Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur
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.
Fort encloses many palaces, which are known for their intricate carvings and sprawling
courtyards. These are as follows :Phool Mahal or 'Flower Palace'
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 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
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.