The palaces, brawny fort and various well sculpted attractions set in the landscape of Thar Desert welcomes you to Rajasthan. Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur is the largest fort of Rajasthan. It provides fortification from external forces. This iconic structure has piles of legends and stately workmanship associated with it. Even when the mercury soars in summer the charm of heritage places attract visitors to Rajasthan. Jodhpur tour is incomplete without visit to Mehrangarh Fort.
Mehrangarh situated on a 120 meter hill forms the western outline of Jodhpur. This fort was built in 14th century with red sandstone. Its thick walls enclose attractive ornamented palaces and expansive courtyards. These 20 to 120 feet high walls spread in 10 kilometers.
There are seven gates, each of which is a record of a victory. Like the Fateh Pol marks the victory of Maharaja Ajit Singh military over the Mughals and Jai Pol built by Maharaja Man Singh in memory of his win over Jaipur and Bikaner armed forces. Other gates are named as Lakhna Pol, Hathi Pol, Suraj Pol, Dedh Kamgra Pol and Loha Pol.
Intricate carving on interiors is embellished with gemstones adding more color to it. Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) has a different charisma than Phool Mahal (Flower Palace) while Sheesha Mahal has mirror all over, Sileh Khana, and Daulat Khana are entirely distinct.
Feel the Rajputana culture in every corner of the fort. The Moti Mahal was built by King Sur Singh to hold meetings with public. Palace has five secret balconies which were used by queens to listen court proceedings. The beautiful lattice windows are attraction of this palace. Phool Mahal was exclusively constructed for entertainment purpose. The ceiling is covered with gold filigree work. Intricate colored glass mosaic and fresco painting makes splendid Sheesh Mahal.
Galleries in Mehrangarh Fort
The Fort Museum is actually six galleries which give look into different themes. Elephant’s howdahs section has gold and silver seats for elephant back. Palanquin gallery houses numerous palanquins which were used by nobles as a means to travel till 20th century. The gallery also includes mahadol palanquin captured in a battle from the Governor of Gujarat in 1730.
Other galleries in fort include well preserved art of Mughal period, gem studded shields, arms, and barrels. The Turban gallery of Mehrangarh houses diversified use of turbans according to occasion and region. It has attracted eyes of history and culture buffs from the world.
Interesting Facts about Mehrangarh
• The fort was never conquered. Scars of cannonballs hits are still present on second gate called Dedh Kamgra Pol.
• Red vermillion handprints on the left of Loha Pol narrate the self- immolation ‘sati’ by queens.
• The 14th century Chamunda Mata temple near the fort is seat of reverence for Parihar Rajput kings and the Royal Family. It is believed that Goddess Chamunda protected Jodhpur during 1960 Indo-Pak war.
Royal cradles, furniture, miniature paintings, musical instruments and costumes and breathtaking view from the place where grand canons are laid excite filmmakers also. Lot of Hollywood and Bollywood movies are shot here.