Mehrangarh Fort, located in Jodhpur city in Rajasthan state, is one of the largest forts in India.
The fort is situated 400 feet (122 m) above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Inside its boundaries there are several palaces known for their intricate carvings and expansive courtyards.
Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons.A winding road leads to and from the city below. The imprints of cannonball hits by attacking armies of Jaipur can still be seen on the second gate. To the left of the fort is the chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda, a soldier who fell on the spot defending the Mehrangarh fort.
There are seven gates, which include Jayapol (meaning 'victory'), built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. Fattehpol (also meaning 'victory') gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of the Mughals. The palm imprints upon these still attract much attention even today.
Much has been written about the Citadel of the Sun, for truly, it is one of the most impressive in all Rajasthan. So colossal are its proportions that Rudyard Kipling called it “ the work of giants”. Today, it is acknowledged as the finest living example of a Hindu fortress.
Jodha’s fortress was 'Chao Burja' – a fort with four Bastions. The extremities of the original fortress fall within the limit of the second gate today. Of Jodha’s time itself, very little remains, the fort expanded beyond his outer gates within fifty years of his death but the spot where this gate stood is known as “ Rao Jodhaji Ka Falsa” ( Jodha’s outer limit of the boundary). In its Janampatri the fort is named Chintamani, after the Mythological gem worn by lord Ram which supposedly frees the owner of all worldly worry. Chintamani gave way to Mordhwaj, the flag of the peocock, presumably because the forts outer parameter suggests the fan like tail of a dancing peacock, It is at some point after this that the name Mehrangarh began to appear in chronicles and poems. “Mehr” is a Rajasthani word for the sun and it is not at all unlikely that the Suryavanshi Rathores would name their first citadel in their mythological ancestor’s honour.
The museum in the Mehrangarh fort is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan. In one section of the fort museum there is a selection of old royal palanquins, including the elaborate domed gilt Mahadol palanquin, which was won in a battle from the Governor of Gujarat in 1730. The museum exhibits the heritage of the Rathores in arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms.