Inside Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur | A guide to its history, architecture & tips to visit

First Published on July 19, 2016

Across the courtyards, past the 7 massive gates
Are some elegant palaces with their dazzling illuminates.
Spot these ancient treasures & imagine the erstwhile court 
As you walk along inside Mehrangarh Fort.

A complete guide to the history, architecture & interiors of one of the best Jodhpur forts. Take a virtual tour of the Mehrangarh fort and get tips to plan your actual visit here.  

There is enough said and written about Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. It is recognized as one of the best-maintained forts in India. I totally concur with this. Among all the forts I have seen, this was one of the most stunning forts and is my current favorite. I spent half a day inside Mehrangarh Fort and still feel like visiting this Jodhpur Kila again. The fort is an absolute delight for photographers and a treasure trove for heritage buffs.

All ready for a walk through Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur, Rajasthan
All ready for a walk through Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Throughout my tour of Jodhpur Mehrangarh fort, I felt so overwhelmed and frenzied. There was just so much to capture and absorb. From the mesmerizing Mehrangarh fort history to its incredible architecture and interiors, you will find yourself completely engrossed and maybe, even lost. This Mehrangarh fort guide is all about making your journey through this Jodhpur fort easier.

In this blog article, I will be sharing all the things to see inside Mehrangarh fort Jodhpur. I have also, covered useful tips like how to get here, the best time to visit, the Mehrangarh museum and entry fees and more. So get ready for a whirlwind tour of this Jodhpur attraction.

Contents

History of Mehrangarh fort Jodhpur

Mehrangarh fort on a hillock that overlooks the blue city of Jodhpur
Mehrangarh fort on a hillock that overlooks the blue city of Jodhpur

Located on a hillock, this huge fort looks over the blue city of Jodhpur. For over 500 years, it functioned as the capital of Marwar. However, this wasn’t always the case. The initial capital of Marwar was Mandore. For over a century, the Rathore clan ruled from there. However, the place had already witnessed quite offered better protection. Once this “citadel of Sun” (Mehrangarh) was built, Mandore was left abandoned.

The first glance of the ruins of Mandore Gardens

Though abandoned, Mandore is not completely lost. In fact, you can still visit it when you are in Jodhpur. Check out my complete guide on Mandore

History has it that when Maharaja Rao Jodha decided to build a fort on this hillock – Bhaurcheeria (mountain of birds), he upset a hermit staying here. The hermit known as Cheeria Nathji (Lord of birds) was angry that he was losing his home and initially refused to move out. Finally, the Maharaja sought help from the powerful warrior God – Karni Mataji. It was only upon her request that the hermit finally moved out – but not before cursing the King. He told Rao Jodha that his land would always suffer from a drought. The Maharaja managed to calm the saint down by getting him a house and a temple near the same cave that he used. However, since the curse could not be revoked, a human sacrifice was used to alter the effects of the curse.

This is where Raja Ram Meghwal, a resident of Jodhpur willing offered his life in exchange for a favor that his wife and sons would be taken care of by the King for eternity. He was buried alive and the king build the epic Mehrangarh fort. Pretty gruesome, if you ask me – but well, it is the dark secret of this fort.

Maharaja Rao Jodha shifted the capital of Marwar from Mandore to Mehrangarh fort Jodhpur
Maharaja Rao Jodha shifted the capital of Marwar from Mandore to Mehrangarh fort Jodhpur

The first year of construction of Mehrangarh fort is recorded as 1459. However, the subsequent Maharajas kept expanding the fort for over 500 years. The fort did face a few wars – including one called the siege of Mehrangarh in 1807 during which the Jaipur army surrounded this Jodhpur fort for almost 6 months. However, this Jodhpur fort remained strong and did not face any major destruction. Today, it is still owned by them and it is the trust established by the current owner – Maharaja Gaj Singh II that runs the Mehrangarh fort museum and maintains it.

The Mehrangarh fort architecture and layout

Mehrangarh fort architecture - an eclectic mix of styles that transcend the period from 17th century to 20th century
Mehrangarh fort architecture – an eclectic mix of styles that transcend the period from 17th century to 20th century

With a history of over 500 years of construction, it is not surprising that Mehrangarh fort architecture is a potpourri of styles. As you walk inside Mehrangarh fort Rajasthan, in some places you will spot Rajputana style as well as Mughal architecture. In fact, some of the Mehrangarh palaces like the Phool Mahal resemble Shahjahan’s abode. There are several other variations that you will see as you enjoy the Mehrangarh fort interiors.

