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.
Mehrangarh Fort History
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.
Architecture of the Mehrangarh Fort
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.
Best Time To Visit Mehrangarh Fort
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.
Activities At Mehrangarh Fort
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.
Timings and Entry Fees
Entry Fees : 60 per person for indians 400 per person for foreigner tourists.
Timings : 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM
How to Reach 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.