>> Rajasthan Forts & Palaces
>> Mehrangarh Fort
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 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.
The 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
Sukh Mahal or 'Pleasure Palace'
This 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 Pearl Palace
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.