Jodhpur

Travel Guide Asia India Rajasthan Jodhpur

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Introduction

Hookah Smoker at Jodhpur Fort

Hookah Smoker at Jodhpur Fort

© jacquiedro

Jodhpur is the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is also known as the Gateway to Thar (due to its location on the edge of the Thar desert), Sun City (due to the many sunny days), or City of Blue Houses (due to the large number of blue houses). The city is located 335 kilometres west from the state capital, Jaipur, and 200 kilometres from the city of Ajmer.

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Brief History

Jodhpur is a historic city and the origin dates to the year 1459 AD when it was founded by Rao Jodha, the Rajput chieftan of the Rathores. The Rathore kingdom was also known as the Marwar and was the largest in Rajputana.

The city was built as the new capital of the state of Marwar (now Rajasthan) to replace the ancient capital Mandore, the ruins of which can be seen near what is now the Mandore Gardens. The people of Jodhpur and surrounding areas are hence also commonly called as Marwaris. The forts and palaces, temples and havelis, culture and tradition, spices and fabrics, colour and texture, a booming handicrafts industry, all add up to make this historic city worth a visit.

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Sights and Activities

  • Mehrangarh Fort dominates the city and is the largest fort in Rajasthan.
  • Baba Ramdev Temple, Masuria Hills
  • Ganesh Temple, Ratanada
  • Santoshi Mata Temple, Lal Sagar
  • Mahamandir Temple: One can see the neighbouring tourist destinations of Osiyan temples, Ranakpur Jain temples, Nathdwara temple, Bikaner and Deshnok, Ajmer and Pushkar, the desert city of Jaisalmer, the hill station Mount Abu, the city of lakes Udaipur or the pink city Jaipur
  • Jaswant Thada, 1 kilometre downhill from Mehrangarh (easily walked). Royal cenotaphs built in marble, with a picturesque location next to a little lake. Entry Rs. 20, plus Rs. 25 for a camera.
  • Mandore, 7 kilometres outside the city. The ancient capital of Marwar, before Jodhpur was built. Myth has it that Mandore is the birthplace of Princess Mandodri, the wife of King Ravana of Lanka in the epic Ramayana.
  • Umaid Bhawan Palace: Clearly visible to the south of the city and completed only in 1944, this is the last great palace built in India. The Maharaja of Jodhpur lives here to this day, but half the building has been converted to a 5-star hotel (see Sleep) and there is also a small museum on grounds (Rs. 50, open 9:00am to 5:00pm). You'll have to take a rickshaw to get here, and it's best to ask them to wait: figure on Rs. 100 for a round-trip with an hour's waiting time.

Natural sites

  • Balsamand Lake is now converted to a resort
  • Kailana Lake is a picnic spot and a main drinking water source for the city

Further Afield

  • Bishnoi Village safari Bishnois are a community that protects wildlife and environment. In safari the guide will take you around the Bishnoi villages in a jeep and there you will see deer, blackbuck and chinkara roaming around their huts and playing with their childres and village people feeding them. It is a 70-kilometre tour.
  • Luni fort is located about 40 kilometres outside Jodhpur and has been converted into a heritage hotel
  • Khejarla fort - located 80 kilometres outside Jodhpur on Jodhpur-Jaipur Highway and has been converted into a luxury heritage hotel.
  • Osiyan is about 60 kilometres from Jodhpur and has Jain temples as well as Kali temples

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Events and Festivals

Jodhpur fairs and festivals seem to express the rich culture and traditions Rajasthan. A number of festivals are celebrated in Jodhpur. However the most famous fairs and festivals in Jodhpur, Rajasthan are mentioned below.

Marwar Festival

The most popular Jodhpur festival is the Jodhpur Marwar Festival. It is held every year in memory of the heroes of Rajasthan. Marwar Festival of Jodhpur, Rajasthan was originally known as the Maand Festival. The festival is held in the month of Ashwin. Ashwin is a Hindu month between September and October. The Marwar festival in Jodhpur, India is celebrated during the full moon of Sharad Poornima. It goes on for two days.

