Friday 15 March 2013

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Among the largest forts in India, the Mehrangarh Fort towers 400 feet above the city of Jodhpur in the state of Rajasthan. Jodhpur is the second largest city of Rajasthan after Jaipur.

The Towering Mehrangarh Fort

The thick outer walls of the fort are made of red sandstone. The fort was built by the ruler Rao Jodha when he decided to shift his capital from Mandore to a safer location. The work started in 1459 and has been built in various stages over 500 years

Mehrangarh Fort with a lake in front

The fort has seven gates or 'Pols' as they are called locally in Rajasthan commemorating  victories by various rulers.

Mehrangarh Fort

The fort is well maintained. Entry ticket to the fort for Indians is Rs 50 and Rs 300 for the foreigners. Audio guides are also available at a cost. For people who do not want to climb the steep ramp the lift facility is available at a charge of Rs 20.

Musicians inside the Fort

When you walk from the outer to the inner gates up the steep ramp there are musicians playing and singing Rajasthani folk music to give a feel of the local customs and music. The fort reverberates with the sound of drums and shehnai transporting you to another world.

Sheesh Mahal

The  fort also has several period rooms like the Sheesh Mahal or the Mirror Palace (see the photo above) where the place is full of mirrors. Other rooms like Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) and  Phool Mahal (Palace of Flowers) are equally interesting.

Lattice Work

Inside the fort walls one can see lots of stone lattice work on the windows. The lattice work not only keeps the insides cool in a hot place like Jodhpur but also gives privacy to the residents inside.

Krishna as a motif

Several of the walls are adorned with motifs from the Mahabharata and other Indian epics.

Stained Glass 

Several rooms inside have stained glasses giving the room a look of peace and tranquility. The play of colours inside the rooms due the the stained glasses is very interesting.

Jodhpur City from the ramparts of Mehrangarh Fort

The part of the city near the fort appears indigo blue from the fort as most of the houses use blue colour to paint their houses.

Inside the turban Gallery

There are several galleries inside the fort including a turban gallery which showcases different types of turbans worn in Rajasthan based on region, period and community. In the photo above a staff member poses wearing a turban with various prints for different kinds of turbans displayed in the background.

View of Jaswant Thada & the lake from Mehrangarh Fort

Very close to the fort is Jaswant Thada, a mausoleum built by Sardar Singh in memory of King Jaswant Singh. The entire structure is built in white marble. It is also the cremation grounds of the rulers of Jodhpur.

The Mehrangarh Fort, in my view, is among the best kept forts in India which is kept clean, has a courteous staff and the guides do not harass you constantly. The exit leads you out via the museum/souvenir shop but no one pesters you to buy something. This is among the very few monuments in India where there are clean washrooms as well as cafeterias. They need to address, though, the question of access for persons with disabilities as right now except for the lift at one place this facility is lacking.

To read more about places in and around Jodhpur please see my earlier posts-

Guda Bishnoi
Umaid Heritage:Water Conservation with Beauty
Ratanada Palace


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Parbani said...

Hello! I'm thrilled to hear that you found the information about helpful. Exploring this historical gem is truly an enriching experience. Here's how you can reach Mehrangarh Fort.