Jodhpur city is close to the Thar Desert that’s why it’s very hot during summers. With its glorifying history and prominence of forts and palaces, one amongst which is said to be an epitome of royalty is Mehrangarh Fort. It is amongst the largest and stunning forts in India. Being a major attraction it is an idol spot to explore the history and Rajasthani culture deeply. It is located on a hill at 400 feet high and spread on an area of about 5 kilometers.
Welcome to Mehrangarh Fort
Constructed on a rock cliff, this fort was built in after the throne attainment of the city by Rao Jodha. This fort is built on Bakur Cheeria (Mountain of Birds). The fort was given a name by integrating two names i.e. Mehr and Garh that means Sun’s fort as the Rathore dynasty was believed to be Lord Sun’s admirer. The same is depicted by their royal flag.
It was erected by Rao Jodha in the year 1460. It was made with a vision of safety and security. The walls were so strong that they still stand tall and strong. This fort has seen many battles and has been one major contributor in the victory of Rathore dynasty. Canon marks are the souvenir that it speaks about the grandeur of the fort.
There are many legends that are related to the fort. It is said that a hermit who stayed on the hill cursed Rao Jodha due to which Maharaja stayed distressed. The curse was that his dynasty will face droughts. King to save his fort gave human sacrifices in return of peace. It is said that four people were buried alive in the four corners of the fort before its establishment.
Another tale narrates that a man named Mehran was sacrificed thrown from the hilltop. And there are many such stories that will entrail you but for that, you need to visit the fort. Local guides are the best source of minute information’s regarding fort so would recommend hiring one.
Facts you should know about Mehrangarh
- Mehrangarh is derived from Sanskrit words Mihir i.e. Sun and Garh means Fort. For Rajasthani touch and pronunciation, it was changed to Mehrangarh.
- The walls have a height of 118ft and 69 ft wide that covers the entire area of the fort.
- The fort has galleries in Mehrangarh museum that consist of Elephant howdahs, Palanquins, Daulat Khaana (Treasures of the Mehrangarh Museum), armory, paintings, and the turban gallery.
- The fort has relics that have the royal dynasty culture as well as Mughal dynasty tradition.
- This beautiful building and temples inside the premises consist of work of 500 centuries by various artists.
- At the entrance of the fort, Rajasthani folklore and musicians set to entertain you.
- It is believed that Rathore dynasty that lived in this fort was originated from Sun god of Hindu Mythology.
- Legend says that the hermit who stayed here named Cheeria Nathji was moved from the hill so that fort can be built. Due to his eviction, his anger leads to a curse that the family and fort has to bear severe famine and drought. However, still, the area faces drought in every 3 to 4 years.
- Although, the construction was done in 1438 its major interior work and grounds of the fort were done during Jaswant Singh in 1637 and 38.
- The collection of the royal family is present in the fort in the form of paintings, carvings, turbans, costumes, and arms.
Exploring Mehrangarh Fort
There are many things to see in the fort like:
- Sheesh Mahal: This area of the fort is dedicated to the glass work where royal families use to spend quality time. Its intricate and alluring glass work is a small enclosure that is open for visitors. Mythological paintings and carvings can be seen on the walls of the Mahal.
- Phool Mahal: This room was the men’s private party room during that period. The ceilings, paintings, walls, seating, glasswork, and carpeted rooms are the self-speaking mouth of the royalty.
- Jhanki Mahal: If men had a room for their quality time how can Queens be behind? This portion was dedicated to the Queens and Princesses of the fort. They can sit here and watch the royal hearings. The ceilings are crafted in Blue motifs.
- Mehrangarh Fort Museum: If you like Rajasthani art stuff then this portion is solely dedicated to you. Here you will get music, jewelry, Polo T-Shirts, textile, perfumes, caps, crafted bags, books etc.
- Chokelao Mehran Temple: Wait for the evening and enjoy a candlelight dinner in the fort restaurant in the moonlight. Feel the winds, dazzling stars and mesmerizing city. Rajasthani food will be served on your table. Go ahead.
- The Chamunda Mata Temple: This beautiful temple is dedicated to Chamunda Maa. It was constructed along the fort in 1460. If you are a devotee visit during Dussehra because at that time it is highly crowded. People all over the country come here for Maa’s blessings.
Best Time To Visit Mehrangarh Fort:
Most favorable time to visit Jodhpur city is during winters i.e. from October to March. After March it’s extremely hot which can make your trip complicated and you may get dehydrated. During this period you will get many fairs and festivals around the city and also in the fort that will be a cherry on the cake.
Festivals Celebrated in Mehrangarh Fort:
- Rajasthan International Folk Festival: This festival takes place in October. It is celebrated to encourage local music, dance, and arts. It looks mesmerizing during full moonlight of the month. UNESCO too supports this form.
- Worlds sacred Spirit Festival: This is held in February month to encourage Sufi and consecrated traditions in the country.
How to Reach Mehrangarh Fort?
By Rail: Jodhpur is a well-connected city. So you will get trains all over the country.
By Air: Fly to Jodhpur via Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore or any part from India.
By Road: Auto, Taxi or a cab is available easily to visit the palace. It is hardly 10km from the city center.
Mehrangarh Fort Fee:
- For Indians: 60INR
- For Foreigners: 400INR
- Camera Fee: 100INR
- Audio Guide Fee: Foreigner students/ Foreigner visitors: 400/ 600
- Mehrangarh Timings: Nine am to Five pm daily
Some Tips for your trip:
- Wear hat during the day especially if you are here in summers.
- Stay hydrated, carry a water bottle.
- Wear comfy shoes, sports shoes will be advisable as you need to walk a lot.
- A guide is recommended for a better view.
- Generally, auto rickshaw and taxi charge you more so check on hotel and then leave for the place.