The main attraction of this festival is the folk music centered on the romantic lifestyle of Rajasthan's rulers. The music and dance of the Marwar region is the main theme of this festival. The folk dancers and singers assemble at the festival and provide lively entertainment. These folk artists give others a peek into the days of yore, of battles and of the heroes who still live on through their songs.

Among other attractions at the festival, is the camel tattoo show and polo. The venue of this festival includes the famous Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mandore and Mehrangarh Fort.

Jodhpur International Desert Kite Festival

The International kite festival of Jodhpur, Rajasthan began only a few years. However, even in such a short span of time, it has become quite popular. In the Jodhpur International Desert Kite festival, the best kite flyers from India as well as rest of the world take part. The aim is to show of your kite flying skills. A lot of excitement surrounds this festival.

Generally, the date of this Kite Festival in India is 14th of January (Makar Sankranti). It is a three-day festival, held at the Polo Ground in Jodhpur. Air Force helicopters also release a large number of kites from above. Hundreds of schoolchildren also release balloons. During the kite festival, the sky gets filled up with kites of various designs and colors. There is a lot of enthusiasm among the people also regarding this festival. It reaches the highest point when a kite gets cut.

Nagaur Fair

The Jodhpur Nagaur Fair is the second biggest fair in India. The fair goes on for eight days. Nagaur Fair of Jodhpur, Rajasthan is held every year during the month of Jan-Feb.

It is popularly known as the Cattle fair of Nagaur. This is because the Nagaur Fair is mainly all about trading of animals. Approximately 70,000 bullocks, camels and horses are traded every year in this fair. The animals lavishly decorated and even their owners dress up wearing colorful turbans and long moustaches. Other trading in the Nagaur Fair in Jodhpur, India consists of sheep to Marwari horses to spices. Some other attractions include the Mirchi bazaar (largest red-chilly market of India), wooden items, iron-crafts and camel leather accessories.

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Weather

Jodhpur experiences typical desert type climatic conditions with hot and dry summers and cool winters. The temperatures during the summer months(April-June) average around 40 °C while during the winters (November-February) the daytime temperatures average around 27 °C. Rainfall is scanty with most of the precipitation being received during the July-September period. The city is bright and sunny throughout the year. October to March is the best period to visit the city.

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Getting There

Jodhpur is well connected by road, rail and air to many major cities and towns.

By Plane

Domestic flights are available from the Jodhpur airport (JDH) which is located around 5 kilometres from the city. Regular service carriers like Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, and Kingfisher Airlines operate flights from the airport to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur and Jaipur.

By Train

Jodhpur is an important railway station of the North Western zone of the Indian Railways . It is well connected by direct trains from all metros and major cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Lucknow, Kalka, Jammu, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. For example, the popular Mandor Express leaves Delhi at 8:45pm and arrives in Udaipur at 8:00am the next morning (Rs.1,000 in AC2). The taxi and auto-rickshaw stand are located near the exit of the railway station.

The advance reservation office is on Station Road, between the railway station and Sojati Gate. The office is open from Monday to Saturday from 8:00am to 8:00pm and on Sunday until 1:45pm IST. Foreign tourists can also buy Indrail passes in US$ and reserve tickets at the International Tourist Bureau, which is located at the advance reservation office. Tickets can also be booked online at IRCTC, the official railway booking site, from 5:00am to 11:30pm IST on all days.

Since February 2006, a train travels between Jodhpur and Karachi in Pakistan. It is the first international train travelling directly between the two countries since 1965. The Thar Express leaves Karachi at 11:00pm on Fridays, taking almost 24 hours before arriving in Jodhpur on Saturday evening. In the opposite direction, trains leave and arrive on approximately the same time on the same days taking 24 hours as well.

