The Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur crowns at a rocky hill 400 feet above the surrounding plain and looks to command and blend with the surroundings.
It is one of the largest forts in Rajasthan and it contains some of the finest palaces and many rare antiques of Indian courtly life of Mehrangarh Fort and museum.
Rao Chunda (r. 1384-1428), the thirteenth Rathore to govern in Marwar, made Mandore his capital after acquiring it as part of a dowry. Rao Jodha (r. 1438-89) initiated construction on a new fort six miles south, on an isolated rock with a higher height and more robust natural defenses.
Jodhpur, the town that grew under the rule of Rao Jodha, was named after him. Mehrangarh, also called the fort of the sun, was called after the clan’s mythological ancestry from the Sun God Surya. Its wall is over 500 yards long, reaches a height of 120 feet in sections, and is 70 feet thick.
In this article, we will discuss some of the top interesting facts about Mehrangarh Fort, along with its history and more information.
A Brief About The History of Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur
Rao Jodha established Jodhpur in 1459. He was the 15th Rathore ruler and the son of Maharaja Ram Mal. Rao Jodha had governed from the Fort of Mandore, but because of security concerns, he relocated his capital to Jodhpur.
With Rao Nara’s assistance, Rao Jodha constructed the foundation for the Fort on Bhaucheeria hill, 9 kilometers from Mandore.
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur has been the headquarters of the Rajput clan’s senior branch, known as the Rathores, for over five centuries.
According to their bards, the ruling dynasty of this clan once dominated Kanauj (in what is known as Uttar Pradesh). However, like other prominent medieval Rajput monarchs, notably the famed Prithviraj Chauhan, they were defeated by Afghan invaders at the end of the 12th century.
This disaster caused instability and migration among the early Rajput clans they commanded. The Rathores arrived in Pali, Marwar, today in central Rajasthan.
They were supposed to settle there to safeguard Brahmin settlements from cattle-rustling indigenous tribes. The myth may appear whimsical, but the priestly caste’s protection is one of the traditional tasks allocated to the Rajputs.
Their mission in Pali served as the foundation for their growing regional dominance.
Shri Karni Mata, a Charan caste sage’s daughter, lay the Fort’s foundation. Because the Sun god was the principal deity of the Rathores, the Fort was named Mehrangarh, where Mehran means Sun and Garh means Fort.
The Fort’s foundation was constructed during Rao Jodha’s reign and was sustained by many monarchs. From 1531 to 1562, Maldeo governed and erected some constructions within the Fort.
Then, from 1707 to 1724, Maharaja Ajit Singh built some structures. Following him, Maharaja Takhat Singh, who ruled from 1843 until 1872, continued to make the Fort.
Maharaja Hanwant Singh, who ruled from 1947 until 1952, was the last ruler. Rao Jodha spent approximately Rs. Nine lakhs to construct the Fort.
Rudyard Kipling described Mehrangarh Fort as “a palace that may have been erected by Titans and colored by the dawn sun,” and we completely agree!
This jewel in Jodhpur is one of India’s largest and most gorgeous forts, epitomizing monarchy and glory. The Fort, which overlooked the blue city and was built by Rao Jodha (the founder of Jodhpur) in 1459, is recognized for its exquisite architecture.
Suggested Reading: 5 BEST STREET FOOD PLACES IN JODHPUR
Mehrangarh Fort Facts
1. Cheeria Nathji’s Curse and Rao Jodha’s Efforts to Get Over It
According to folklore, a hermit named Cheeria Nathji used to meditate on the hill where Rao Jodha decided to build the Fort and forced the hermit to leave. Nathji cursed Rao’s family, warning that his Fort would suffer from a lack of water.
On the other hand, Rao Jodha had built a house and a temple for Nathji in the fort. To avoid the curse, Rao buried a guy named Rajiya Bambi alive to ensure that the new Fort was auspicious.
In exchange, the guy was promised that the Rathores would look after and reimburse his family and successors. Even today, the fort is subjected to draughts every 3-4 years.
2. Mehrangarh Found Its Name From the Sun
Sun was considered the most powerful God in the Rathore dynasty. As a result, they named the fort ‘Mehrangarh,’ a name drawn from two words: ‘Mihir,’ which stands for Sun, and ‘Garh,’ which means Fort. Locals began to refer to Mehar-Garh as Mehrangarh in their native tongue, hence the name.
3. Numerous Bollywood and Hollywood Movies Have Been Shot in Mehrangarh
Along with being a major attraction for tourists, it is also a famous spot for movie shooting. Some of the famous movies made in Mehrangarh include:
- Hum Saath Saath Hai
- Tere Naam
- Shuddh Desi Romance
- Thugs of Hindustan
4. Mehrangarh is Home to Several Palaces
The fort is defended by 118-foot-high and 69-foot-wide walls, and it still houses numerous palaces famed for their beautiful carvings and large courtyards.
In addition, the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur contains a museum that has an extensive collection of Rathore monarchs’ paintings, clothing, guns, and ammunition. It also has Mughal empire antiquities and artifacts.
5. Handprints of Royal Satis Are Still There on Walls
The handprints of the spouses of emperors of Jodhpur can still be seen on the walls of the fort.
When the queens were going for performing sati, they took along the holy book of Bhagavad Gita. However, the book didn’t perish.
6. Famous Chamunda Mata Temple is Part of Mehrangarh Fort
During the Jodhpur Tour by car or bus, you must also visit the Chamunda Mata Temple. This famous temple is also located inside the Mehrangarh Fort and you can visit it without an entry fee.
7. Mehrangarh Shows Why Jodhpur is Called Blue City
If you are wondering why Jodhpur is called the Blue City, then you will find the answer at Mehrangarh fort. When you reach the top of the fort, you will have an incredible view showing the houses painted in blue.
8. Cafes and Shops Inside Fort
As one of the best places to visit in Jodhpur, Mehrangarh also has some top-class cafes inside for tourists. You can have a good time during the visit, especially in summer.
9. Traces of Cannonballs Can Be Seen on Fort Walls
The Mehrangarh Fort has seven gates that different monarchs built to commemorate the victory over the forces of Bikaner and Jaipur. The Dedh Kamagra Gate still bears the traces of cannonballs fired by the Jaipur army.
10. UNESCO Endorses Jodhpur RIFF Festival Every Year At Mehrangarh
Jodhpur RIFF Festival or Rajasthan International Folk Festival is a non-profit music festival hosted once a year at the fort. UNESCO endorses it to support the local talent.
Jodhpur is undoubtedly an exciting city to explore. While visiting it, you simply can’t miss the incredible fort, especially after knowing these interesting Mehrangarh Fort facts. If you know about some more such facts, let us know in the comments.
Also, if you are planning to visit the city, book a reliable taxi in Jodhpur for a convenient experience in local sightseeing.