The Mehrangarh Fort ("Majestic Fort") is located on the hilltop that rises sharply at the city of Jodhpur. With its 68 ft wide and 117 ft high walls soaring 400 ft above the city the fort dominates the surrounding plains and appears very majestic and impregnable. The Mehrangarh Fort was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 when he shifted his capital from Mandore. The palaces in the fort were constructed by Rao Jodha Singh from 1459 onwards in an informal pattern over several centuries and have its own architectural features, such as narrow staircases leading to the royal residence, carved panels and porches, elaborately adorned walls and brilliant stained glass windows, that create vibrant mosaics on the floors with the play of light. The various buildings inside the fort now serve as Mehrangarh museum now which hosts a well preserved collection of musical instruments, palanquins, furniture and cannons on the fort's ramparts.
History of Mehrangarh Fort
Rao Jodha, the chief of the Rathore clan, is credited with the origin of Jodhpur in India. He founded Jodhpur in 1459 (Jodhpur was previously known as Marwar). He was one of Ranmal's 24 sons and became the fifteenth Rathore ruler. One year after his accession to the throne, Jodha decided to move his capital to the safer location of Jodhpur, as the one thousand years old Mandore fort was no longer considered to provide sufficient security.
With the trusted aid of Rao Nara (son of Rao Samra), the Mewar forces were subdued at Mandore. With that, Rao Jodha gave Rao Nara the title of Diwan. With the help of Rao Nara, the foundation of the fort was decided on 12 May 1459 by Jodha on a rocky hill 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) to the south of Mandore. This hill was known as Bhakurcheeria, the mountain of birds. According to legend to build the fort he had to displace the hill's sole human occupant, a hermit called Cheeria Nathji, the lord of birds. Cheeria Nathji was a man with local population as his followers and hence influential in the region.When requested to move he refused categorically. This happened many times. Rao Jodha then took extreme measures and sought help from another more powerful saint , the female warrior sage of Charan caste Shri Karni Mata of Deshnok.On request of the king she came and asked Cheeria Nathji to quit immediately. Seeing a superior power he left at once but cursed Rao Jodha with words "Jodha! May your citadel ever suffer a scarcity of water!". Rao Jodha managed to appease the hermit by building a house and a temple in the fort. Seeing the influence of Karni Mata Rao Jodha then invited her to lay down the foundation stone of the Mehrangarh Fort and the same was carried out by her. Today only the forts of Bikaner and Jodhpur remain in the hands of Rathors, both had their foundation stone laid by Shri Karni Mata. All other Rajput forts of Rajasthan were abandoned for some or the other reasons by the respective clans. Only the Rathors of Jodhpur and Bikaner have their forts with them till date. This fact is considered a miracle by the local population and is attributed to Shri Karni Mata.Rao Jodha also granted villages of Mathania and Chopasni to the two Charan warlords who were sent by him to request Shri Karni Mata to come to Jodhpur.
How to Reach Mehrangarh Fort
Reaching the city is simple. Also you get the chance to choose the type of medium you are comfortable with, whether a flight, train or bus. You can even get a cab booked or drive to the city. Once you are in the city, you can book a cab, either online or from the hotel or any local agent. If you want to see how the local people commute everyday and how it feels to travel like the people of Jodhpur, you can take auto-rickshaws or local buses.
Best Time to Visit Mehrangarh Fort
When you are on a trip and you have already dreamt of witnessing the richness of the fort and its minutely made architecture, then it is advisable for you to plan it in any month between September and March. The reason is simple; you will not have to encounter the scorching heat, which shoots up to 45 degrees during the summers. In fact, when you visit the fort and even the city during the winters, you will not only end up falling in love with the beauty of the city, but the weather as well.