Mehrangarh Fort is located on top of a rocky hill in the outskirts of Jodhpur. Apart from being built on top of a hill, the magnificent fort has strong walls that raise over 100 meters. The fort was initially built by Rao Jodha in 1459 and has been extended by several rulers at various times.
The fort has 7 entry gates. Each gate was built at different times, some of them are dedicated to the victories of a war that was fought during that time. One of the entry gates, called Jay Pol (which translates to Victory Gate), was built by Maharaja Man Singh to celebrate his victory over the armies of Jaipur and Bikaner. Another gate that was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to celebrate the victory over Mughal army attack is Fateh Pol. If you go ahead further from Jai Pol, you will find other entry gates Dodh Kangra Pol, Imritha Pol, Loha Pol and Suraj Pol.
The magnificent fort is yet another example in Rajasthan that showcases the intricate work of the Jodhpuri craftsmen. You can see the artwork everywhere, from the exterior to the inner rooms, everything is done very artistically.
From the entry gate of Suraj Pol, you can enter a building which is now a museum. The museum has wide collection of old royal palanquins, arms, costumes, paintings and many other items. The museum gives you a reflection of the lifestyle of the royal families of the past.
The Mehrangarh Fort also has several palaces inside it. One of the palaces that is found in almost all of the bigger forts is Sheesh Mahal (translates to Palace of Mirrors). It has beautiful intricate work done with mirrors. Apart from the mirror work, the Sheesh Mahal also has beautiful and colorful artwork which gives a grand look when the light bulbs illuminate and reflect off the mirrors.
The fort also houses Phool Mahal (translates to Palace of Flowers). Phool Mahal was built by Maharaja Abhaya Singh that used to act as private chamber for the Maharajas. It is believed that the dancing girls used to perform here for the pleasure of the royal family. Phool Mahal is the grandest of all the palaces in Mehrangarh Fort. The ceiling of Phool Mahal is designed in gold and mirrors.
Ceiling of Phool Mahal
Mehrangarh Fort also has Moti Mahal (Palace of Pearls) which is the largest of all the palaces in the fort. Moti Mahal was built by Raja Sur Singh to serve as the court room. Moti Mahal also has five openings in the wall that leads to hidden balconies. It is believed that these were built for the queens to sit and listen to the court proceedings. Moti Mahal also has the royal throne of Jodhpur and is called Srinagar Chowki.
Being on top of a hill, the palace provides ample locations where you can get the view of Jodhpur city. Most houses of Jodhpur are painted blue and the view from Mehrangarh Fort gives an awesome view of the blue city.
Another view of Jodhpur City (Umaid Bhawan seen at the far end)!
The fort also has several cannons that are preserved from the yesteryear. The outside view of the walls still show some cannon ball marks which may have been formed when the fort was under attack by the enemies.
Locals showing how to tie a Rajasthani turban
Temple inside the fort
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