Mehrangarh Fort is the crowning glory of Jodhpur, a majestic fortress perched proudly on a rocky hillock. It’s a historic monument blessed with jaw-dropping architecture, fine art and exquisite ornamentation. Walk in the footsteps of celebrated maharajas and discover fascinating stories of the royal Rathore rulers. The Indian leader Rao Jodha founded Mehrangarh Fort in 1459, when he moved his base from Mandore to Jodhpur.
The entrance to the fort is spectacular and passes seven imposing gates that bear the reminders of battles and cannonball strikes. Gaze up at the solid 120-foot-tall (36-meter) walls. Look for the hand imprints left by royal widows who sacrificed themselves on the funeral pyres of former maharajas. Beyond the gates is a series of breathtaking courtyards and palaces built over 5 centuries and adorned with intricate latticework and decorations.
Today the fort’s buildings serve as the galleries of a fascinating heritage museum. Find displays of palanquins and elephant howdahs (covered seats). Check out a weaponry collection, which includes daggers, guns, spears and swords. Glimpse inside the former chambers of the maharajas, reception halls and elaborately designed women’s quarters. See ceremonial thrones, royal portraits and examples of princes’ cribs.
Wander along the cannon-strewn ramparts and gaze out across Jodhpur’s pretty blue rooftops. Visit the quaint Chamunda Mata Temple, which honors the Hindu goddess Durga. Curious visitors might want to have their fortune told by the fort’s resident palm reader.
The fort sits atop a hill overlooking Jodhpur’s city center. It’s a pleasant 20-minute walk from Ghanta Ghar via winding lanes lined with the city’s famed blue-painted houses. Alternatively, get here by taking a low-cost auto-rickshaw or taxi. Use the free parking lot located just outside the fort’s main entrance.
Mehrangarh Fort is open daily and has an admission fee. Rentable audio guides are available and provide excellent information about the fort and museum artifacts. Personal guides are also available. Visit the fort’s official website for further details. The website also has a schedule of events held at the fort, such as the Rajasthan International Folk Festival and the World Sacred Spirit Festival.