Sitting majestically atop the city of Jodhpur overlooking everything in every which direction, Mehrangarh Fort is one of those sights that’ll stick out in your memory for a long time. One of the largest forts in India, it was built in 1460 and was never invaded.
Today, one can spend anywhere from an hour to an entire day exploring this majestic piece of architectural beauty with its significant historical importance. With a significantly well-stocked museum inside, cultural events and gardens to take your breath away along with a lengthy walk around the outside of the fort, it’s no surprise that it can take you up to a day to explore this fort.
Check out the exterior before sunrise
With the inside of the fort opening at 9am, you can check out the exterior when the sun hits the Eastern side as it rises. Walk around the fort where monkeys bounce around on the trees - make sure you don’t have any food on you that they can steal! Though the primates look friendly, if they bare their teeth or start acting aggressively, walk away fast as they might steal your food or belongings.
The fort, situated 410 feet (125 m), above the city, is enclosed by imposing thick walls. There’s also a winding pathway that zig-zags its way through the cobblestone streets up the fort. Walking up the pathway, one realises how it would be impossible for armies to fight as it’s tiring enough just to get there!
Sitting atop of the hill with views in every direction helps as well as any possible invaders could be spotted miles away with ease. Entrance fees for the Mehrangarh Museum are 500 INR (8 USD) for foreigners and 100 INR (1.50 USD) for locals.
Check out each of the palaces as they're all unique
Inside its boundaries, there are several palaces known for their intricate carvings and expansive courtyards. There are seven gates through which one can gain entry into the fort. The most famous and main entrance is Jai Pol (Gate of Victory) built in 1806 by Maharaja Man Singh to celebrate his victory in a war with Jaipur and Bikaner.
Once past the entry-point of the fort, you’ll come across two temples: Chamunda Mataji Temple and Nagnechiji Temple. As you walk through the fort to the museum, you’ll come across several local musicians playing folk songs. Stop, listen, but if you do take pictures or linger for a while, they will expect a tip.
The museum at the fort is one of the best in Rajasthan
Once past the cafes, the musicians, and up a slight incline, the entrance to the museum is through a beautiful arched dome. This museum is lauded as one of the best in Rajasthan due to its enormity and well-stocked rooms. In one section of the fort museum, there is a selection 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. The museum houses an outstanding collection of fine and applied arts from the Mughal period of Indian history. The museum also exhibits the heritage of the locals, especially the former Kings, like their arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms.
The best part of this museum is that it takes you through the fort, ensuring you get to see Jodhpur and the fort from different locations. Each room is still done up as it would’ve been centuries ago and unlike a lot of museums in Rajasthan, the artefacts are well preserved.
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Mehrangarh Fort offers more than just an informative tour
If you choose not to hire a guide, or have chosen your complimentary audio guide, the path is very informative and details, at length, each exhibit. Mehrangarh Fort is an absolute must-see, and if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s also a flying fox adventure option for thrill-seekers.
With so many palaces within the fort from Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) to Phool Mahal (Flower Palace) to Sheesha Mahal (Mirror Palace), there’s an endless array of things to see. And if you’re with children, just let them know the world-famous Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises was filmed here.
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