Mehrangarh Fort ("Majestic Fort") is located on the hilltop
that rises sharply at the city of Jodhpur.
its 68 ft wide and 117 ft high walls soaring 400 ft above the city the
fort dominates the surrounding plains and appears very majestic and
impregnable. The Mehrangarh Fort was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 when
he shifted his capital from Mandore.
The palaces in the fort
were constructed by Rao Jodha Singh from 1459 onwards in an informal
pattern over several centuries and have its own architectural features,
such as narrow staircases leading to the royal residence, carved panels
and porches, elaborately adorned walls and brilliant stained glass
windows, that create vibrant mosaics on the floors with the play of
light. The various buildings inside the fort now serve as Mehrangarh
museum now which hosts a well preserved collection of musical
instruments, palanquins, furniture and cannons on the fort's ramparts.
The fort has seven gates of which the noted ones are the Jayapol, built
by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806; Fatehpol or the Victory Gate built by
Maharaja Ajit Singh; and the Lohapol or the Iron Gate. The 15
handprints, the sati marks of Maharaja Man Singh's widows who threw
themselves upon his funeral pyre in 1843, can be seen beside the
Lohapol. On the wall, one can see the strategically located cannons.
Mehrangarh Fort encloses many palaces, which are known for their
intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards. These are as follows :Phool
Mahal or 'Flower Palace'
The Jodhpur Coat of Arms is kept in
the Phool Mahal. Walls of this Flower Palace is covered with paintings
depicting various musical moods. Sukh Mahal or 'Pleasure
is a magnificient summer palace on the Sukh Mahal Lake surrounded by
lush beautiful gardens.It is believed that an underground tunnel runs
from the Sukh Mahal to the old palace.Moti Mahal or the
Moti Mahal or the Pearl Palace has a delicately
carved stone screen and treasures the Sringar Chowki, royal throne of
Jodhpur Exquisitely decorated ceilings and walls, with delicate
latticework on the windows. Large and unusual wooden statues, painted
bright, adorned a palace section amongst an assortment of princely
cradles. It is a labyrinth of wonders, not knowing what the next doorway
might lead to. These palaces have fabulous collection of trappings of
Indian royalty including a superb collection of palanquins, elephant
howdahs, miniature paintings of various schools, musical instruments,
costumes and furniture.