By Car

Approximate road distances to Jodhpur from various destinations are:

Various tour operators and travel agencies offer chauferred car-taxi services; these are charged on a per kilometre, per day basis. You can plan to take one to arrive into the city or take one for sightseeing in and around the city.

By Bus

Jodhpur can be reached by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation buses which connect the city to other cities of Rajasthan. Private luxury buses are also available, which operate from all major towns and cities in Rajasthan as well as the cities of Ahmedabad and Delhi.

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Eat

Cafe Mehran, Meherangarh Fort. Simple but pleasant cafe in the fort itself, with a range of tourist favorites from pizza to burgers as well as Indian thalis. ₹60-140.
Gypsy, Sardarpura - fast food restaurant, quite crowded often but the food is delicious. Rajasthani thali (served upstairs) is one of the best in the city and quite cheap. Thali is ₹ 350 excluding service tax. Popular with locals.
New Saheen Hotel (restaurant), ☏ +91 6 6531533. Nice restaurant busy with locals and not touristy. For about ₹60-80 you can try several different dishes. Selection includes fish, kababs, dal, paneer and fresh roti with ghee. On the second floor of a building, above a sign "qadri guesthouse", just outside of the old town, in an area full with pharmacies and clinics.
Omelette Shop, (aka Garib Hotel), just outside the gates to the main square. Confusion has arisen after being listed in Lonely Planet as others shops are now claiming to be the ‘real’ Omelette Shop. 5 minutes away is another popular place, Vicky, whose omelettes are identical except for the noticeable increase in the amount of ginger. There is no place to sit, so don't come here expecting to relax with your omelette.
Shahi Samosas, Nai Sarak (left side just before main gate to Sardar Market). Easily spotted thanks to the never ending queue, their samosas and kachoris are made in front of your eyes with generous amounts of stuffing. ₹6-8.
Shandar Sweet Home, Jalori Gate Bari (near Jalori Gate), ☏ +91 6 2628057. Serves excellent Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi, Kabuli & other Jodhpur specialties, popular with locals & quite economical.
Vijay Restaurant, Near Achalnath Shiv Temple(Aada Bazaar). Serves delicious chakki ki Sabzi,Kabuli,mouth watering signature lassi and other delicacies of Jodhpur, popular among Jodhpur locals and worth every single penny.
Cafe Blue Restaurant, Killi Khana Chowk, Inside Clock Tower, Serves authentic Coffee varieties like Cappuccino,Americano and latte.Popular among locals and offers creative artistic ambience with paintings made with coffee.Great combination of coffee and coffee art.
Bal Samand, Balasamand Lake Palace. Outdoor dining as well as indoor dining in peaceful surroundings. Typical North Indian food. Alcoholic drinks also served. A perfect place for a quiet evening with family and friends.
Chilly and Garlic, Residency Rd. A nice and cozy garden restaurant. Its a small place but good service and wonderful for family outing.
Mehran Terrace, Meherangarh Fort. Candlelit dining with an exquisite view of the city. Thalis are ₹300-400. Book ahead.
On the rocks, Ratnada, a nice place with outdoor dining. It has a separate bar and good ambiance. Great food but service is quite slow.They are more inclined towards foreigners and not so much to Indians.
Pukhraj Ji Ki Dhani, Salawas village (20 km from Jodhpur), ☏ +91 94 14720724. Typical Rajasthani food. Dal bati churama is only ₹150 for 1 person.
Pillars, Umaid Bhawan Palace. In the courtyard of the palace, and the quality of the food is very high. ₹1,500 minimum for non-guests, and you can easily reach that with a main, an appetiser and a drink. Non-guests may be turned away if the hotel is full, so call ahead to avoid disappointment.

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Drink

On the Rocks at Ajit Bhawan.
Geoffrey's at Park Plaza.

