Jalore India

Keywords: Jalore India
Description: Situated on the southern edge of the vast sandy plain of Marwar, is a delightful city of Jalore. It is a typical small Rajasthani town where the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities is missing.

Situated on the southern edge of the vast sandy plain of Marwar, is a delightful city of Jalore. It is a typical small Rajasthani town where the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities is missing. The serene and unruffled surroundings make Jalore a good place to experience the unspoiled and friendly atmosphere of rural Rajasthan. The city is also known as the 'Granite City' with hoards of shops dealing in granite. The bazzar in Jalore is flooded with Rajasthani handicrafts and is still relatively unaffected by the tourist pricing that affects better known and more accessible places in Rajasthan.

Jalore district is famous for the dances preformed by the Bhil tribals. The Bhil tribals are the traditional tribal group of the south eastern corner of Rajasthan. Dhole is the most popular Bhil dance in this district. The dancers play a big drum called dhole while they dance, some carry naked swords in their mouth. This dance incorporates a series of skillful movements on the beats of the drums. Other dances by this tribe that have bought them much fame are the Gauri, a religious dance drama and Ghoomar (see India Dance & Music), which is the very life-blood of Bhil culture.

Jalore constituted a politically important division of Marwar in the past. With the Sukri and Khari rivers flowing through it, the land in Jalore is fertile and meant much economic benefit for the ruling clan. The fort in Jalore was one of the 'nine castles of Maru', when the Paramara clan held paramount rule in Marusthali (the desert) and guarded the southern frontier of Marwar. Later, a branch of the Chauhanas laid siege to the fortress. The Chauhanas enshrined here their guardian divinity, Mallianth. Jalore formed that portion of the Chauhanas sovereignty called Happa Raj, whose capital were the twin towns of Junah and Chotun (south of Jaisalmer), connecting the sway of this

clan in the areas along the Luni river which it had possessed after having crushed the Paramaras. The Chauhanas reigned in the area till the time the sons of Sevji entered these regions, and this was when the name Sonagir was exchanged for Jalore. Sevji, the grandson of the last monarch of Kanauj’s (Uttar Pradesh), with his brother Saitram in 1212AD moved westwards towards the desert to carve out a fresh niche for them selves (some historians believe that their trip west was with the pious intention of making a pilgrimage to the holy city of Dwarka). Sevji in his living years had annexed the western region around the city of Bikaner, Palli and some others on the banks of the river Luni. His three sons, Asothama, Soning and Ajmal extended his territory further - including Jalore.

Later the Muslim house of Palanpur ruled the principality of Jalore as vassals of the Sultans of Gujarat, before the Mughals came to India. When Akbar’s army invaded Gujarat its ruler Ghazni Khan II resisted and was captured and imprisoned by the invading army. A few years later on being urged by Ghazni Khan’s mother Akbar not only released the Khan but also gave him his foster sister in marriage and Palanpur as a part of dowry. Unfortunately their son, who is believed to have been corrupted by bad company and excessive drinking, on being crown emperor killed his mother. The then Mughal emperor in Delhi Jahangir sent for him and having found him guilty of the murder of his mothers and Jahangir’s aunt had him squashed under the foot of an elephant. However his son, Ghazni Khan’s grandson was allowed to rule Jalore. In 1704 Durga Das Rathore, ruler of Jodhpur kidnapped the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s grandchildren and asked for the return of Jalore to the Rajput rulers of Jodhpur as ransom. So Jalore once again came under the kingdom of Marwar.

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