About Mehrangarh Fort
The Mehrangarh Fort is a vast fortified palace complex in Jodhpur in India.
History of the Mehrangarh Fort
The fort dates back to the mid-fifteenth century, when the leader of the Rathore clan, Rao Joha, decided to build a well-defended capital in place of the former capital, Mandore.
Indeed, with 120 foot-high thick walls and with its position on a steep hill, the Mehrangarh Fort would have been a daunting prospect to invaders – Rudyard Kipling described it as ‘the work of giants’.
In fact, the Mehrangarh Fort has lived up to its imposing appearance, having never been captured. Like Agra Fort, many of the fort’s entrances are ear-shaped: the theory being invaders would struggle to gain any momentum to break down the fort’s heavy gates if they did not have a straight run at them.
Inside the Mehrangarh Fort are numerous palaces, such as the ornately decorated Flower Palace “Phool Mahal” and the Pearl Palace or “Moti Mahal”. One of the most famous features of the Mehrangarh Fort is its hall of mirrors or “Sheesh Mahal”, which is encrusted with mirrors.
The fort is still run by the Jodhpur royal family today and houses impressive collections of textiles, ceramics and other art works.
Mehrangarh Fort Today
Entrance to Mehrangarh is through the northeast gate, Jai Pol. he fort offers spectacular views of the city below – Jodhpur is known as the Blue City and you’ll be able to see why from the fort’s ramparts.
Technically you only need a ticket to enter the museum area, rather than the fort itself, but security guards are normally on patrol and don’t take kindly to this subtlty.
Audio guides are provided with the ticket fee and are extremely helpful – they’ll point out lots of small details, including the handprints inside the gati which are sati marks of royal widows.
The beautiful 18th century Rajput gardens are a lovely place to enjoy the afternoon – the desert sun at Mehrangarh can be exhausting so take plenty of water and seek out shady spots where possible. You can exit to the old city through the Fateh Pol.
Getting to Mehrangarh Fort
Jai Pol is a steep 300m walk from the city itself, but the tuktuk route is much more round about (and costs around ₹120 at the time of writing). Jodhpur’s city centre is not big and walking is often the easiest form of transport.