However, there is no clear demarcation of these styles. Nor is there a progression from the old to new structures. You will, in fact, find some of the older structures too, with some new architectural decor. These are the changes made by the different Maharajas during their rule.

The primary material used in the construction of this  Jodhpur Kila is sandstone
The primary material used in the construction of this Jodhpur Kila is sandstone

The Jodhpur Mehrangarh fort is spread over 5 km and has walls that are 120 feet high & 70 feet wide. Along with the hill, this fort is almost 400 feet high over the blue city. There are seven gates that lead to numerous courtyards and palaces within the fort premises. You will also, find living temples within the Mehrangarh fort, some of which are still revered by the locals. Most of the palace has been made using red sandstone but here and there, you will find an elaborate use of marble.

One of the windows inside Mehrangarh Fort
One of the windows inside Mehrangarh Fort
Close up of some of the Jhalis or windows of Mehrangarh Fort
Close up of some of the Jhalis or windows of Mehrangarh Fort

As you begin exploring inside Mehrangarh fort, you will find yourself falling in love with the artistic sandstone doors and windows. For those on the outside, the jhalis or the lattice screens appear as floral walls but for the women, they offered a clear view of the proceedings in the courtyard. The eaves over the windows and roofs are multi-layered -each with its own set of carvings. The overall effect left me completely stunned.

It is time, we embark through those mighty gates and see the Mehrangarh fort interiors for ourselves.

Things to see inside Mehrangarh Fort Rajasthan

The mighty walls of Mehrangarh fort
The mighty walls of Mehrangarh fort

The sheer size of the Mehrangarh fort should have you prepared for an upcoming frenzy. However, I have you covered with this guide to the main attractions of Mehrangarh fort. Make sure you have bookmarked this post so that you can open it when you get there and have it handy. You can always go back and forth between the sections through the table of contents to ensure you have your checklist covered.

The seven Mehrangarh fort gates

Seven massive gates and each one is associated with a legend of its own. Many of them were added to celebrate victory and then there were some that just added extra protection. The only way in is to pass all seven gates and that too, by foot. Yes, you will have to prepare yourself for a long walk – with some parts that go uphill. There is no other way to get inside Mehrangarh fort.

Entrance to Mehrangarh Fort – Jai Pol

The chhatri of Kirit Sodha at the first gate of Mehrangarh fort
The chhatri of Kirit Sodha at the first gate of Mehrangarh fort

The entrance to the fort is very impressive.  I think we spent, around 5 minutes, trying to just grab pictures near the entrance. We had to literally prod each other to move on. The entrance itself had some interesting sights.  – starting with this Chhatri of Kirat Singh Sodha.

Pulley system at the top of Mehrangarh Fort Rajasthan
Pulley system at the top of Mehrangarh Fort Rajasthan

This was a memorial for a brave soldier called Kirat Singh Sodha, who lost his life while defending this Jodhpur kila against the Jaipur army during the siege of Mehrangarh. Just above that was this unusual small hook and pulley system high up on the walls. There was no explanation given for this but my guess is that it was possibly a way to lower things and get things into the fort – given its height.

Jai Pol -the first of the Mehrangarh Fort gates
Jai Pol -the first of the Mehrangarh Fort gates
Miniature paintings of the Marwar school of art that can be see on Jai Pol gate of Mehrangarh kila
Miniature paintings of the Marwar school of art that can be seen on Jai Pol gate of Mehrangarh kila

And finally, the creamy gorgeous gate with its artistic carvings. This gate was an addition to the original fort by Maharaja Man Singh and is called the Victory Gate or the Jai Pol. It was done to commemorate his victory over the Jaipur army. Don’t miss the lovely paintings from Hindu history and mythology near the gate. These are paintings are examples of miniature art belonging to the Marwar school of art.

Fateh Pol – Victory gate

This one is a little smaller and was made to commemorate the victory of the Rathores over the Mughals in 1707. This was made by Maharaja Ajit Singh. While passing through this gate, you get a lovely view of the towering palace of Mehrangarh – the white exteriors contrasting the reddish-brown walls. 

Gopal Pol gate

You can identify this gate with its huge spiked doors that could stop a rampaging elephant. The gate seemed to be made as a security measure.

Dedh Kangra Pol of Mehrangarh kila

Through the Dedh Kambra Pol of Mehrangarh Fort
Through the Dedh Kambra Pol of Mehrangarh Fort

The significance of the Dedh Kangra gate lies in its walls. You will see circular depressions on the wall that were made by the cannon balls from an enemy attack. I was told that these were attacks from Jaipur. Our guide told us that despite these attacks, the fort did not fall into the hands of the enemy and stood strong.