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Sleep

Amar Niwas Guest House, 507, Singh Pole Marg, Navchowkiya (Near fort gate named Fethpole), ☏ +91 291 2440974, ✉ amarniwasjdr@gmail.com. Check-in: 10:00, check-out: 10:00. 527-year-old haveli run by a Brahmin family. The haveli maintains many of its original features such as stone lattice work balconies, gharokha, antique wooden ceiling and an open central courtyard. There is a plant-filled terrace with great views of the Mehrangarh fort and the oldest part of the blue city. 7 rooms decorated with Indian textiles and paintings. Hot and cold shower 24 hr. Roof-top restaurant with view of the fort, blue city & city wall. $5.25- $20.
Durag Niwas Guest House, ☏ +91 291 2512385. Colourful and comfortable family-run guesthouse in a quiet area. The owners speak excellent English and are happy to assist travellers. Basic fan rooms from ₹350, free pickup from anywhere in town.
Ganpati Guest House, Makrana Mohalla (From Jodhpur Railway Station head north on Station Road, then a slight right at MG Hospital Road, left at Nai Sarak, continue until the clock tower, head north and take the first left and then the first right then at the end of the street again right then continue until you reach the destination), ☏ +91 291 2631686, ✉ ganpatigh@yahoo.co.uk. Check-in: 24 h, check-out: 10:00. 9-room guest house with clean rooms. Get an auto-rickshaw to the clock tower and ask for directions. Rooftop restaurant with views of Mehrangarh Fort. Prices negotiable at check-in. ₹300 to ₹1000.
Heaven Guest House, ☏ +91 291 2639283, +91 93524-57380 (mobile), +91 93524-57381 (mobile), ✉ nishajijain@yahoo.com. Has 6 rooms of different sizes, all with attached bathrooms. Some have air conditioning and a television. Nice roof-top restaurant with great view.
Hill View Guest House, Near the Fort, Kille Khana, Fort Rd (From the clocktower, exit through the market, turn left, then first right and wander up the hill to as high as you can go). Check-out: Midday. This place is great value. The owners are nice, and the path up to the fort takes you to its doorstep. ₹300 for a fan room with a view.
Lake View Hotel & Resort, Akhey Raj Ka Talab, Kaylana Road, Jodhpur-Jaisalmer Highway, ☏ +91 291 2750614, +91 98292 29102, ✉ info@lakeviewhotelandresort.com.
Hotel Sachdeva Excellency, Bank of Baroda Lane, Sojati Gate, ☏ +91 291 5101324, +91 291 2635858, +91 9829025707, ✉ info@hotelsachdeva.com.
Karni Bhawan, Defence Lab Road, Ratnada.
The Kothi Heritage, Bachraj ji Ka Bagh 9th Chopasni Road,Sardarpura (HDFC Bank), ☏ +91 291 2641700, ✉ info@thekothiheritage.com. Check-out: 11:00. Basic fan room from ₹2800 per person.
Mandore Guest House. Traditionally designed bungalows/cottages, ethnically designed in round chalet style. A minute's walk from the main historic garden of Mandore.
Mehran View Guest House, Gol Ummaid Chawk (From Railway Station 1.6 km.), ☏ +91 2912644295, ✉ mehranview.guesthouse@gmail.com. Spacious, with heritage look, clean rooms, hot water facility for every room, Internet facility, veg and non-veg roof-top restaurant. Panoramic view of Mehrangarh Fort. Rooms with TV, air-conditioning. rooms starting at ₹600.
Ratan Vilas, Loco Shed Road, Ratanda, ☏ +91 291 2614418, ✉ ratanvilasjdh@sify.com. Still runs as an old Rajputana house, with excellent facilities and warm hosts. Courtyard meals. Large comfortable rooms that are clean and quiet. Not much in the nearby area. Beautiful pool.
Sadar Haveli Heritage Guesthouse, Near Ummed Chowk, Mohalla Laiquann, ☏ +91 291 261 9392. A recently restored 200 year old haveli in a quiet part of the old town at the bottom of the hill under the fort. 4 rooms with large beds and 24 hr hot water. The rooms are arranged around a central courtyard garden as is the usual haveli style and the family that runs it make you feel very welcome. Great views of fort and city from the many roof terraces. In-house dining available with mains between ₹150 and ₹200. Room prices vary depending on season, ₹400-₹1,000.
