Mehrangarh Fort-The Most Elegant Fort Of Rajasthan
Exploring Rajasthan without Jodhpur, the blue city, is like sweets without sugar. If we are traveling back to the ancient era of India, one name which will come up is Marwar, the previous name of Jodhpur. Before 1947, Rajasthan, known as Rajputana. Marwar was the biggest part of Rajputana alongside it was also the 3rd biggest land in India after Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir. So today we are in Jodhpur to explore Mehrangarh Fort-The Most Elegant Fort Of Rajasthan.
Mehrangarh means Citadel of the Sun as this fort, made by the Surya Dynasty and it took long 200 years to erect this beautiful architecture.
Mandor was the then capital of Marwar. The name Jodhpur came after the name of Rao Jodha, ascended as the fifteenth Rathore ruler in 1458. He was advised to move his capital to a safe place as the 1000 years old Mandore fort was in a destructive situation. So, in the year 1459, Rao Jodha made the foundation of the Mehrangarh Fort on an isolated hilltop.
But according to the legend, the hill top was the house of Cheeria Nathji, a monk and the lord of birds. During clearance the hill top the monk curse this place. Upon hearing this incident, the maharaja rushed to the place and tried to convince the monk. Monk gave a solution to terminate the curse if any self-sacrificing person was ready to bury alive. The king lost hope as he expected no one to accept such a fate. But surprisingly Rajaram Meghwal agreed to do so. He was given the title of “Sahid” for his devotion towards the kingdom.
So let’s begin our journey. Before entering the fort, our tour guide showed us the way to a fort temple beside a small beautiful lake encircled by the hills. The soothing tune of Ravanahatha played by a street musician along with the beauty of the lake crafted a mesmerizing reminiscence.
Moving forward stepping few stairs we finally put our feet inside the fort palace temple. The giant gorgeous shiny palace made us spellbound. From the terrace, our guide pointed another Villa at the far end and started to give a brief description.
The name of that villa is Umaid Bhawan Palace, documented as India’s last largest Mahal built in 1929. The interesting part of that Mahal is the architecture which was designed by an England Architect, Lekast Andrews. If you like to take pleasure of royal milieu, you need to stay in the fort which, now transformed into a 5-star hotel.
Don’t get surprised if you see any Bollywood or Hollywood film artist as this is one of the most iconic palaces for film shootings. Featured in films like Nasheeb, Hum Sath Sath Hai, Veer and lots more. Mehrangarh Fort-The Most Elegant Fort Of Rajasthan
Now it’s time to enter the temple gallery where the handmade photographs of rulers were mostly displayed throughout the hall. The proud glowing face of the rulers in the dimness rooms made us feel so adventurous.
After finishing the photo gallery our guide told us now we have to elevate 13 floors. We were just like “What”!! 13 Floors..!! But later he added this fort had a very good facility of lift. We got relieved and the smile came back to our face.
We entered the fort through Jaya Pol. Moving forward towards the lift, we noticed quite a big queue in front of the lift which made us depressed. But in no time we reached at the front as the capacity of the lift is quite appreciate able. Finally, we reached the 13th Floor and the beauty of the city what we saw was just unforgettable. The beautiful city canvas left a mark in our mind.
In the meantime, our guide gave an epigrammatic depiction of the Fort.
Poles and Chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda:
Mehrangarh fort holds a spectacular exquisiteness in its architecture. The wall surrounds the fort measures 68-ft wide and 117-ft.
There are seven gates at the seven sides of the forts.
Jaya Pol: The most famous one, built by Maharaja Mann Singh in his victory against Bikaner and Jaipur in 1806 AD
Fatteh Pol: Means Victory, built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to celebrate the defeat of Mughal Ruler.
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Dedh Kamgra Pol, still bear the damage spots of cannonballs.
Loha Pol, another gate to the fort have the handprints (sati marks) of the queens who immolated themselves on the funeral pyre of their husband, Maharaja Man Singh in 1843 AD
Other gates which surround the majestic forts are Amrita Pol, Gopal Pol, and Bheru Pol.
Other then the gates, the cannonball spots on the fort wall gave us the evidence of the heroism of the Jodhpur soldiers who fought against the Amber enemies. One of the notable soldiers who gave his life guarding the fort was the Chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda. Chhatri originated in Rajasthani architecture for use as a royal memorial.
After the mesmerizing city view and guide’s narration, we started to explore the galleries.
Galleries in Mehrangarh Fort Museum:
Of all the forts we had in our list, this fort holds a great collection of the antique assets of the Maharajas of Jodhpur. Mehrangarh Fort-The Most Elegant Fort Of Rajasthan
We walked into the gallery and what we saw was amazing. This gallery exhibits the beautiful elephant howdah, the wooden frame of one or two compartments encased with thick embossed silver or golden polished foil. These were used by the royals during their elephant ride. Mehrangarh Fort-The Most Elegant Fort Of Rajasthan
We also had the luck to see the elephant howdah which was presented by the Emperor Shah Jahan to the Maharaja Jaswant Singh I in 1657AD as a token of honor. This howdah, especially divided into three sections, the royal seat, and an intervening section, which has a hinged door for passage and rear high backed seat for a bodyguard
Next, we made our move towards the Palanquin Gallery. Palanquin, commonly known as palki, being the traditional transport medium for the female of that time, holds a great legacy of that era. Sometimes male also used in special occasion.
This gallery showcases the royal palanquins of the Rathor Families. Palanquin had a wooden frame decorated with silver plate or glass and lacquer and paintwork.
Above all, Tamzam, the most graceful among all the palanquins constructed under the influence of European Carriage Design. The wooden frame ornamented with tin sheet along with two beautiful peacock arms on both sides profile with glass eyes.
Daulat means Money and Khana means treasury. This is the room where we witnessed the real treasure of Rathors. Mehrangarh Fort-The Most Elegant Fort Of Rajasthan
The first one which took our glimpse was a gold-plated palanquin with glass finishing named as Mahadol. The fine arts on the gold plate showcased the dedication towards the art of that time. This Palanquin was a gift from the governor of Gujarat (in 1730 AD) which was under the British Rule at that time.
This room holds a decent amount of coin collection dated back from Mughal Period of 1580AD to East India Company of 1917AD.
Apart from this, we saw a wide variety of Weapons which includes cannons, rifles, swords, helmet, shield, dagger, wine flask, Hukka spout and lots more.
The Amazing Marwar paintings Gallery:
Later we moved towards the adjacent gallery, which displayed the colorful paintings of Marwar-Jodhpur. According to our guide, all the paintings were not from Jodhpur only; rather they came from different neighboring reigns like Bikaner, Kota, Kumbhalgarh, Jaipur etc. Mehrangarh Fort-The Most Elegant Fort Of Rajasthan
All the galleries were quite fascinating and we enjoyed a lot to witness those precious historic assets and paintings. Mehrangarh Fort-The Most Elegant Fort Of Rajasthan
Are you excited to see more? Well, readers, this is not the end. Wait for the next half. Exploring the blue city is still not over.
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