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Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh Fort

  • Mehrangarh fort is situated in Jodhpur city of Rajasthan, India. It is among the largest forts and a renowned tourist attraction in India. It is 400 feet high above the city, and is encircled by thick walls. There are many palaces, which are famous for their elaborate carvings and expansive courtyards within its territorial boundaries.

History and Legends

  • Rao Jodha became the 15th Rathore ruler in 1458. The formal anointment was performed by his elder brother Akhairaj.
  • Rao Jodha made a decision to build a new capital within one year of his accession. The fort in Mandore, already more than a thousand years old, was no more considered safe and strong. By doing this he gave India one of the most beautiful cities and greatest forts.
  • Rao Jodha himself laid the foundation of this fort on a rocky hill on 12th May, 1459. The hill, 120 meters high, was known as Cheeriatunk, the Bird's Beak or Bhakurcheeria, the Mountain of Birds. At the time its only human occupant was an old hermit named Cheeria Nathji, the Lord of the Birds.
  • The disturbed hermit abandoned his cave cursing the invaders. Determined Rao Jodha continued with his construction however he took some measures to calm down the gods. In addition to building a home for Cheeria Nathji he also built a temple in the fort near the cave that was used by the hermit for meditation. The temple and cave together with a pond form a fascinating spot today and more than 500 years later fresh flowers are placed every morning in the temple to calm down the annoyed hermit.
  • To ensure that the new site proved auspicious Rao Jodha took the extreme step. He buried a man, Rajiya Bambi alive in the foundations. Rajiya Bambi was promised that in return his family would be looked after by the Rathores forever. The promise has been honoured. Rajiya's descendants have been enjoying a special association with the Maharaja. They live in Raj Bagh, Rajiya's Garden, the estate donated by Rao Jodha.
  • As the Rathores grew more powerful, Mehrangarh expanded. Every ruler left his mark. Today Mehrangarh is a wonderful blend of different ages and reigns, dreams, compulsions, influences and styles.

Tourist Attractions

  • Rao Jodha Singh constructed palaces in Mehrangarh fort with its own architectural features like bright stained glass windows and decoratively adorned walls, carved porches and panels and narrow staircases. Its walls are 21 metres wide and 36 metres high to protect most beautiful and historic palaces inside the fort. There are many brilliantly crafted and ornamented palaces. Of these, Daulat Khana, Sileh Khana, Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace) and Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) are notable. Currently the different buildings within the fort constitute Mehrangarh museum of Rajasthan that preserves cannons, furniture, palanquins and musical instruments. The ramparts of the fort provide a breath-taking view of the city.

The Main Gateways or Poles

  • The main gate of the fort, Jai Pol was built by Raja Man Singh in 1808 to celebrate his victory over his rival Jagat Singh. The western gate is called the Fateh Pol (victory gate) which was constructed to celebrate the reclaiming of the fort by Ajit Singh from the Mughals in 1707. In the 16th century Rao Maldeo constructed the Lakhna Pol. Raja Maldeo also constructed the Amrit Pol to the left of the Lakhna Pol. Loha Pol (Iron Gate) is beyond the Lakhna Pol. Suraj Pol or Sun Gate is next to it. This gate is among the oldest in the in the Mehrangarh Fort.

Mehrangarh Fort

Sheesh Mahal or Palace of Mirrors
  • Sheesh Mahal is a good example of a classic Rajput Sheesh Mahal, different from the Mughal, though inspired by Mughal fashion. The mirror-work includes regular, big pieces instead of an elaborate mosaic of small pieces.

Phool Mahal or Flower Palace

  • The Phool Mahal is adjacent to the Moti Mahal. It was built by Abhay Singh. For Phool Mahal the gold came from Ahmedabad as war booty after victory of Abhay Singh over the Mughal governor, Sarbuland Khan. Between 1873 and 1895, it was further decorated with raga mala, royal portraits and paintings. The wall paintings is the best part of the palace. Phool Mahal was a private and exclusive chamber of entertainment.

Takhat Vilas

  • Maharaja Takhat Singh, the last ruler of Jodhpur added the Takhat Vilas above the Sardar Vilas to live in the Mehrangarh Fort. Takhat Vilas is an exciting combination of styles. The whole palace is full of images dyed on wet plaster on the wooden beams of the roof and on the walls. The floor painted like a carpet and the big cloth Punkah (fan) are of substantial interest.