Sarvar Guest House, Manak Chowk (Near Clock Tower), ☏ +91 291 2616424, +91 9214419288, ✉ azu_azhar6@yahoo.com. Check-in: 24 hr, check-out: 10:00. 28 suites and double rooms. Furnished with traditional fixtures and old family portraits. Some of the rooms retain the original furniture as found when the Haveli restored. Roof-top restaurant with a view of the Meharangh Fort. ₹400-₹1,000.
Shivam Paying Guest House, ☏ +91 291-2610688, ✉ shivamgh@hotmail.com. Nice rooms, some doubles have their own separate large beds with mirrors on the ceiling. Most importantly, they don't give commission to rickshaw drivers, so you'll have to be a bit persistent to get there (ask to get off by the clock-tower and then walk - rickshaw drivers will take you to commission places that will tell you they are Shivam, or else have someone wait outside the door who will pretend to be the owner and tell you that they are full. Get in the door to the front desk before asking about availability).
Singhvi's Haveli, navchokiya, ram dev ji ka chowk, ☏ +91 9828032515 (mobile), ✉ singhvi15adhaveli@hotmail.com. Check-in: check in 10:30, check-out: Check out at 10:00. This is more than 500yrs old haveli.Clean and quiet rooms with aircon & hot water. Restaurant in the hotel. Continental breakfast . Beautiful view of the Fort & blue city from the roof top. Rooms from ₹500.
Tanu Guest House, Mehron Ka Chowk, Naya Bas Manak Chowk, ☏ +91 291 2432003, +91-9799006193, ✉ tanusmehra@hotmail.com. Check-in: 12:00 PM, check-out: 12:00 PM. Home stay run by the Mehra family. Rooms are clean and spacious. Rooftop restaurant gives view of the Fort, Blue city and Ghanta Ghar. Starting at ₹500 per room.
Veggi Guest House (in the foothills of Royal Mehrangarh Fort), ✉ manager@veggiguesthousejodhpur.com. Quiet and spacious, with clean rooms, hot water facility in every room. Internet facility and pure vegetarian restaurant. Just 5 min walk to Mehrangarh fort and same distance to old local market in opposite direction. Rooms with TV and A/C available. Dorm ₹250, rooms ₹500-1500.
Chhotaram Prajapat's Homestay, Salawas Village, Kumharon Ki Dhani, ☏ +91 291 2696744, +91 9414720724 (mobile), ✉ chhotaramprajapat@rediffmail.com. Traditional hut rooms wit a basic air cooler. ₹1,500 for 2 people, free pickup and return to anywhere in Jodhpur, all meals, water and internet facility included.
Devi Bhawan, Defence Lab Road, Ratanada, ☏ +91 291 251-1067, +91 98 28035359, ✉ devibhawan@sify.com. A 90 year old heritage building with rooms set around a garden. The rooms are decorated with period furniture and Rajasthani textiles. 1.5 km from the centre of the town.
Innseason, P.W.D Road, ☏ +91 291 2616400, +91 291 2621481, fax: +91 291 2616400, ✉ innseason@hotmail.com.
Krishna Prakash Heritage Haveli, Nayabas, Killikhana (near Mehrangarh Fort), ☏ +91 291 263 3448, +91 9829241547 (mobile), ✉ info@kpheritage.com. Old heritage haveli located on the foot of Mehrangarh Fort, with views of all monuments. Will arrange airport/train station pickup. ₹2,000-₹2,500 (Dlx) /₹3,500 (Suite). (singles/doubles).
Pal Haveli, Gulab Sagar (near the clocktower), ☏ +91 291 3293328, +91 9829243247 (mobile), ✉ info@palhaveli.com. A short (though steep) walk from Mehrangarh. Will arrange airport/train station pickup. ₹1,300-1,500/1,500-1,800. (singles/doubles).
Polo Heritage, 12th Old Residency Road, Bhanwari House, ☏ +91 291 2433909, +91 291 5532909, +91 9314717633 (mobile), ✉ poloheritage@hotmail.com.
Taj Hari Mahal, 5 Residency Rd, ☏ +91 291 2439700, fax: +91 291 2614451, +91 291 2614452, ✉ harimahal.jodhpur@tajhotels.com.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Circuit House Rd, ☏ +91 291 2510101, fax: +91 291 2510100, ✉ ubpresv.jodh@tajhotels.com. 5* hotel managed by the Taj Hotels and housed in the famous Umaid Bhawan Palace. The view is scenic and it has an underground swimming pool for the guests along with squash and tennis courts.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Keep Connected

