Jodha of Mandore

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Rao Jodha
Ruler of Mandore
Reignc. 1438 – c. 1489
PredecessorRao Ranmal
SuccessorRao Satal
Born28 March 1416
Died6 April 1489(1489-04-06) (aged 73)
  • Hadi (Chauhan) Rani Jasma De of Bundi
  • Bhatiyani Pyar De of Barsalpur in Jaisalmer
  • Sankhali (Parmar) Navrang De of Roon in Marwar
  • Songari (Chauhan) Champa De of Pali in Jalore
  • Solankini Vir De of Desuri
  • Vagheli Vinay De of Tharad
  • Hulani Jamna De
among others


FatherRao Ranmal
MotherBhatiyani Kuram De d. of Rao Lakhamsen of Pugal in Jaisalmer

Rao Jodha Rathore (28 March 1416 – 6 April 1489) was the 15th Rajput chief of Rathore clan who ruled the Kingdom of Marwar in the present-day state of Rajasthan.[1] He was the fifth son of Rao Ranmal (Rao Ridmal). He is known for his illustrious military career and for founding the city of Jodhpur in 1459, which subsequently became the new capital of Marwar after Mandore.[2]


Rao Ranmal secured the throne of Mandore in 1427. In addition to ruling Mandore, Rao Ranmal also became the administrator of Mewar to assist Maharana Mokal (father of Rana Kumbha). After the assassination of Maharana Mokal by two brothers (Chacha and Mera) in 1433, Ranmal continued as administrator of Mewar at the side of Rana Kumbha.

Coronation as Rao (1439 AD)[edit]

Due to weakening of Rathore power after the Sisodia assault on Mandore, Rathore chiefs set aside their internal feuds and rallied under the banner of Jodha. At Kavani, Rathore clansmen collectively decided to declare Jodha as Rao, and successor to Rao Ranmal, and the succeeding day was fixed for the Raj-Tilak. Rao Jodha sent emissaries to Deshnoke to request Karni Mata to grace the occasion and herself apply the Tilak. She was unable to come and instead sent Pugree Dastoor to Kavani with her sons and Jaggu Doshi.[3]

Therefore, on Kartik Vadi 5th of Samvat 1496 (1439 AD), Jodha was put on the Rathore throne and declared the Rao. On the request of the assemblage, Karniji's son Punya Raj, on her behalf, performed the ceremony and applied the Raj-Tilak. Punya Raj gave five leaves of Jhadberi as Karniji's gift which Jodha respectfully put in the Pugree that he had received from Karniji.[3]


Rao Jodha's father was murdered in Chittor by the Sisodia's after which he escaped with his men, he was pursued by Rawat Chunda, an uncle of Kumbha. Chunda's army killed almost all of Jodha's soldiers in the fights that took place to protect Jodha. Jodha was able to escape to Kahuni and started gathering his men to fight off the invasion.[4] The Rathores were too weak to retaliate, and thus, for several years, Rao Jodha waited for an opportunity and strengthened his position. He gradually started attacking his enemies. The Delhi Sultanate took advantage of Rao Jodha's war with Rana Kumbha and captured several Rathore strongholds including Nagaur, Jhalor and Siwana. Rao Jodha formed an alliance with several Rajput clans including the Deora's and Bhati's and attacked the Delhi army, he succeeded in capturing Merta, Phalodi, Pokran, Bhadrajun, Sojat, Jaitaran, Siwana, parts of Nagaur and Godwar from the Delhi Sultanate. These areas were permanently captured from Delhi and Mewar and became a part of Marwar. Making Marwar the most powerful Kingdom in Rajputana during Jodha's reign.[5] In 1453 AD, he was able to capture his ancestral capital of Mandore from Mewar. After the capture of Mandore, Marwar and Mewar signed a treaty through which peace was restored. Rao Jodha's daughter was also married to Rana Kumbha's son Raimal. After the treaty, Rao Jodha captured Chapar Drona from the Mohils and Fatehpur from the Pathans. In order to further secure his position Jodha also founded the city of Jodhpur and built the fort of Mehrangarh. Instead of conquering more territories, Jodha adopted the policy of giving frontier territories of his kingdom to his sons. Amongst his sons Duda secured the area of Merta, Satal conquered territories of the Bhatis and founded Satalmer, Suja secured Sojat, Raipal captured Asop from Fateh Khan, Karamsi founded Khimsar and Bika with the help of his uncle, Kandhal founded his own kingdom which was later called Bikaner state. Rao Jodha raised the political strength of the Rathores to such an extent that even Rana Kumbha sought an alliance with him. The boundaries between Marwar and Mewar were also fixed to avoid hostilities. After Rana Kumbha's death, his successor Rana Udai Singh I requested help from the Rathores against his own clansmen and gave Jodha the territories of Sambhar and Ajmer.[4] Jodha's last battle against the Delhi Sultanate took place in 1489 AD when Sarang Khan, the Sultan's governor of Hissar, killed Jodha's brother Kandhal in a skirmish. Rao Jodha and his son Bika led an army to Dronpur where a battle took place. After heavy casualties, the Delhi army was defeated.[6]

