In October last month, I had an opportunity to visit Jodhpur. Courtesy of the cultural fest of National Law University, Jodhpur, NH-65. So whenever you go to a fest in a different city, you also get an opportunity to experience the local culture. There is a lot to see and do in Jodhpur. After all, it is one of the many colorful cities in Rajasthan. Now, one of the most famous places to visit in Jodhpur is the Mehrangarh fort which I visited for the third time thanks to this trip.
In my opinion, the Mehrangarh fort is one of the most magnificent forts in Jodhpur and all of Rajasthan. Located on the top of a hill, the fort is a sight to behold. For over five centuries Mehrangarh has been the headquarters of the senior branch of Rajput clan known as the Rathores. In the olden times, it was used as a military base. But that is not all.
It was also a palace for the rulers and their wives; a centre of patronage for the arts, music, literature. Further, it has many temples and shrines for worship. These diverse uses are reflected in many buildings within.
The current head of the Rathore clan and custodian of the fort, Maharaja Gaj Singh II, has preserved the buildings and developed the museum as a record of the lives of his predecessors. His ancestors ruled the state of Marwar and over many generations built this architectural treasure, and it falls to him to ensure that their legacy is maintained and understood.
As you enter the fort, a breathtaking view of the city greets you. It is in this moment that you realise why it is called the Blue City. Almost all of the houses 400 feet below are painted blue that looks so pleasing to the eyes. There is also a museum within the fort. It has beautiful palanquins, outfits and weapons used in the earlier times. It is amazing how well preserved all these items are.
Climbing up one of the many stairs, you enter wide courtyards that are used for traditional dance performances till date. If you peek into a window, one also sees the bedroom of the queens. Beautiful glass work adorns the walls of these rooms and for a quick second you forget you are in the 21st century.
What I also really like about this fort is that the staff here is courteous and extremely people friendly. For instance, I was wearing this traditional outfit for clicking pictures and one of them wanted to click a picture with me! These are little memories that people take along with themselves. Talking about people friendly, you will also find water coolers everywhere in the fort which is great. One does not need to buy water bottles over and over again since you can simply carry your own and refill them. This is amazing and very environment friendly. So kudos to that!
Finally, this fort is HUGE! So you need atleast 3-4 hours to really enjoy it and maybe even more if you love to dig deeper into history. Plan accordingly. And of course, Mehrangarh fort is a mecca for those who love to click pictures. There are some absolutely stunning places inside the fort to get those Instagram worthy shots. It is my advice to, thus, choose your outfit wisely. But keep your footwear comfortable, it is a long walk up (and down)!
Have you visited the Mehrangarh fort or will you like to visit it after reading this? Let me know in the comments below!
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