Mehrangarh or Mehrangarh Fort also called Jodhpur Fort is located on the outskirts of Jodhpur City. It is one of largest forts of Rajasthan. Mehrangarh fort is one of the most tourist attractions of Jodhpur Rajasthan. This magnificent medieval structure had been the royal residence of Jodhpur rulers, now it is cherished tourist attraction.
Mehrangarh Fort- Overview:
Magnificent city of Jodhpur is also known as Sun City and Blue City. It is said that reason behind giving the city alias of Blue city is that the king had ordered painting the houses of Brahmin (priest cast) of his kingdom in Blue colour. As the Brahmins were held in high regard by the royals, the king gave the right to paint houses blue only to Brahmins. This also allowed the king to conveniently figure out which houses belonged to Brahmins.
Mehrangarh fort is perched at a height of 400 feet from the ground on top of ‘Bhakur Cheeria’ meaning ‘Mountain of the Birds’. Back then it was common practice to make forts on the hilltop because it added to fort’s security.
As the fort overlooks the city of Jodhpur, it allowed the fort army to take advance steps in the event of an attack. This makes it an ideal location from the safety point of view. Besides that, because the fort is situated on top of a hill, it commands picturesque view.
This majestic monument commands an impressive architectural style. It is a beautiful example of Rajasthani art, craftsmanship and grandeur.
Mehrangarh fort still mirrors the royal life of the Kings who led luxurious lives in this gigantic fort. The fort houses some beautifully crafted palaces and a museum that has preserved various historical articles. Each of the palaces of this fort is adorned with beautiful carvings and designs.
History of Mehrangarh Fort:
This fort was built by Rao Jodha in 1459. The city of Jodhpur is named after its founder King Jodha himself. Although the fort was founded by Rao Jodha, modifications on the fort kept happening during reigns of different rulers.
The name of the fort, Mehrangarh is derived from Sanskrit word meaning Fort of the Sun; the word Mehran is derived from word Mihir/ Mehr which means the Sun God and the word Garh translate to the fort. The fort is named so as the royal believed to be descendants of Sun God.
Mehrangarh Fort and the curse of a priest:
There are many legends associated with fort one which claims that this fort was cursed. It is said that before Rao Jodha decided to make a fort on the hilltop but this was not empty then. There was a priest who resided there. The King’s people had the priest relocated as they required the entire hill to build the fort.
Furious after losing his home the priest cursed the king and that there shall remain water scarcity in the city of Jodhpur. To clam the priest, the king built a house for the priest inside the fort. It is said that due to the curse Jodhpur suffers drought every 3-4 years.
It is said that a person called Raja Ram Meghwal was buried alive under the land where the fort stands. This was done as a measure to get rid of the curse of the priest.
Architecture and main attractions of Mehrangarh Fort:
Mehrangarh Fort is spread over an approximate of 5 Km. It is protected by giant walls having a height of 118 feet and width of 69 feet. On the outer walls, one can see some holes that occurred as a result of the attack on the fort. This structure is a masterpiece in itself and attracts lakhs of visitors every year.
Mehrangarh Fort has seven gates, that were built by different rulers in different eras to commemorate their victory over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. These include Jai Pol, Dodh Kangra Pol, Imrita Pol, Loha Pol, Fateh Pol, Suraj Pol.
The main entrance of the fort is called Jaipol meaning the victory gate. This gate was built in the year 1808 by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victory over the King of Jaipur who attempted to invade the fort.
Dodh Kangra Pol was used as primary entrance before Jaipol was built. The walls of this entrance are scared with cannonball hit marks that are still there.
Inside, you will find many handprints on the fort walls. These handprints are now stone carved, which originally Hena handprints. These handprints were imprinted by the widows of the king as the last ritual before ending their lives by performing the Sati (a ritual where the wives of the deceased man used to commite suicide by self-immolating themselves) ritual.
The main attractions of the palace include Zenana Deodi, Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Jhanki Mahal, Daulat Khana, Takht Vilas, and a museum that houses costumes, paintings, swords, furniture, arms, palanquins, musical instruments, royal cradles etc.
Apart from this, there are two temples in the complex, one dedicated to Chamundi Devi i.e. Goddess Durga and other Nagnechiaji whom the royals revered as the Kuldevi.
One of the most beautiful parts of the palace is Sheesh Mahal or place of Mirrors. This palace is adorned with mirrors and images of Hindu deities. This was the room where the king used to pray and meditate.
Phool Mahal (Dancing Hall):
This was the dancing hall. Here the men of the royal family used to party and enjoy the dance performed by royal dancers. The grandeur of this hall is attention-grabbing; parts of this hall are adorned with gold paintings.
This was the place where king kept his wealth/ treasure.
Chokelao Mehran Terrance:
This is the royal restaurant of the fort here one can enjoy a royal like treatment amidst picturesque setting. A candlelight dinner in the beautiful location will be an experience like no other.
Mehrangarh forts can rightly be called the mirror of royal history of Jodhpur. The grandeur of the is such that leaves every visitor in admiration of it. Stunning example of culture, heritage and craftsmanship can this fort.
Mehrangarh fort is the spot for every kind of tourist. It is a great place to experience the warmth of Rajasthan’s culture and heritage. It also makes a great spot for learning some historical facts, understanding and appreciating the architectural brilliance of Rajasthani architecture or having a good time and clicking some nice pictures.
We loved Mehrangarh Fort and I am pretty sure you will too. You can visit this incredible monument from 9 am to 5 pm on any day of the week.
Happy wandering 😊.
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` Also read about other amazing places to explore in Rajasthan Amer Fort, Jaisalmer Fort
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