Recapture of Mandore (1453 AD)[edit]

Mandore was occupied by Sisodia forces and on behalf of Maharana of Mewar, Narbad (son of Rao Satta) was stationed there with a strong garrison at Mandore with orders to pursue and destroy Jodha. For the next 12 years, Narbad would relentlessly devise ways to draw out and capture Jodha. He would often deliberately leave his flanks exposed and even leave the route to Mandore ill-defended in the hope enticing Jodha to attack in the open. But Karniji had forewarned Rao Jodha. She had told him not to risk a major battle until she gave an all clear. Thus forewarned, Rao Jodha bided his time at Kavani for 12 years.[3]

One day in Samvat 1510 (1453 AD), Karniji sent a message to Rao Jodha asking him to promptly reach Deshnoke with as many Rathores as he could muster. Accordingly, he reached Deshnoke and appearing before Karniji sought advice and directions. Karniji told him that the opportune time for invading Mandore had arrived and he must march with his men towards Mandore.[3]

During the way to Mandore, Jodha camped at the hamlet of Modhi Moolani in village Sirdan. Here, Jodha was served affectionately by Modhi with halwa dish. The Modhi told him, "Don’t worry. I put some majith to make up for the shortage of maida. This auspicious hue on your mustache is a sure sign of Karniji’s blessings. Your victory is certain. Proceed at once to Mandore."[3]

Jodha next camped at Bengati where Harbuji Sankhla, one of the five well-known holy men of Rajasthan, played host. Jodha and his men were offered bajra khichri by the saint. While departing, Harbuji told Jodha he will suffer no defeat so long as he has Sri Karniji's blessings and that he shall reconquer his heritage. Thus Jodha proceeded accepting assistance from chiefs of estates and villages falling on the route.[3]

Jodha arrived near Mandore with a contingent of 700 horses and 10,000 foot soldiers where with the assistance of Kalu Mangalia, who was Jodha's confidant and worked as an insider for the enemy, was able to enter with 1000 of men in the citadel. These men let inside the rest of the army in the night and stormed the fort from within. This took the Sisodias and their Rathore supporters by surprise and by sunrise Jodha took over Mandore.[3]

Nearest remaining outpost of Sisodias, Chokri was attacked by Rao Kandhal (brother of Rao Jodha) the following day. Rao Kandhal then marched an army on Merta and Ajmer which he conquered in the course of year, Samvat 1510 (1453 AD). Thus, Rao Jodha was able to reconquer his inhertitance & restrengthened the Rathores in Marwar.[3]

Foundation of Jodhpur[edit]

Mehrangarh fort, Jodhpur

A holy man sensibly advised Rao Jodha to move the capital to hilltop safety. By 1459, it became evident that a more secure headquarters was required. Chidia-tunk, a high rocky ridge, nine km to the south of Mandore was an obvious choice for the new city of Jodhpur. The natural elevation was enhanced by a fortress of staggering proportions, to which Rao Jodha's successors added over the centuries. Jodhpur was on the important Delhi to Gujarat trade route and it greatly benefited from the trade of silk, opium, sandalwood, copper and other items. The Mehrangarh Fort, situated on a 125 m high hill, is among the most impressive and formidable forts in Rajasthan. The construction of the fort was begun by Maharaja Rao Jodha in 1459 and was improvised by Maharaja Jaswant Singh (1637–1680).

The fort originally had seven gates ("pols"). There is a first gate with spikes to prevent attack from elephants. The Fatehpol or victory gate was erected by Maharaja Ajit Singh in 1707 to commemorate his victory over the Mughals. The other gates include the Jai Pol, built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806, following his victory over the armies of Jaipur and Bikaner.

