The Mehrangarh Fort ("Majestic Fort") is located on the hilltop that rises sharply at the city of Jodhpur. With 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
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.
are seven gates, which include Jayapol meaning victory built by Maharaja
Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies.
Fattehpol also meaning victory gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to
mark the defeat of Mughals. And Lohapol meaning iron gate has a moving
memorabilia on palm print of the queens of Maharaja Man Singh who threw
themselves on his funeral pyre in an act of sati [self-immolation]. The
palm imprints still attract devotional attention and are covered by
vermilion paste and paper-thin silver foil. Museum
is one of the finest museums in Rajasthan and certainly the best layed
out. In the palanquin section of the fort museum, you can see an
interesting collection of old royal palanquins including the elaborate
domed gilt Mahadol palanquin, which was won in a battle from the
Governor of Gujarat in 1730. The museum exhibits the heritage of the
Rathores in arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms.Phool
The grandest of Mehrangarh's period rooms, the Phool Mahal
was in all likely hood a private and exclusive chamber of pleasure
dancing girls once swooned in exhaustion here under a ceiling rich in
gold filigree. The Phool Mahal was created by Maharaja Abhaya Singh
(1724-1749) and the gold came from Ahmedabad in Gujarat as war booty
after his famous victory over the rebellious Mughal governor, Sarbuland
Khan. The paintings, royal portraits and the ever-popular raga mala,
came much later, in the reign of Jaswant Singh II.