Mehrangarh Fort

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Weather:

Time Required: 2-3 hours

Timings:

9AM to 5PM

Entry Fee:

International Guests (Includes the Audio): INR 600
Domestic Guests: INR 70
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Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur Overview

Mehrangarh, also known as Mehran Fort was built by Rao Jodha in 1459 in Jodhpur, is one of the largest forts in the country. It is situated at the top of a 410 feet elevated hill and guarded by massive walls. One of the most easily recognisable forts in Jodhpur, it has appeared in many Hollywood and Bollywood productions such as The Lion King, The Dark Knight Rises, and the more recent - Thugs of Hindostan. The entrance of the fort, atop a hill, is majestic and has seven gates. These are called Victory Gate, Fateh Gate, Gopal Gate, Bhairon Gate, Dedh Kamgra Gate, Marti Gate and finally Loha Gate. Each of these was built at different times and serves a very specific purpose. While one still has marks of cannon balls being hit on it, the other has spikes that can protect it from elephant and animal attacks. However, Victory Gate was built to commemorate the win of Maharaja Man Singh over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. The fort also has opulent palaces such as the Sheesh Mahal (Glass Palace) and Phool Mahal (Rose Palace).

The intricate carvings on the walls of the fort, the sprawling courtyards, its impressive history, striking palaces, museums and galleries allure tourists from all over the world. The fort also has one of the well-stocked museums of Rajasthan. There are six different galleries in the Mehrangarh Museum: Elephant's howdahs, Palanquins, Daulat Khana, Armoury, Paintings and the Turban Gallery. National Geological Monument, Nagnecha Mataji Temple, Chamunda Temple and Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park are the tourist attractions in Mehrangarh Fort.

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The interesting history of Mehrangarh Fort takes us back to the time when Rao Jodha, the 15th Rathore ruler founded Jodhpur in the year 1459. Son of Raja Ram Mal, Rao Jodha ruled the city from Mandore but shifted his capital to Jodhpur. He, then, laid the foundation of the fort on Bhaucheeria hill which was just 9 km away from Mandore. The Fort was named as Mehrangarh Fort since the chief deity of Rathores was the Sun and the meaning of ‘Mehran’ is the sun. Apart from the major construction, many more additions were made by the other rulers of Jodhpur like Maldeo Maharaja, Ajit Singh Maharaja, Takhat Singh and Maharaja Hanwant Singh. There were many clashes between the rulers at those times, and then the Fort like this one was an object of great power and prestige.

The Fort and palaces were built over a period of 500 years, and thus one can see the basic architectural style of the mid 15th century along with the features of 20th-century architecture. The fort has 68ft wide and 117 ft. Long walls were overlooking the surrounding areas. It has seven gates, and the most popular one among them is the Jayapoli. The architecture of the fort went through several developments over a period of 500 years. During the rule of Maharaja Ajit Singh, many buildings of the fort were constructed in Mughal design. Besides the seven gates that leave tourists awestruck, there are several brilliantly crafted rooms like Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Daulat Khana, Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace) and Sileh Khan. Moti Mahal, or the Pearl Palace, was built by Raja Sur Singh. Sheesh Mahal, or the Hall of Mirrors is famous for intricate designs on the pieces of mirror. Maharaja Abhaya Singh created Phool Mahal. One can see the magnificent craftsmanship of Jodhpuri craftsmen in the sandstone used for the construction of the palace.

Some of the well-known artefacts of the fort are:

Armoury

The swords of great rulers like Akbar and Timur are being displayed. Apart from this, there are shields studded with emeralds and guns covered with gold or silver work.

Paintings

There is an entire gallery devoted to this section. You will get to see beautiful Marwar paintings in the fort.

Turbans

All sorts of turbans that are worn by Rajasthani people during different festivals can be witnessed in the Mehrangarh Fort.

Palanquins

The royals used these as a mode of travel. The fort has the most exquisite designs of palanquins including Pinjas and Rajat Khasa.

Elephant Howdahs

This is a kind of a wooden seat of two compartments which is placed on an elephant’s back for travelling. There are some of the finest palanquins that you will get to see in the galleries of Mehrangarh Fort.

