Mehrangarh Fort (Hindi: Mehrangarh Durg/Kila) of Jodhpur is one of the largest forts in India.
The fort is among the most popular tourist places in India. The fort is located at a rocky hill which is 400 feet (122 m) above the surrounding places.
The fort is located at the centre of the city, spreading over 5 km top on a hill. Its walls, which are up to 36 m (118 feet) high and 21 m (69 feet) wide, protect it.
Inside its boundaries there are several palaces known for their wonderful carvings and expansive courtyards. A circular road heads to Mehrangarh from the city.
Rao Jodha (1438-89) ordered to build this fort, on an rock with a high elevation and better natural defenses.
For over 5 centuries Mehrangarh has been the home of the senior branch of Rajput clan, known as the Rathores.
Why Should You visit it?
- You will love to do the Flying Fox, it’s very exciting experience.
- Its architecture is fascinating and contains the work of artists of over 500 centuries.
- It contains two ancient temples of Jodhpur.
- It contains painting of Marwari style of Rajasthan.
- You will see every part of Jodhpur culture in the articles displayed.
- The museum houses an outstanding collection of fine and applied arts from the Mughal period of Indian history.
- Chance for photographers to capture stunning views of whole Jodhpur from one place.
- At the gate you will be welcomed by musicians playing folk song.
- You will get tourist friendly facilities like audio guides, a lift to the top.
What does Mehrangarh mean?
It is made up of two words:
- ‘Mihir’ (Sanskrit) – sun or Sun-deity
- ‘garh’ (Sanskrit) – fort
Mehrangarh means ‘fort of the sun’ – a reference to the clan’s mythical origin, from the sun god Surya.
History of this Fort
Rao Jodha (one of 24 sons of Ranmal) became the fifteenth Rathore ruler.
One year after he became king of the throne, Jodha decided to move his capital to the safer location of Jodhpur, as the 1000 years old Mandore fort was no longer able to provide sufficient security.
With the trusted aid of Rao Nara (son of Rao Samra) the Mewar forces were defeated at Mandore. With that Rao Jodha gave Rao Nara the title of Diwan.
With the help of Rao Nara the foundation and construction of the fort was started on date May 12, 1459 by Jodha on a rocky hill 9 km to the south of Mandore. This hill was known as ‘Bhaurcheeria’, the mountain of birds.
To build the fort Rao Jodha had to displace a hermit called Cheeria Nathji (the lord of birds).
Upset at being forced to move Cheeria Nathji cursed Rao Jodha that “Jodha! May your castle ever suffer a scarcity of water!”
Rao Jodha managed to please the hermit by building a house and a temple in the fort very near the cave where the hermit used to meditate (Yoga), though only to the extent that even today the area is plagued by a drought every 3 to 4 years.
He started to build the fort but the fort would destroy itself the next day. To ensure the prosperity of the new site he buried a man called “Raja Ram Meghwal” (of Soorsagar) alive in the foundations.
“Raja Ram Meghwal” was promised that in return his family would be looked after by the Rathores. To this day his children still live in Raj Bagh of Soorsagar. Raja Ram Meghwal Garden, an estate given to them by Jodha.
Though the fort was originally started in 1459 by Rao Jodha. Most of the fort which stands today dates from the period of Jaswant Singh (1638–78).
Temples located in the Fort
1. The Chamunda Mataji Temple
The Chamunda Mataji was favorite goddess of Rao Jodha. He brought her idol from the old capital of Mandore in 1460 and installed her in Mehrangarh (Maa Chamunda is the kul-devi of Parihar caste of Jodhpur, the then rulers of Jodhpur). She remains the Isht Devi (adopted goddess) of the Maharaja and the Royal Family and is worshipped by most of citizens of Jodhpur as well. Crowds visits this temple at Mehrangarh during the Dussehra celebrations.
2. 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 when Meherangarh was constructed the idol was placed here.
Movies Filmed in the Fort
The 500-year-old fort is a popular site for filiming. It was one of the filming locations for the movie ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’ which was released in June 2012 and ‘Veer’.
Mehrangarh Fort Museum
The museum in the Mehrangarh fort is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan.
The museum exhibits the heritage of the Rathores like arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms.
Mehrangarh Museum Trust
The Mehrangarh Museum Trust was settled in March 1972 by His Highness The Maharaja Gaj Singh II with the principal objective of setting up a world class museum in Jodhpur.
It was intended that this museum eventually house and display the Maharaja’s substantial collections of miniature paintings, portraits, books and manuscripts, weapons, textiles and tents, elephant howdahs and palanquins, and various objects of art.
Timings of the Fort
It is open Sunday to Saturday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Entry Fee to the Fort
For International Guests:
Mehrangarh Museum: Rs. 400
Jaswant Thada: Rs. 30
For Domestic Guest:
Mehrangarh Museum: Rs. 60
Jaswant Thada: Rs. 15
Note: On account of Jodhpur Foundation Day on 12th May entry for all guests is free and only elevator charges are applicable. Cool, isn’t it 😉 .
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there Gardens around the Fort?
Rao Jodha Park is located near Mehrangarh Fort. For more Info visit: www.raojodhapark.com
What type of events are organized in the Fort?
You can find information of all the upcoming events at:
Is Mehrangarh Fort Haunted?
No. If you have been told that it is haunted, then either you have been misguided or what you heard was for another fort of Rajasthan 🙂 .
Who is the present king of Mehrangarh Fort?
The Maharaja Gaj Singh II is the present king of Jodhpur & the fort. For the information of all the kings of Jodhpur read Rulers of Jodhpur.
Does the fort has a website?
Anything else can I find out about the fort?
I could have said everything that has already been said, but it won’t be wiser. This article has everything you need to know about the fort.
And, for further reading go to these websites:
Final Words about this Stunning Fort…
Mehrangarh Fort is well preserved heritage of India. You must visit it at least once in your lifetime.
You will be enchanted by its views and palaces. I promise that 🙂