Mehrangarh Fort haunts the visitors from every part of the world. The beautiful gates, the brilliant roof with cannons, the palanquins, painting, cradles take people to 500 years, the days of the Kings and Monarchs and Rajputs.
There are brilliant Forts built in different parts of Rajasthan. When rulers from outside attacked India and captured Delhi, Rajasthan used to be first barrier. So the Rajasthani rulers and kings built Forts to face the attacks of rulers from Delhi.
All the big cities right from Jaipur to Jodhpur, Udaipur to Jaisalmer all have brilliant Forts. Mehrangarh is one of the most remarkable Forts of India, It is situated in Jodhpur.
Mehrangarh is situated on top of a hill. It is called Bhaurcheeria. Chiria means birds and Bhaurcheeria means mountain full of birds.
In 1459, Rao Jodha Singh built the Fort.
He belonged to the Rathore clan of Rajputs. The halls of Mehrangarh Fort are strong enough. They are 36 meters high and 21 meters wide.
There are seven gates in the Fort. Among them the Jayapol is the most prominent gate. It means victory gate. It was built by Maharana Man Singh to commemorate the wins over Bikaner and Jaipur armies.
The other gates include Fateh Pol built to commemorate the victory over Mughals in 1707, Dedh Kamgra Pol, bearing scars of bombardment by cannon balls, Loha Pol, which is the main gate to the fort complex. Immediately at the left are the handprints (sati marks) of the ranis or queens who burned in the funeral pyres of their husband, Maharaja Man Singh. Generally the biggest attack came from the Mughals at major periods of time. But there were wars where between Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, etc.
The biggest attraction of the Mehrangarh Fort is the beautiful museum. There are entry fees for entry into the Museum. The fees are different for Indian tourists and foreign tourists. There are separate fees for entry with camera.
In one section of the Museum there are royal palanquins which are preserved. The Governor of Gujarat had gifted the Mahadol. It was a royal palanquin which was gifted in 1730. The paintings and the costumes show the life of the Rajputs in the 15th century to 17th century.
Within the Fort itself there are beautiful palaces including the Moti Mahal, which is also called the palace of pearls, the Phool Mahal which is also called palace of flowers, the Sheesh Mahal also called palace of mirrors, Daulat Khana and other palaces. In one part of the museum there is a brilliant turban gallery. The royal kings and the rajputs are known for wearing colourful ornamental turbans. The museum had preserved them.
On one part of the Mehrangarh Fort is the Chamunda Mataji temple. It is a very famous temple even today. Mother Chamunda was the Kuldevi of the Parihar rulers of Mandore at one point of time. In 2008, on the day of Navratri, a huge stamped occurred inside Mehrangarh fort. 200 people were killed and more than 450 people injured who came to give puja in the Chamunda Mataji temple inside Mehrangarh.
The roof of the Mehrangarh Fort is amazing. The brilliant cannons are displayed and preserved on the roof of the fort. The old cannon called Kilkila is still preserved on the roof of the Mehrangarh. Many hit Bollywood films are shot in Rajasthan. Among them Salman Khan’s film Veer was shot on the roof of Mehrangarh Fort. Visitors can be taken to the roof by lift.
From the roof of the Fort the entire city of Jodhpur is visible. It is interesting to see the blue coloured houses in Jodhpur from top of the Mehrangarh Fort. As the majority of houses are painted blue, Jodhpur is also called Aasman Nagari. For the heat of the sun, Jodhpur is also called Sun city.
There is one section of the Fort which is devoted to the cradles. The Rajput children at their small age used to be kept in the cradles. The cradles have different designs and show royal architecture.
It takes almost full day to see the different parts of the museum of Mehrangarh Fort. If anyone wants to visit the 4 best Forts in India, Mehrangarh Fort will be one of them. The visit to Rajasthan will remain incomplete unless anyone sees the Mehrangarh Fort.
If the history is taken up, Rao Jodha founded Jodhpur city in 1459. The previous name of Jodhpur was Marwar. When the building of the Fort was in operation, Rao Jodha had to displace a hermit called Cheeria Nathji, the Lord of birds. When he was requested he declined to move from the place. Ultimately Rao Jodha took the help of Karni Mataji and on her insistence Cheeria Nathji left the place.
These days on the vicinity of Mehrangarh Fort there is Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park created. The park has 72 hectares, adjoining Mehrangarh Fort. There is a native plant nursery within the Park.
Winter is the best time to visit the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. In the months of December and January, temperature lies between 8 degree Celsius to 12 degree Celsius. It is very cold during that time of the year, but Jodhpur is famous for the sunlight. So during the day under strong sunlight it is a great experience of spending an entire day in Mehrangarh Fort. Those students who know the history relating to the Fort for them it is even more interesting.
A big group of musicians and cultural giants use the Mehrangarh Fort for cultural programs. On a full moon night it is a breath-taking experience to watch folk stars and musicians perform within the Mehrangarh Fort.
On good thing about Jodhpur is that the weather of Jodhpur is dry but not extreme. It is not as cold as Churu or Ganganagar which are 3 to 4 degrees colder than Jodhpur, nor it is as hot as Jaisalmer or Barmer which are 3 to 4 degree hotter than Jodhpur. Majority of other cities of Rajasthan are well connected with Jodhpur by brilliant highways. Travellers visit Jaisalmer, Mount Abu, Jaipur, Udaipur from Jodhpur itself. It is a lifetime experience to visit the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. One should visit it once in lifetime.
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