|Imposing and invincible are two adjectives that will best describe the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort. This grand structure is perched high on the summit of Bakharchiriya 400 ft (122 m) above the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan. So impressed was Rudyard Kipling after his visit that he called it “the work of giants”.
Mehran Garh Fort (Jodhpur)The massive complex of the Fort spans a huge 10 kms enclosing grand palaces, temples, museum, armoury, art and painting as well as folk music instruments galleries. A day isn’t enough for exploring this colossal structure figuring among one of the largest forts in India and one of the finest living examples of a Hindu fortress. Burnished with red sandstone it has won the name “Citadel of the Sun.” The fort was built in 1459 by Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur. From the Fort one can get a commanding view of the landscape and the Kumbhalgarh fort situated a good 125 km away.
The Mehrangarh Fort is an architectural and engineering feat. So well protected it is that one has to walk past seven gates for entering. Each of these gates has remarkable history but in order to save time we can narrow down our time to two gates. Jayapol (meaning 'victory') built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies, and the Fattehpol (also meaning 'victory') built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of the Mughals. The second gate still retains imprints of cannonball hits by attacking armies of Jaipur. The wall that encloses the fort is seven to twenty-four m in thickness, and rising up to 40 to 68 ft in height with imposing towers at frequent intervals.
The interior of the Fort is as grand as its massive façade. The Mehrangarh Fort is known for its magnificent palaces adorned with intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards. You will be in awe as you stumble into Moti Mahal or the Pearl Palace richly adorned with delicately carved stone screen. The Sringar Chowki, royal throne of Jodhpur also sits here. Proceed to the Phool Mahal, The Palace of Flowers, and the grandest of the lot. It was a private and exclusive chamber of pleasure where the kings were entertained by dancing girls. The ceiling is richly decorated in gold filigree and the walls are splattered with paintings depicting various musical moods. If you love music, then Ajit Villas has a good collection of musical instruments on display. This is connected to Umaid Villas where many Rajput miniature paintings are exhibited. After a visit to these places, you will be thorough with the art and architecture of the era.
To experience the opulent lifestyle of the Rathore dynasty, the museum has a range of exhibits such as the arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms of this family.
It is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan along with the section where a selection of old royal palanquins are displayed.