The spectacular Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest forts of India. The magnificent spire stands at the top of Godagiri hills on the rocky Bakurcheeria at Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The sun bathed citadel 125 meters above the blue city at the first blush of the morning is evidence of the priceless Rajput architectural heritage. Hauntingly beautiful is its splendor on moonlit nights. The lively panchranga flags fluttering in the air, sound of folk music, songs and traditional recitals surprisingly create virtual reality inside the fort as if the Maharajah and the kingdom still continue to exist.
Built by Prada Rao Jodha in 1459, it was one of the busiest forts and speaks stories of fierce battles and valor of the Rajput Maharajahs and their soldiers. The evidence of artillery attack can still be visualized on the fort gate as â€œcannonball marksâ€. For safety and defense seven gates were built. They still exist and are named as Fatah pole, Bhainro pole, Gopal pole, Tote pole, Doth pole, Jay pole and Iron pole (main entrance ). At the southern part of the fort is the cannon artillery section - a collection of amazing Royal heritage.
The fort maintains a world class Royal museum. The 18 different sections of the treasury museum are grandeur of royal artifacts and objects like armory, palanquins, elephant howdahs, turbans and cradles. The armory and treasures are worth seeing. The Dee wan-i-Aam, Dee wan-i-Khas, Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Rang Mahal are evidence of unusually amazing legendary beauty and royalty. All the drawings, paintings and sculptures with intricate carvings are masterpiece of their kind. They exhibit and proclaim the royal luxury.
The famous Jaswant Thada at the foot of the hill stands unsurpassed by any other edifice. It had been built in memory of MaharajaH Jaswant Singh (II) by his widow.Palm Imprints of Sati
Sati had been banned by the British in 1829. Yet the Rathor Queens continued to sacrifice their life in the funeral pyre of their kings. The palm imprints are the evidence of extreme expression of wifely devotion. The imprints can be viewed at the Iron pole ( main entrance) of the Fort. The imprints focus and remind of the brave yet tragic episodes and legends. Curse of a Hermit
In 1459, a hermit cursed that the fort would suffer from water shortage. To neutralize the curse and make the future of the citadel propitious a young man named Rajiya Bambi offered himself to get buried alive. The descendants of Rajiya Bambi were bequeathed large estate by Jodha and treated as Royals, a promise honored till date.
The architects of the fort were buried alive for security measures and to maintain the imperviousness of the fort.Oclave for the Queens
The famous Moti Mahal had 5 hidden balconies built for the five queens of Maharajah Sur Singh, probably to hear the court proceedings.Cenotaph of the soldiers
Cenotaph of Kirat Singh Soda and all the soldiers who died fighting and defending the fort can be seen on the left side of the fort entrance.Festivals
If you are a lover of spectacular forts and vibrant traditional and international music concerts, puppet shows and Ghoomer, Kaalbelia, Chakri, Dhol-thali, Gair dance. Visit the blue city and enjoy the performance of the traditional artists under romantic luxurious royal settings. Music on traditional Murli(flute) will touch your heart. The tickets are available for purchase at the â€œRiff Tentâ€ inside the fort. The amazing natural environment, fairs and festivals will soak you in the Royal grandeur of the ancient times. More musical extravaganza information at www.jodhpurriff.org