A magnificent example of Indian architectural expertise, the Jaswant Thada is a white marble mausoleum (made of very thin sheets) built in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singhji II of Jodhpur. It was built by his son Maharaja Sardar Singhji in 1899 and was completed in 1906. It is often called as the “Taj Mahal of Marwar”.
The thin marble sheets have been so that when the sun’s rays fall on the stone, it appears to shine and glow. The marble ‘jali’ work done here is really awe-inspiring. The last rites of the rulers of Jodhpur were formerly performed at Mandore, 9 km north of Jodhpur, which was the old capital of Marwar; but after the completion of the Jaswant Thada in AD 1906, they have been performed here.
This monument is more of a temple where deceased rulers are worshipped, as worshipping of ancestors is common to the Rajput clans. Entry fee to the mausoleum is Rs. 15, which goes to the Mehrangarh Museum Trust for the care and maintenance of this monument. To the west of this complex is a water body known as Dev-Kund, where ritual bathing still takes place by the royal family after the cremation of any ruler. To the east are the cenotaphs of various Rajput rulers like Maharaja Umaid Singhji, Maharaja Hanwant Singhji, etc.
The Jaswant Thada is located near to the Mehrangarh Fort, and about 100 metres before the entry gate to the mausoleum is a statue of Maharaja Jaswant Singhji sitting on a horse.
To the east of the monument is a memorial of the peacock that flew into Maharaja Jaswant Singhji’s pyre and perished. It is one of the major tourist destinations in Jodhpur, visited by millions of people every year. The beautiful carvings done in the making of this mausoleum are really amazing and clearly show us the talent that Indian craftsmen had.