Amidst the stark landscape of the Thar Desert lies Jodhpur, the ‘Sun City of India’, brimming with beautiful palaces, forts, and temples. Its rich history and cultural heritage draw tourists from all over the world. Although there are many places to visit in Jodhpur, a few legends shouldn’t be missed at any cost while on a family vacation to the city.
One such attraction is the sprawling Mehrangarh Fort. Constructed in 1460 by Rao Jodha, it is one of the grandest forts in the country. Located 400 ft above Jodhpur’s skyline, the strategic position on a hill offers a panoramic view of Jodhpur and the famed white-and-blue buildings of the city. The thick walls are adorned with intricate carvings and the gigantic courtyards make this fort a must for any Jodhpur sightseeing itinerary.
Mehrangarh Fort is named after the Sun God Mihir, chief deity of the Rathores, the family that ruled the city. Here are the main locations in Mehrangarh Fort that are worth exploring:
-The Seven Entrance Gates: Jaya Pol and Fateh Pol were commissioned to commemorate victories over the invading armies, including the Mughals. To this day, cannonball imprints from enemy fire are clearly visible, telling the world about the strength of the gates and the fort itself.
-The Palace: Phool Mahal, Moti Mahal, and Sheesha Mahal are brilliantly decorated palaces that display collections of ancient furniture, costumes, cradles, howdahs, musical instruments, miniatures, and palanquins. These treasures tell visitors stories of a bygone era.
-The Armoury: It showcases rare pieces from Jodhpur’s long and rich history as a martial state. Many of the swords and shields have fought battles in their time. You will see hilts made from gold, silver, jade, ivory, and rhino horn. The shields are encrusted with emeralds, rubies, and pearls. Guns too feature silver and gold engravings on the barrels. An outstanding feature of the gallery is a display containing the personal swords of several kings and emperors, most notably of Akbar and Timur. The sword of the Rathore king Rao Jodha weighs over three kilograms!
-Artwork: The entire fort complex contains innumerable paintings, from miniatures to full-scale artworks. The finest examples of the Marwar School of painting can be found here. These paintings mostly consist of depictions of sand dunes, along with camels, bushes, deer, and other aspects of nature.
-Daulat Khana: It houses priceless artefacts, among them finely preserved artworks from the Mughal period. The remains of Emperor Akbar can be found here, a testament to the close links the ruling family maintained with the Mughals.
-Turban Gallery: It is a nod to the various cultures and communities comprising the rich fabric of Rajasthan’s culture. Nearly every community and level of society is represented here by the headgear they wore in historical times.
-Chamunda Mataji Temple: It houses the presiding deity of the ruling family, who is famed for her powers throughout Jodhpur. The festival of Dussehra is celebrated in her honour with much fanfare
-The Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park adjoining Mehrangarh Fort is spread over 72 hectares. It was built in 2006 to preserve the ecology of the desert landscape. Clear signs of volcanic activity – which occurred millions of years ago – can be seen here.
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm every day
Entry fee: Indians Rs 60, foreign visitors Rs 400; camera fee Rs 100 (applicable for all visitors)
Club Mahindra’s resort in Jodhpur, Pratap Niwas, offers visitors a chance to experience the royal life. Built in a combination of Mughal and Mewar styles, the resort has beautiful stone carvings, jharokas, and cupolas. Check out the Club Mahindra reviews online – they all speak of the comfortable rooms and the delectable local delicacies served at the in-house restaurant.
What’s more, you can enjoy local delicacies such as daal bati churma or sev tamatar ki subzi at the in-house restaurant. Create beautiful memories during your family vacation to Jodhpur with Club Mahindra!