Mehrangarh Fort

A renowned landmark of Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in the city. An ideal vantage point for the panoramic view of Jodhpur, one can trek to the top to see the city spread like a blue ocean at the foot of a hill. The fort is a magnum opus known for its exquisite latticed windows, carved panels, intricately decorated windows and walls of the Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal and Sheesh Mahal that sit pretty within the vast, sprawling complex of the fort.

Head next to the Elephant Howdah gallery on the southern side of Shringar Chowk, which displays the elephant seats used by the royals of Jodhpur. The most striking of these is the silver howdah presented to Maharaja Jaswant Singh I (1629-1678), the ruler of Marwar, by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, as a symbol of honour.

You can then proceed to the palanquin gallery, displaying the primary means of transport of royal ladies; the Daulat Khana, literally translating to wealth store, where the royal treasury was kept; the painting gallery, showcasing a marvellous collection of miniature paintings of the Marwar School; cloth gallery, where the plush carpets, rich brocades and heavy velvets of the royals of Jodhpur have been preserved; the Sileh Khana, which was the royal armoury; and galleries where exquisite wooden crafts, cradles and turbans of the princely families can be viewed.

There are seven gates that need to be crossed in order to reach the fort. The gates still bear the marks of the battles fought in the past. One of the seven gates has been named Jaya Pol, meaning victory. It was built by Maharaja Man Singh, the ruler of Jaipur, to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. Fateh Pol was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh (1861-1901), the ruler of Marwar, to celebrate the defeat of the Mughals.

The work done on the fort is so impressive, famous author, Rudyard Kipling of The Jungle Book fame, once referred to it as �the work of giants�!

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