Maharajas' Express Blog

Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort: A Testimony of India’s Splendid Past

Rajasthan offers an impeccable fusion of ages old traditional culture, history and modern comforts that leaves one spellbound. The intriguing heritage of Rajasthan never fails to impress.

With umpteen monuments and rich history, the abode is dotted with epic pieces of stones. Here we explore the most sought-after monument of princely state Rajasthan – The Meharangarh Fort.

Placed atop a 125 meter elevated hill, the splendid Mehrangarh Fort is one of the allurements of Jodhpur in the Indian state of Rajasthan that elegantly portraits the majesty of bygone era of the royal India. The history of this magnificent fort roots back to 1458 AD when Rao Jodha became the fifteenth ruler of the Rathore clan. Soon afterwards in 1459, he was advised by a holy man to move his capital to a hilltop safety, as the one thousand years old Mandore fort was deteriorating steadily which was no longer thought-out a safe place for the capital. This led to the construction of India’s one of the largest forts. Further additions made by his descendants surged the stateliness of the fort.

Spread over 3 miles, the Mehrangarh Fort is located at the center of the Jodhpur city. The city itself was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459. The unassailable fort is guarded by six meters thick walls, some of which still witness cannon marks they had once endured. The fort is still run and maintained by the Jodhpur royal family.

The Mehrangarh Fort, a specimen masterpiece of Indian guard-of-harem, has seven gates with Jai Pol as the main entrance in the northeast. Jai Pol, also called as Jayapol, was built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1808 to commemorate his triumph over the Bikaner and Jaipur armies. Fattehpol is another prominent gate which was constructed by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark his victory over the Mughals. The palm imprints of the queens and princess – who committed self-immolations – on the gateway leading to the funeral pyre, keep the eyeballs of the tourists rolling. The chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda, a stalwart soldier who received martyrdom while defending the fort, lies in the left.

One of the exquisite beauties of the Mehrangarh Fort that must not be missed is the gallery, which magnificently mirrors the history, the royalty and the rich culture of Rajasthan and Jodhpur in particular. Exploring each of the section will inevitably help you perceive the glorious past and rich culture of Rajasthan.

• Daulat Khana: This is a collection of some rare preserved of fine and applied arts of the Mughal period. It also displays the remains of great emperor Akbar.

• Elephant’s Howdahs:  A two-compartment wooden seat fastened on to the elephant’s back, exhibits a fine example of elephant seat. The front compartment was meant for the king, whereas the rear one for a brave and reliable bodyguard.

• Palanquins: A means of travel for the women of the nobility. Male too used them on special occasions.

• Paintings: It displays the colour of Marwar-Jodhpur, an excellent example of Marwar paintings.

• The Turban Gallery: This gallery in the Mehnarhgarh Fort exhibits turbans from every community and region.

• Armoury: This part of gallery exhibits a rare collection of armour from almost every period in Jodhpur, such as – sword hilts in jade, silver, rhine horn, ivory, guns with gold and silver work on barrels and so on. It also has to showcase the personal swords of some of the emperors, like Rao Jodha, Emperor Akbar and Timur the Lame.

Also worth exploring is the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan exhibited inside the Mehrangarh Fort. Restaurants serving great delicacies of Rajasthan, craft shops, exhibitions and amazing performance of folk music at the entrance will leave you bewitched.

The Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur can be explored travelling any of three itineraries of Maharajas’ Express – The Jewels of India, The Indian Splendour or The Heritage of India.