ami

      Thanks. Jaswant Thada is often missed out by the tourists owing to several reasons – lack of time, no interest, no information etc. That is a sad thing and am hoping that people rediscover it

  9. Thuymi @ AdventureFaktory.com

    Oh wow that Jaswant Thada is beautiful! I didn’t have the time to visit Jodhpur last time I went to India, only had time for Jaipur, Varanasi, Mumbai and nearly a full day in Dehli. Really have to re-organize a trip as it is not too far from Dubai!

  10. ourfamilytraveladventures

    It looks like a really beautiful place. The architecture is amazing!

  11. Tami

    What an inspiring place — it is amazing to me the attention to detail that is given in memoriam for those who have passed on. I am also impressed with the carvings and colors and contrasts. I don’t know if I will ever be able to visit India, but I have sure enjoyed this introduction to one of its beautiful sites.

  12. Rashmi and Chalukya

    We have been to Jodhpur and visited the gorgeous Mehrangarh fort. Jodhpur definitely has some of the incredible architecture and Jaswant Thada is no exception. Those intricate work are second to none. Thanks for the information we will make sure to visit it on our next visit 🙂

  13. Tae

    What a thorough post on somewhere so spectacular. Like you, I love the contrast with the red walls. The flute player in the entrance almost looks real (I thought it was until I read!). This almost seems like a more undiscovered treasure than Taj Mahal…

    • Ami

      Thanks Tae, the flute player was real indeed. He perfectly positioned himself at the door for me to click him.

  14. Joanna

    Unfortunately I only had half a day to spend in Jodhpur and I didn’t got a chance to visit the Jaswant Thada. It looks so beautiful! I was always surprised on how beautiful and different forts and palaces are in India. I am lucky to be back to India in 2 months and I am looking forward in discovering new places.

  15. Subhadrika Sen

    I have been to Rajasthan but not to the Jaswant Thada. Its a beautiful place no doubt. I like how you find traditional musicians in every little corner of the place. It gives a unique charm to the city.

    • Ami

      I agree. The musicians are a delight. Adds to the atmosphere of Jodhpur and makes it so much more fun.

  16. verushka

    Such beautiful images.The details on the buildings are incredible. I can not wait to explore North India and this place will defo be on my list. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Vyjay Rao

    This is yet another lovely monument of Rajasthan, that I need to bookmark. It is really amazing at how the artists of Rajasthan have used stone and marble to come out with such breathtaking structures. Mehrangarh Fort is definitely a shining example of this artistic wizardry.

    • Ami

      Thanks Vyjay. Rajasthan is really amazing with its monuments and history. Each one more unique than the other.

  18. Blair Villanueva

    Hello Ami,

    You are right, this place is very relaxing and calm. And even your family loves it! Ohh those are cute squirrels! Means this place is really well maintained, and its nearby nature. Kudos!