If you want to take a camera or hire a guide, it will cost you some additional bucks. Video Camera Fee: INR 200 Still Camera Fee: INR 100 Audio Guide for Domestic Guests: INR 150 Audio Guide for Senior Citizen & Student: INR 100 Chokelao Garden: INR 30

The best time to visit Mehrangarh Fort is during winters. Between October to March, the weather remains cool and pleasant and offers you with an excellent opportunity to explore the entire fort.
The ideal time of the day to visit the fort is the winter mornings. Right after breakfast, set out to the fort as it gets opened for tourists at 9:00 am. After spending two or three hours, you can head to the nearby tourist's places to spend the rest of the day.

There are some scintillating festivals, reflecting the rich culture and heritage of Jodhpur, which takes place in the fort. Some of them are:
Gangaur- It is held every year in the month of April, and a grand procession of Gangaur Mataji is carried out from the fort
Rajasthan International Folk Festival- This musical festival brings together some of the finest singers and artists. Spectacular concerts and musical events are held in Mehrangarh Fort.
Dusshera- To celebrate Lord Ram's victory over Ravana, a procession is taken out from the fort which later concludes in the city.

Here are some of the temples and gardens that are built within the fort-

The Chamunda Mataji Temple

When Rao Jodha shifted his capital from Mandore to Jodhpur, he carried with him his idol Durga Mata also. The idol was installed in the fort, and now many devotees visit the temple.

Nagnechji Temple

This temple is located on the extreme right of the fort. It was built in the 14th century when Rao Dhuhad brought the idol of Nagnechji to Marwar which was later installed in the fort.

Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park

If you are a nature lover, Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park is just for you. Spread over an area of 72 hectares, the park has desert and arid land vegetation. The visitors along with guides and naturalists go on an exciting 880 to 1100 metres long trails. You can discover some unique plants here.

Chokelao Garden

This beautiful garden should be added to your to-do list. It is situated right below the Mehrangarh Fort and though it belongs to the 18th century, the garden has been restored. It also has a restaurant from where you can enjoy the picturesque view of Jodhpur.

The Mehrangarh Fort has a little surprise for adventure enthusiasts too!
Zipline activity from the top of the fort will surely give you an adrenaline rush. As you glide through Jodhpur, you get to experience the scintillating view of the Blue City.
The minimum age requirement is ten years. Once you arrive at the zipline office, written and verbal training will be given to you. Also, you can have the opportunity to practice on a short trial zip.

There are many restaurants and cafes near Mehrangarh Fort offering you delectable Rajasthani cuisines. Some of them are:

Mehran Terrace

This restaurant is located at Mehrangarh Fort itself. Relish the veg or non-veg thalis with live music. The ambience is pretty romantic as people enjoy candle-lit dinner here with the bewitching view of entire Jodhpur.

Kesar Heritage Restaurant

An entirely vegetarian restaurant, you will get the real taste of Rajasthani food here. The place will turn on your nostalgic mood with pacific ambience and scrumptious rooftop dinner.

Cafe Royale at Clock Tower

Situated in the Ghantaghar Market, the cafe is famous for its masala chai and different types of coffee. Experience the bustling market of Jodhpur while sipping the tea.

Indique

This is also a rooftop restaurant from where you can get fantastic views of the Mehrangarh Fort and the Clock Tower. The famous food includes tandooris, biryanis and North Indian curries.

The Curry's

Located behind the Clock Tower, this restaurant will serve you some of the memorable dishes and drinks. The locals prefer Kaju Curry and other Indian dishes like Butter Chicken and Naan.

Other than these, you will find a plethora of decent places serving you lip-smacking food.

The fort is one of the largest, best preserved and most impressive monument. Perched on a perpendicular cliff, it is located at the height of around four hundred feet above the skyline.
To construct the fort, Rao Jodha had to shift a sage Cheeria Nathji forcefully. He cursed the king that the fort will face water scarcity. Rao Jodha later pleased him by building a temple and a house for him.
You will also find people performing folk dance in front of the main entrance.
Many films from Hollywood and Bollywood have been shot here. The Prison escape scene in the movie The Dark Night Rises was shot in Mehrangarh fort.

The city of Jodhpur has well established rail, road and air network connections with all the major cities in India. Railways: Jodhpur railway station is well connected to major Indian cities and there are trains available on a daily basis. The nearest railway station is the Rai ka Bagh railway station. Airways: One of the prominent airports in Rajasthan, Jodhpur is now being transformed into an international one. There are daily flights from various parts of the country. Roadways: The city of Jodhpur is connected by road to all the important cities of Rajasthan, as well as those of the neighbouring states. There are deluxe and express bus services to the city. In the city one can travel by auto rickshaws, buses, cycle rickshaws or cabs.

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