Jodha's mother Koram de built KodamdeSar (now in Bikaner) Pond.[7] Jodha's wife Rani Hadi Jasmade built Ranisar tank, which is now within walls of Mehrangarh fort. Rani Sonagri Chand Kanwar built a Baori, called Chand Baori[8]

Death and the succession[edit]

Rao Jodha died on 6 April 1489, aged 73. The death of Rao Jodha was followed by a struggle for succession amongst his sons. He was succeeded by his son Rao Satal (1489–1491). After his death, his brother Rao Suja (1491–1515) occupied the throne.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mehrangarh Fort | History, Description, & Facts". Retrieved 25 March 2024. Mehrangarh Fort, huge hilltop fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, built about 1459 by Rao Jodha, a member of the Rathore branch of the Rajput clan and the 15th Rathore ruler of Marwar
  2. ^ "Jodhpur | History, Culture & Tourist Attractions". 9 January 2024. Retrieved 27 January 2024. Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. The city was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput (one of the warrior rulers of the historical region of Rajputana), and served as the capital of the princely state of Jodhpur
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Ujwal, Kailash Dan S. (1985). Bhagwati Shri Karniji Maharaj: A Biography. [s.n.]].
  4. ^ a b Mohammad Habib, Khaliq Ahmad Nizami (1970). A COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY OF INDIA VOL.5. PEOPLE’S PUBLISHING HOUSE,NEW DELHI. pp. 812–813. After the murder of his father quitted Chittor for Marwar. Jodha during his flight was closely pursued by Rawat Chunda, the uncle of Rana Kumbha. He lost almost all his followers in the skirmishes that took place, and in order to be beyond the reach of his enemies, he went to Kahuni....Jodha laid the foundation to a new fort and town in 1459, and named it Jodhpur, after his own name. Under his leadership the political status of the Rathors was considerably raised, even Rana Kumbha entered into an alliance with him by fixing the boundaries between Marwar and Mewar. Kumbha's successor, Rana Uda, sought his help against his own clansmen by giving him Sambhar and Ajmer.
  5. ^ Kothiyal, Tanuja (2016). Nomadic Narratives: A History of Mobility and Identity in the Great Indian. Cambridge University Press. p. 76. ISBN 9781107080317. the Rathor strongholds came under attack from the Delhi Sultanate especially as Nagaur, Jalore and Siwana became garrisons of the sultanate. Years later, Jodha succeeded on forging alliances with Deoras, Eendas, Sanklas and Bhatis from Janglu, Pugal and Jaisalmer. Subsequently Merta, Phalodi, Pokhran, Bhadrajun, Sojat, Jaitaran, Siwana, Nagaur and Godwar were permanently added to the Rathor territory, thus making Marwar the most powerful kingdom in Rajputana.
  6. ^ Hooja, Rima (2006). A history of Rajasthan. Rupa and Company. pp. 381–383, 387. ISBN 9788129115010. It took Jodha several years to strengthen his vulnerable position...defeating his enemies Jodha gradually brought areas like Merta, Phalodi, Pokhran, Bhadrajun, Sojat, Jaitaran, Siwana, parts of Nagaur and the Godawar area under Marwar's sway. Finally, the one time capital of Mandore appeared within his grasp and Jodha regained it in AD 1453..Chapar Drona area was captured after Jodha led an expedition against the Mohilas...he is also credited with victory over the Pathans of Fatehpur....Of Jodha's own sons, prince Duda annexed the area of Merta...Satal conquered a part of the territory of the Bhatis and founded a village called Satalmer...Suja secured Sojat ...Raipala captured Asop...Karamsi founded Khimsar...Bika with the help of his uncle Kandhal...founded a seperate [sic] kingdom that came to be known as Bikaner...The death was avenged by joint action on part of Kandhal's brother, the aged Rao Jodha...and nephew Rao a fiercely fought battle at Dronpur, that saw heavy losses on both sides, put the Delhi's imperial troops to flight.
  7. ^ Reu, Vishveshwarnath, Marwar Ka Itihas, Part 1, p94
  8. ^ Reu, Vishveshwarnath, Marwar Ka Itihas, Part 1, p93
  9. ^ Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra; Pusalker, A. D.; Majumdar, A. K., eds. (1960). The History and Culture of the Indian People. Vol. VI: The Delhi Sultanate. Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. pp. 355–357. The death of Jodha in 1488 was followed by a struggle among his sons for succession ... [the nobles] consecrated Satal ... Shortly afterwards, however, Satal died ... another brother, Suja, secured the throne ... History repeated itself when Suja died in 1515 ... [Satal] fell mortally wounded in the battlefield (1491).
  • Sharma, Dasharatha (1970). Lectures on Rajput History and Culture, Delhi:Motilal Banarsidass.