Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Mehrangarh Fort


         Looking up from the base of the Mehrangarh Fort, trying to squint at the top of it  I almost got a crick in my neck. Looming large in the middle of the city, the Mehrangarh fort is a colossal structure that rises from a rocky hill top overlooking the surrounding city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan. It is an awe inspiring fort that houses an interesting collection from the days of the Maharajas and also presents the opulence of royalty.

         At the gate was a group of local musicians lending a flavour of Jodhpur to the tourists. And that set the mood for the tour ahead. We saw hand imprints a reminder of  jouhar, the practice of self immolation by the satis in the face of imminent capture of the fort by the enemies.


 In one of the many beautiful courtyards within the fort we came across this smiling face positioned there. He was there in his full regalia to recount the tradition of offering opium to guests in this part of the country. Refusal to accept was taken as an offence. This was more prevalent among the Bishnoi people who are also staunch environmentalists traditionally.

Opium Man

            The fort has a series of intricately carved balconies and windows that give a breathtaking view of the surroundings and the lovely courtyards below. Mehrangarh  is one of the best maintained forts of India with the opulent palaces; collection of palanquins for the young royals, the ladies of royalty topped by the exquisite of all, the Mahadol which was a war booty brought from Gujarat; carved and gilt edged arms', Akbar's curved sword; paintings and costumes speaking of days gone by. There are many legends behind the foundation of this fort by Rao Jodha. The hill on which it was built was the place of meditation of a hermit Cheedia Nathji, who on being displaced cast a curse that the fort would be plagued by water scarcity. Rao Jodha appeased the hermit by building him a temple and a home. To further make it auspicious, Jodha had a man buried alive on the spot where the first foundation was laid. To this date the royal family of Jodhpur takes care of this man's family.

      The fort is an example of local expertise in many aspects. The successive rulers have added to it's regalia with many intricate work. The Phool Mahal, the Sheesha Mahal, the Takht Mahal are all worth spending your time with.   It is best  that you see the interiors of the fort to gauge their splendour and exquisite craftsmenship of the artisans. Below is a photo essay to take you through it.





      Just as few other cities of Rajasthan have earned sobriquets, so has Jodhpur. I remember  during school days going through  Jaipur as the 'pink city', Udaipur as the 'white city' and Jaisalmer as the 'golden city'. Jodhpur is the 'blue city' for the many houses in the old city painted in shades of blue. Looking out from the ramparts of Mehrangarh, the city shimmers in it's blue avatar in the heat.

Blue City

     There are three theories behind this 'blue' story. The most popular being that in a caste rigid social structure, the Brahmins ( upper caste) had their homes painted blue to ensure that people from lower castes steered clear of their vicinity thereby maintaining the 'purity' of the homes. However later, the others too got their homes painted blue for whatever reasons. The second theory is that the indigo used for the paint along with the lime wash was a good insect repellent. This second option seems to have failed miserably or maybe the over the ages the insects have gained immunity over such tactics. The third theory is that the blue reflected the scorching heat of the desert sun. 

      If you ever plan a trip to Rajasthan, try to accommodate Jodhpur although that would involve stretching yourself a bit if you are just planning to come up to Jaipur. A trip to the Mehrangarh fort is something one would never regret. 

 This post was written for A to Z Challenge.




  1. The fort looks majestic and magnificent.

  2. A beautiful post with all the nice snaps..Thanks.

  3. I really want to travel more and see all the amazing places in the world. Maybe in a few years.

    Following from Blogging AtoZ.
    I'm writing "Things My Husband Has Broken" A to Z at http://AMomsPointOfView.com
    Come by and check it out.

  4. Niranjan, to see is to believe. It's one of the best forts I've been to.

  5. So do I, Kimberlay. It's such a big beautiful and interesting world out there. Thank you for stopping by.


Your words keep me going :)