Internet

There's good coverage over most of India for Internet cafes. However, following the recent terror attacks in Mumbai and some other cities, all internet cafes have been instructed by the authorities to maintain a register and note down the identification details of all persons using internet. Sify iWay is a reliable and cheap cafe with over 1,600 cafes over India. iWay also allows you to open a pre-paid account that you can use all over India. Whenever you have Internet access probably the best and cheapest way to call family and friends at home is software that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet such as Skype.

Wifi hotspots in India are, for most part, limited. The major airports and stations do offer paid wifi at around RS.60-100 an hour. Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai are the only cities with decent wifi coverage. At Mumbai airport, you get to use WiFi internet free, for an hour or so.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country code for India is 91. To dial outside the country from India, prefix the country code with 00.

The general emergency number is 100 (emergency response police & fire), while for ambulance you should dial 102 or 112, though some regions have 108 for this emergency. 108 is used in in the Indian states of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha,Assam, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 108 can be called for medical, crime, fire, or any other emergency from any phone.

Local phone numbers can be anywhere from 5-8 digits long. But when the area code is included, all landline phone numbers in India are 10 digits long. Cellphone numbers usually start with '9', '8', or '7'. Toll-free numbers start with 1-800.

If staying longterm it is probably wise to think about investing in a mobile phone. You'll possibly need to provide a photocopy of your passport and itinerary, so come prepared. Make sure you arrange it upon arrival in a big city, as it can sometimes be difficult to organise with language barriers and such in more regional areas. You can buy a cheap nokia for about RS.1,200 with a pre-paid plan. Airtel is a good carrier to think about as they have great coverage, and constant offers for cheaper calling. To recharge, most shop vendors with phone carrier signs can do it via their own phone. You give them your mobile number, they put it in their phone and you'll both get messages as to whether or not the recharge has been successful. Also, if possible, buy the phone in the state where you do the most travelling as the charges are higher in the states where you did not originally buy the phone.

Over the entire country there are plenty of public phones, even in the middle of the countryside. Although most of the time these phones are not very well maintained and have horrible connections. Therefore remember when using one of these public phones one must be extremely patient.
For international calls from payphones, you'll have to visit a reputable internet cafe with a phone-booth. Mobile phones are usually a better and cheaper option.

Post

India Post is the national postal service of India, and on their website you find details about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically and internationally. For most postcards to send internationally, it is better to visit the post office before writing on the card as you may need quite a few stamps. Parcels must be taken to a tailor, he will then sew it up in white linen. Make sure he seals it with red wax, otherwise the post office may refuse to send it or try to get you to pay them to do it. Sewing up a parcel should only cost RS.50 to 200. In general, post offices are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm in most bigger towns and cities, though there are regional variations and some might keep longer hours or be open during (part of) the weekend as well. Ask around.

If you want to send bigger packages/parcels, it might be better, faster and sometimes even cheaper, to contact a private company like DHL, TNT or UPS.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 26.28161
  • Longitude: 73.023163

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This is version 43. Last edited at 12:35 on May 19, 20 by Utrecht. 12 articles link to this page.

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