The Mehrangarh Fort was built by Maharaja Rao Jodha in the year 1460 AD. This fort is considered to be one of the biggest forts not only in Rajasthan but in all of India as well. The fort has several gates and one of its gates still has the canon marks from the war with the Jaipur armies. The various Rajput rulers here built various courtyards, temples, and other structures in this fort. When Maharaja Man Singh won the war against the armies of Jaipur and Bikaner, he built seven gates here to commemorate the victory.
Here's a guide to this magnificent fort in Jodhpur that's just a short distance away from our luxury desert camp in Jodhpur.
Jodhpur was established by Maharaja Rao Jodha in the year 1459. Maharaja Rao Jodha was the 15th Rajput ruler and the son of Maharaja Ram Mal. Previously, Maharaja Rao Jodha ruled in the fort of Mandore but he shifted his capital to Jodhpur due to lack of security. The foundation of this fort was laid by Maharaja Rao Jodha on Bhaucheeria hill, 9 kilometers away from Mondore with the help of Rao Nara. Maldeo ruled Jodhpur from 1531 AD to 1562 AD and he built many structures inside the fort and some more structures were built by Maharaja Ajit Singh who ruled from 1707 AD to 1724 AD. The fort was built further by Maharaja Takhat Singh who ruled from the year 1843 AD to the year 1872 AD. Maharaja Hanwant Singh was the last ruler who ruled this fort from 1947 to 1952. Around 9 lakh rupees were spent by Maharaja Rao Jodha to build this fort.
The gates of Mehrangarh Fort -
Jai Pol and Fateh Pol - The main entrance to the fort is Jai Pol. Jai Pol was built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1808 to celebrate his victory over Maharaja Jagat Singh of Jaipur. Maharaja Ajit Singh built Fateh Pol or Victory Gate as it is known in Hindi. The gate was built in remembrance of taking back of the fort from the Mughals in the year 1707.
Lakhna Pol or Dedh Kangra Pol and Amriti Pol - This gate known as the Lakhna Pol was constructed during the reign of Maldeo and is also known as the Dedh Kamra Pol. The Pol was destroyed by the armies of Jaipur during the war with Jaipur in the year 1807. Maharaja Maldeo constructed Amriti Pol which leads to the original entrance of the old fort. Rao Jodha had constructed the original entrance. There was a boulder with two holes in the original entrance. Each hole was filled with a log to provide a barrier.
Loha Pol and Suraj Pol - This Pol known as the Loha Pol was constructed in the 15th century but Maharaja Maldeo constructed its facade in the 16th century. One of the oldest gates in the fort is Suraj Pol. A staircase is located in the front which leads to Moti Mahal.
The palaces of Mehrangarh Fort -
Sheesh Mahal - Sheesh Mahal located inside the incredible Mehrangarh Fort is different from the ones constructed by the Mughals in their forts.The palace has many large and regular pieces of mirrors along with the figures of religious deities which are imposed over the mirror work. Due to the presence of the images of the gods and the deities, the sheesh mahal was used as a private temple for a very long time.
Phool Mahal - Phool Mahal was constructed by Maharaja Abhay Singh who ruled from 1730 AD to 1750 AD. All the gold which was used during the construction of the palace was the war booty which the king got by defeating Sarbuland Khan, a governor of the Mughal Empire.
Moti Mahal - Moti Mahal or Pearl Palace is considered as the biggest palace of the Mehrangarh fort. The palace was constructed during the reign of Maharaja Sur Singh. There is a big hall for private meetings in the palace. Five hidden balconies are in the palace from where the five queens of the king viewed the proceedings of the court. The immensely high wooden ceiling of the palace is decorated with gold leaves and mirrors. The palace has the alabaster throne which can be found at one of the ends of the palace room only.
Khabka Mahal - Khabka Mahal was the sleeping palace of the kings which had two rooms named Dipak Mahal and Chandan Mahal. The Dipak Mahal was built by the Prime Minister of Jodhpur. Chandan Mahal was the room where the king used to discuss the affairs of his kingdom with his esteemed ministers.
