Meherangarh Fort, Jodhpur

One of the largest forts in India, the Meherangarh fort is the pride of Jodhpur. Situated on a 150 m high hill, this magnificent fort was founded in the year 1469 by Rao Jodha. The fort has seven gates, some of which still stand as a witness to the battles fought by the armies of Jodhpur.

Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons. Much has been written about the Citadel of the Sun, for truly, it is one of the most impressive in all Rajasthan. So colossal are its proportions that Rudyard Kipling called it the work of giants. Today, it is acknowledged as the finest living example of a Hindu fortress.
The fort houses a number of palaces inside, with extensive patios. The main palaces are Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Takht Vilas and Jhanki Mahal. A museum also finds a place inside the fort, displaying a rich collection of old royal palanquins, arms, paintings, costumes, etc. There are also a number of galleries and temples inside the fort.
The other major palaces in Meherangarh fort are the Sheesh Mahal and the Rang Mahal. Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace as the name suggests is resplendent with mirrors. Although not in the same league as the Sheesh Mahals you will find in Bikaner and Amber, but it is still worth a look. The highlight of the palace are the wall paintings you will find of various Hindu deities. The most exquisite pictures are the ones depicting Krishna, Shiva, Parvati, Rama, Sita, hanuman, Ganesh, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga. The Rang Mahal too is laced with mirrors and ornamented with fine mirror work.

Some of the famous Temples of the Meherangarh fort in Jodhpur are:

* Nagnechiji Temple: To the extreme right of the fort complex is located the Nagnechiji temple, the family temple of the Rathore dynasty. The Nagnechiji idol was brought to Marwar in the early 14th century by Rao Dhuhad, and after Meherangarh was constructed the idol was placed there.

* Chamunda Devi Temple: Adjacent to it is a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga, called the Chamunda Devi Temple. The idol of Durga was brought by Rao Jodha (the founder of Jodhpur) himself, but it was destroyed in a gunpowder explosion in 1857. It was reconstructed by Takhat Singh who reigned between the years 1843 and 1873.

The precincts of the fort house two tanks as well, which was the main source of water to the residents of the complex. The Gulab Sagar or Rose-Water Sea is the larger of the two and situated to the south of the complex. The other tank is called the Rani Talao or Queens Lake which, as the name suggests reserved for the ladies of the zenana (royal ladies).


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