Mehrangarh Fort and Museum

Chokhelao Garden

Aspects of the Park – sandy desert, rocky desert, freshwater microhabitats...
The Thar Desert
The Thar is the easternmost extremity of a broad band of arid lands with strong
plant affinities, stretching across Northern Africa and the Middle East into South Asia
Rocky parts of the Thar
While much of the Thar is sandy, Jodhpur sits on a basin of intense lava flows that covered large parts of north-western Rajasthan some 750 million years ago. Above the volcanic rock lies the paler sandstone that is mined and utilized so much in this region.
Gravelly desert
Parts of the Thar desert are also made up of pebbles and gravel that are the debris left over by different kinds of rock. Large parts of Jaisalmer and Barmer, for example, have this character, with beautiful hues of ochre, auburn, and browny-purples.
Living in rock
It is hard enough for a plant to survive in desert sand. Adapting to desert rock is even more difficult and scientists use a special term – ‘lithophyte’ – to describe plants that have found ways to survive in rocky or pebbly habitats.
'Ecological Restoration'
We use this term to describe what we do at the Park.
We set out to try and restore this tract of land to what
it might have been like before it was ‘interfered’ with
by human activity. Our models are rocky, relatively
unspoilt hills and scarps in Marwar’s desert.
Doqnload Rao Jodha Park's plant guide
Where to go at Rao Jodha Park
The Visitors Centre
This should be the start of any tour of the Park. Buy tickets here and browse or buy field guides, gifts or just refuel in the outdoor café at the Visitors Centre, housed inside a historic gateway to the city.
The Gully
From the Visitors Centre, steps take you down into an ancient stormwater aqueduct hewn out of sheer rock. This is the start of the Gully, a rocky canyon that gradually opens up to reveal Mehrangarh Fort and the Blue City at the far end of the Park.
Walking Trails
The end of the Gully is intensely planted up to give you a sense of the diversity of rock-loving plants here. At the end of the Gully, choose any of three Trails that all lead back to the Visitors Centre.
Sandy Plot
Rao Jodha Park is mostly about plants from the Marwar region that are adapted to rock but we wanted to have one small plot – one ‘room’ in our outdoor museum, if you like – to show you a very different suite of plants that thrive in salty sand.
Jaswant Thada
A section of 26 hectares of the Park sprawls near the marble Memorial and gardens at Jaswant Thada. Devi Kund lake attracts a lot of birds, especially winter migrants, and you can stroll around the rocky margins of the lake at your leisure.
The Plants Nursery
Plants grown mostly from seed collected from the desert are grown in our Nursery situated behind the ‘Piao’, on your way down from the Fort. You are welcome to visit. We hope one day to be able to offer plants for sale.
Plan your visit
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