Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park was created in 2006 to tryand restore the natural ecology of a large, rocky wasteland next to Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. It had suffered years of neglect and was overrun by baavlia (Prosopis juliflora), an invasive, thorny shrub introduced from central America almost a century ago. The challenge was to eradicate the baavlia and create a suitable home for native rock-loving plants that we would bring back from the desert. The area in and around the park contains distinctive volcanic rock and sandstone formations. The park includes a Visitors Centre with Interpretation Gallery, a native plant nursery, small shop and cafe. There are four trails (yellow, green, red, and blue trails), about 880 m to 1115 m long, that visitors can take and trained guides and naturalists are also available.
Native Plants Nursery
The park has a native plants nursery where native rock-loving and arid region plants are propagated from seeds and cuttings. The nursery is located near the ‘piao’ or public drinking water station on the way down from the fort. The seedlings raised here are planted out for ecological restoration of the park area each year around the monsoon. Over 80 native plant species have been raised and planted out in the park.
April to September - 7am to 6:30pm /October to March - 8am to 5:30pm
The changing seasons
July to October - these are special months because of the rains and the explosion of grasses and desert ephemerals.
October to February - the dry season sets in after October and the Parkhas a gaunt, spare beauty through to February as the grasses dry up
and turn golden. This is the best time to walk in the Park because theweather is pleasant.
April to July - it’s very hot during these months but early mornings are lovely.
Housed in a historic Gateway in the City Wall, buy tickets and start theWalking Trail from here. Facilities include an outdoor café, restrooms,
information and guides. There is also a small souvenir shop and parkingfor cars and buses.
What to bring
Good walking shoes to negotiate rocky, uneven terrain. Protection from a strong sun (hats, sunblock) is usually necessary and don’t forget to carry drinking water with you. For birders: birding guides and binoculars.
Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park lies at the foot of Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur city, Rajasthan’s iconic and best known fort. The Park extends across 70 hectares – about 170 acres – of rocky land surrounding the fort. You can enter the Park from the Visitors Centre 800 metres from the main Fort Gate. You can also walk across the Park starting closer to the Fort or from several other points of entry.
Near Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park
- Mehrangarh Fort.
- Jaswant Thada.
- Clock Tower.
Plant and animal life
The park has around 250 species of native plants, including a large number of arid region lithophytes. Some of the common plants include trees such as Rohido (Tecomella undulata), Kumatiyo (Acacia senegal), Hingoto (Balanites roxburghii), Peeloo (Salvadora persica), Kharo Jaal (Salvadora oleoides), Sargooro (Moringa concanensis), Goondi (Cordia gharaf), and Bordi (Ziziphus nummularia). Among shrubs, the leafless spurge or Thhor (Euphorbia caducifolia) is one of the common succulents. Other shrubs include Bui (Aerva javanica), Aakado (Calotropis procera), Kair (Capparis decidua), Ghatbor (Fleuggia leucopyrus), Kheer Kheemp (Sarcostemma acidum), Kheemp (Leptadenia pyrotechnica), and Googal (Commiphora wightii).