Cannon ball marks on the walls of Mehrangarh Fort
Cannon ball marks on the walls of Mehrangarh Fort
The spot of human sacrifice done before building Mehrangarh Fort
The spot of human sacrifice done before building Mehrangarh Fort

Another significant thing here was this memorial – an ode to the human sacrifice made when building this fort. This is where you will see a small sign indicating the place where Raja Ram Meghwal was buried alive.

The wall opposite this place was the original place where the Mehrangarh Fort ended. So far, all that we had seen, were extensions of the original palace – all done by the generations that followed Maharaja Rao Jodha. Here is where you discover another color to the mix of what I had already noted the fort for – white, brown and now red.

Maruti Pol

This is just an arched entrance between the two most important gates of Mehrangarh fort (Dedh Kangra and Loha pol)

Loha Pol – one of the most important gates of Mehrangarh fort

Musicians near the Loha Pol of Jodhpur's Mehrangarh fort
Musicians near the Loha Pol of Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh fort

The climb to the next gate is a steep one and a colorful one. You will pass by tons of musicians, puppeteers and dancers along the way till you reach a huge iron gate – aptly named Loha PolLoha means iron and the gate with its sharp spikes totally justifies this name. This gate is a sharp turn, intended to slow the army further. It is here you will unravel another dark tale of this fort.

The Loha pol - an important gate of Mehrangarh Fort
The Loha pol – an important gate of Mehrangarh Fort
Handprints of the Queens who became Sati at the Loha gate
Handprints of the Queens who became Sati at the Loha gate

By the side of this gate, you will see 16 handprints. These are not ordinary hand prints but the last memories of women who left the Mehrangarh fort to commit Sati. One wall has that of the concubines while the wall opposite it has 5 hand prints of the Queens of Maharaja Ajit Singh.

Suraj Pol

Suraj Pol is the innermost gate of this mighty Jodhpur Kila. Cross this and you will be standing in one of the main courtyards of Mehrangarh fort – the Shringar Chowk.

Shringar Chowk inside Mehrangarh Fort

Contrast of colors seen as you get inside Mehrangarh Fort
Contrast of colors seen as you get inside Mehrangarh Fort

Once you have passed through the Loha gate, you will fully appreciate the contrasting play gorgeous colors of Mehrangarh Fort. Red against whites, with the intricate work on the exteriors – mesmerizing indeed. A short climb up and you come to a center courtyard called the Shringar Chowk. This is where you see a white marble throne – one that was used for shringar of the new King. Essentially, the coronation ceremony.

White marble throne in the Shringar Chowk of Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
White marble throne in the Shringar Chowk of Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
The cornation courtyard of Mehrangarh fort
The cornation courtyard of Mehrangarh fort
Carved windows and facade that form the backdrop of the throne kept in Shringar Chowk
Carved windows and facade that form the backdrop of the throne kept in Shringar Chowk

This white throne sits against the backdrop of delicately carved windows. An effect that is unique and trademarked to Mehrangarh Fort. Various stunning doorways beckoned me and I was actually lost and confused as to where to continue my journey. Soon enough, I discovered that one of those doorways leads to a cafe, two are out of bounds for visitors and the remaining one is the start of your journey through the Mehrangarh fort museum.

The carved doorway - a lovely sample of the classic Mehrangarh fort architecture
The carved doorway – a lovely sample of the classic Mehrangarh fort architecture

The galleries of Mehrangarh Fort Museum

Mehrangarh fort museum has been created in what was the original durbar hall of Mehrangarh fort. Today it has well-curated galleries that take you back to the glory days of this fort. The galleries are interspersed with magnificent palaces or period rooms. Hence, you are unlikely to experience it in the same sequence that I have mentioned in this Mehrangarh fort guide. Wherever possible, I have indicated its exact location in the Mehrangarh fort.

Palanquins & Howdahs Gallery

One of the exhibits in the Howdah gallery inside Mehrangarh fort museum
One of the exhibits in the Howdah gallery inside Mehrangarh fort museum

I have often seen pictures of palanquins and howdahs used by the royalty but never really paid attention to how ornate or unusual they can be. The exhibits at the museum made me realize how short-sighted I was. In those days, even the most mundane of things were so artistic, never mind the howdahs and palanquins. Here are some of the unique howdahs used by the Kings.

