Owing to our rich history and its mesmerizing culture, India boasts of many spectacular forts and palaces built by the mighty rulers which stands as testimony for the aura, valor, power and dignity of the dynasties which ruled the states. These forts are standing tall and proud fortifying in itself the indulgence, elegance and romance of our forefathers. One such fort, the Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India, is located in the city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
The Mehrangarh is mainly made of two words namely 'mihir' meaning sun or sun-deity and 'garh' means fort. Both words are in Sanskrit. Mehrangarh meanr 'fort of Sun', a reference to the clans mythical origin, from the sun god, Surya.
Perched at the top of 400ft above the city of Jodhpur, it is named after the sun Deity, from whom the Rathores claim descent. Mehrangarh was a seat of the Rathores rulers from the house of Marwars. the foundation of the fort was laid by Rao Jodha, a Rathore ruler on May 12, 1459. Its 125 feet high towering battlements are made of solid stone and are almost six meters thick.
Entry to the fort is through a series of seven gates, among which the most prominent are Jai Pol meaning the victory gate, the Fateh Pol, Dedh Kamgra Pol and the Lodha Pol.Within the fort there are several palaces, which include Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana.
The musuem houses a collection of palanquins, howdahs, royal cradles, miniatures, musical instruments, costumes and furniture which are still in intact condition. Some of this ironic things are still in display enacting the culture and customs.
Every ruler left his mark on the walls of these forts, wherein lies the beauty of Mehrangarh's beauty, as at present it is a magnificent blend of different reigns and ages, styles and influences, compulsions and dreams.
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. 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.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.
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’.
The Mehrangarh fort, still with its beauty and might is the living proof of the hard work and skill of the Jodhpuri sculptors.