Jhanki Mahal - Jhanki Mahal was constructed adjacent to the Khabka Mahal. The palace was built for the queens who wanted to look to the outside world from the palace. The palace had latticed screens so that nobody could see them while they were seeing the outside world. The purdah system was mandatory for the women who look outside. One of the features of this palace was the incredible placement of mirrors.
The temples of Mehrangarh Fort -
The Chamunda Mataji Temple - Maharaja Rao Jodha worshipped Durga Mata immensely so he brought her idol from Mandore, his previous kingdom. The idol was installed in the fort by him and became the kul devi of Parihar caste. Maharaja Rao Jodha made her Isht Devi. During the mutiny of 1857, the idol was destroyed. It was however, later reinstalled by Takhat Singh who ruled from 1843 AD to 1873AD. Even today, the temple is visited by many devotees.
Nagnechiji Temple - Nagnechiji temple was the family temple of Rathore rulers. It is located in the extreme right hand corner of the fort. Rao Dhuhad brought the idol of Nagnechi Ji to Marwar in the 14th century. Later the idol was installed in the Mehrangarh fort which has now come to be the Nagnechi Ji temple.
Daulat Khana - The Daulat Khana was built beneath the Phool Mahal during the Mughal period and era. These were the times when the Rathores had good relationships with the Mughal rulers. Heavy locks and liquor bottles can still be found which were included in curios of the Daulat khana. The liquor bottles in the Daulat khana were wrapped in the wet clothes and warriors used to drink from them before fighting any battle.The Daulat khana also included many other things like coin boxes, carpet weights, hookahs, etc. and more. There is also a silk tent in the Daulat Khana made up of red and gold brocade which was found. This tent was made for emperor Aurungzeb of the Mughal dynasty which was later taken away from his son by Raja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur.
Sileh Khana - The Sileh Khana or armoury is another incredible gallery where weapons of all the periods can be seen. Rajputs took great care of their weapons as it was a warrior tribe of India. Tourists can find guns, maces, shields, swords and other types of weapons in here. The Khanda of Rao Jodha, the sword of emperor Akbar and Timur can be found here too.
Elephant Howdahs - Elephants were the animals which were a part of the Rajput battles as they could throw humans and animals or could trample them beneath their feet. The elephant howdahs were the seats made up of wood and decorated with gold and silver. These were tied on the back of the elephants where the kings used to sit on.
Palanquins - Palanquins, also known as the beautiful palki, were mostly used by noble women for travelling and circumambulation. Small palkis called ‘dolis’ were used to carry women due to the strict purdah system of the Rajput people. The covers of the palkis were decorated beautifully with ornaments and gold. When a royal lady was carried in a palki, her relatives or elder Rajputs used to accompany her in her journey. Each palki carrier had a stick to support the palki and to carry it with.
If you'd like to visit Mehrangarh, stay at our luxury desert camps in Jodhpur where you can enjoy the camp as well as have a glimpse of the immense tradition and culture of this beautiful city and its historic past. Hope to see you at our luxury camp in Jodhpur in 2021, and may you admire the marvels of the Mehrangarh fort!
Visiting Hours - For the public, the Mehrangarh Fort is open from 9 am to 5 pm in the evening. This fort also remains open on government holidays. Due to the presence of many structures inside this fort, it takes one to three hours to visit and discover it completely.
Tickets - An entry fee is to be paid by tourists to enter this fort. The cost of this ticket is 60 INR for Indians whereas the cost of the ticket is 400 INR for foreigners. Video recording and photography is also allowed, and the tourists have to pay 100 INR for a still camera and 400 INR for a video camera in the premises of the fort. On 12th of May, the entrance to this fort is free as this day is the Jodhpur Foundation Day.
Best time to visit - The weather is very pleasant from October to March hence this time is the best time to visit Jodhpur along with our luxury desert camp in Jodhpur. The weather of the city is hot and dry during the period from April to June whereas from July to September, the weather becomes hot and humid. The rainfall in the city is very low to moderate sometimes.