Location: Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India.
Built In: 15th Century
Popular As: One of the largest fort in India.
What To See: Takhat Vilas Palace, Moti Mahal, Fort Museum
Mehargarh Fort, Jodhpur
Nestling within the depths of the Thar, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the nihility of the desert. Flanked on the western side by the Mehrangarh Fort and on the eastern side by the stately sandstone palace of Umaid Bhawan, its monuments, temples and gardens depict a multi-faceted grandeur. But the gravity that pulls everyone to Jodhpur, is its vicinity to a desert landscape, almost as barren as the moon. This makes the medieval fort seem more magical, a larger than life version of an idealized illustration in a child's book. The Mehrangarh Fort, which looks as if it grew organically out of the low hill on which it is built, surely puts everything else in the city, completely in shade.
Before you buy your ticket and enter the fort, walk to
the edge of the parking lot for the first of the many panoramic vistas it
affords. The view one gets from this spot probably does not have a
parallel anywhere in the world, as it is one of the largest fort structure in the world. It is as if the entire Old City, with its
alleyways, courtyards and terraces, lies open to your gaze, as in one of
those miniature paintings of cityscapes. It is not just what you see that
gives the view its intimacy, but the way it blends with the sounds rising
up from the houses and streets. It is fun to hear individual voices from
the vantage point and trace down where they come from.
You have to bestow an entry fee to pierce the grim, once nearly impenetrable walls, which conceal magnificent palaces spanning five centuries of Rajput glory. Get an entrance ticket from the main portico at Jaipol, built by Maharajah Man Singh. Don't forget to climb the summit (Lohapol) through the steep zigzag ascent, where there are hand prints of Raja Mansingh's widows, who committed "Sati" (traditional Hindu practice of a widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre happily, no longer a custom) rather than suffer at enemy's hands. The images of the hands of Hindu widows of the Rajput reverberates the devotion of these women and the high status of the men for whom the women committed Sati.
Inside the fort, behind the lotus-patterned, lacework sandstone facade, are many places to be explored. In order to create the original fort, legend has it that, a hermit was evicted from his abode. During the eviction he lay a curse upon any future building on the hill. He stated that any building on the hill would have severe problems annexing water. To avoid the consequences of this curse, a man volunteered to be buried alive in the foundations of the fort.
The 200 year old Takhat Vilas Palace (a royal bedroom)
has splendid floor-to-ceiling murals painted on wet plaster, depicting in
minute detail, wars, games, weddings, religious rites, beautiful women,
proud warriors and even palace pets! The large Belgian Christmas ball
hanging from the top resonates the royalty back then. The way these
palaces are decorated with elephantine carpets, ornate vases and appealing
hookahs, is enough to stupefy a visitor.
Take a tour to Mehrangarh fort in Rajasthan India and glance through the perforated marble screens at Jhanki Mahal, as the ladies in these chambers did years ago; a view of the courtyard, countryside and town below- a view that probably summed up their universe while they vicariously experienced the chivalry and heroism of their beloved ones. The Mahal today houses a rich collection of the royal cradles decorated with gilt mirrors and motifs of fairies, elephant and birds.
The must see the famous attractions in Moti Mahal has stained glass windows that cast a chiaroscuro effect with the play of light and shade. A beautiful crossword of bright colors, these delicately carved stone screens actually establishes a harmony between the various shades of polychromatic light.
Throughout the tour, you get many great tableaus of the city. Standing out among the buildings below, are the indigo colored structures against the flawless blue sky, that signifies Brahmin's homes. Apparently, the color keeps the home cool inside, and is effective in repelling mosquitoes.
As a package, the Mehrangarh fort museum is undoubtedly
one of India's premier tourist attractions, offering baroque architecture,
excellent artifacts and well-lit displays. The Mehrangarh Museum Trust was
settled in March,1972 by His Highness The Maharaja Gaj Singh II with the
principal objective of setting up a world class museum in Jodhpur. It was
intended that this museum will eventually house and display the Maharaja's
substantial collections of regalia. You should take an exclusive tour to see the Mehrangarh Fort Museum Attractions of Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
The amin attractions of this museum in Mahrangarh fort in Jodhpur lies in the structure and architecture. The first several rooms of the museum are arranged around a courtyard called Sangar Chowki, where in an alcove, eminent guests were greeted with an offering of opium. Inside, in the delicately carved sandstone apartments, is a fantasy world of folk instruments, jewel-studded robes, palanquins, howdas (elephant seats) and many other relics of the old regal life, the most outstanding being a silver howdah gifted by emperor Shahjahan. It is decorated with a relief of lions, whose faces look peculiarly like shocked Rajput warriors! Feel the royal ambiance at every corner of the museum filled with majestic ambroglia
Pay a visit to the series of apartments embellished with glided wood, Murano glassware, Chinese tiles...an opulent hybrid that encompasses every region and historic period that covers every available square inch of space on a graph. Up one level is a room full of excellent miniature paintings in the Marwar style of the 18th and 19th centuries. The idea behind these miniatures, intricate, colorful illuminations of landscapes, brooks and springs executed meticulously with delicate brushwork, was to convey reality that existed beyond specific vantage point. Observe the way the colors are used. Extracted from minerals, vegetables and possessing enamel-like luster, these art treasures indeed provide a silhouette of the summit, the Marwar school of art had reached in the medieval period.
Pick up souvenirs from the museum gift shop displaying designer artifacts and alluring items for your near and dear ones- memoirs that will never fade on the sands of time.
The Mehrangarh Trust has now started an audio tour of the fort, which eventually covers 33 must see sites and information on some historical and social aspects of the region. At present the 70 minutes audio commentary is available in Hindi, French, English, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. A hi-tech gadget with headphones, the audio guide allows the visitors to identify important exhibits. With practically no other facility available to the visitors to learn about the objects they see, the audio tour adds a welcome new dimension to the museum experience. The engaging and edifying narrative with multitudinous zeal is a splendid bonanza as you trail through the memories of the medieval history while titillating yourself with the factual approach. This is fast becoming one of the main attractions of Mehrangarh fort in India.
Take a tour of Jodhpur through the main railway station is in the south of town, a couple of kilometers west of the state bus stand. Private buses drop you near the main railway station where there is a taxi stand. In town, you can catch tempos that follow fixed routes along the main roads. However, auto-rickshaws are best suited for traversing the narrow lanes of the old city. Push the paddles of a bicycle, which can be rented from shops near the railway station, to explore the city.
Top 5 Reasons To Visit The Fort
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The Galleria of Relics
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Wildlife Safari Tour
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