It is the second largest city of the state of Rajasthan and is historically the capital of the state of Marwar - the largest Rajputana kingdom. It is called the gateway to Thar, as it is literally on the edge of the Thar desert. It also called the 'Blue city', as most of the houses in the old part of the city are painted in various shades of blue. The city was built in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha, the Rajput chieftain. The city is home to heritage forts, modern 20th century palaces, temples and cenotaphs, and is known for its Marwari culture and traditions.