P.S : One of which has been presented by Emperor Shahjahan of the Taj Mahal fame to Maharaja Jaswant Singh.

A Silver- Wooden Howdah presented by Emperor Shahjahan to Maharaja Jaswant Singh
A Silver- Wooden Howdah presented by Emperor Shahjahan to Maharaja Jaswant Singh

It was not just the mount on the elephant that was artistic. The royal elephant itself, was decked in unique gear. You will find these pinned up on the walls.

The women folk were generally moved around in palanquins, which could be covered with a cloth so that the lady was not seen by the public. Of course, this is not to say that the men did not use palanquins. They did too. And the choice they had! Don’t miss the glass and lacquer one that is on display in this Mehrangarh fort gallery. There is also a European one with a glass-eyed peacock that also, has a sharp beak to provide added protection to the royalty

The glass-eyed peacock palanquin kept in Mehrangarh fort museum
The glass-eyed peacock palanquin kept in Mehrangarh fort museum
The Ornate Palanquin for the royalty of Mehrangarh
The Ornate Palanquin for the royalty of Mehrangarh

My personal favorite here was an ornate palanquin made of gold and glass. It reminded me of the golden howdah that I had seen in the Mysore Palace. Of course, this one was much larger.

Golden Howdah kept in the Gombe Thotti section of the Mysuru Palace
Golden Howdah kept in the Gombe Thotti section of the Mysuru Palace

Check out this golden howdah that is displayed at the Mysore Palace in India. This one is made of 84 kgs of gold and the best part – it is still used. Read more about it

The Hookah Bar at Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur

When I heard the story of Sati at Mehrangarh fort, one thought that I constantly kept having was – how did these women even have the courage to throw themselves in a live fire? The answer to some extent was given by this hookah system.

Set up for the Opium ceremony
Set up for the Opium ceremony

Opium smoking was considered to be fashionable by the royalty and there were elaborate parties and ceremonies for the same. Especially for women who were going to be Sati. The opium made them lose fear and made the entire ordeal a lot easier. Funny – how one vice was used to ease a dark ritual.

Daulat Khana

War tents on display inside the Daulat Khana gallery of Mehrangarh fort museum
War tents on display inside the Daulat Khana gallery of Mehrangarh fort museum

Daulat Khana, which literally translates into “treasure room“. A befitting name for the treasures it houses. Capturing all these treasures into a single post is impossible and hence, I am leaving you with the highlights. Palanquins, howdahs and hookahs, I have already shared. Take a look at the elaborate war tent that were used back then.

Artistic shield displayed in the Daulat Khana
Artistic shield displayed in the Daulat Khana

Aside from this, a collection of really “artistic” weapons are on display. The hilts of the swords and the guns were just so amazing that was hard to believe they were even used in warfare. Take this shield as an example. If someone were to thrust this on my face, I would have stopped attacking. Who would want to damage such a piece of art?

Jewelry Box on display at Daulat Khana of Mehrangarh Fort
Jewelry Box on display at Daulat Khana of Mehrangarh Fort

And of course, some girlie things that appealed to the feminine side of me. My favorite – is this jewelry case. I loved the cute little key that it had. It reminded me of all those fairy tales. Don’t you think it is adorable?

Sileh Khana or the arms gallery

The spears of Sileh Khana inside Mehrangarh fort museum
The spears of Sileh Khana inside Mehrangarh fort museum

You will encounter this gallery after a few palaces- specifically after the Jhanki Mahal. This armoury section displays all the weapons used by the Marwar army. You will find spears to arrows and guns on display in this section.

Painting gallery

A display of the Marwar miniature painting inside Mehrangarh Museum
A display of the Marwar miniature painting

The painting gallery of Mehrangarh museum honors the glorious heritage art of miniature paintings. These miniature paintings belong to the Marwar school of art which was patronized by the Rathores. The displays of this gallery keep changing with the theme that stays on for 2 years. If you want to know the current theme on display, check the latest information on this website.

Textiles gallery of Mehrangarh Museum

This gallery is somewhere between the Phool Mahal and Sheesh Mahal palaces of Mehrangarh fort. It exhibits the ornate fabrics used as furnishings to decorate the Mehrangarh fort interiors. You will find plush Persian carpets, silk & velvet brocades, tent hangings along with the royal outfits worn by the erstwhile residents of the fort. There is an amazing display of turbans that were used by the royalty in this section.

Mehrangarh fort palaces | Period rooms

When you have over 500 years of inhabitation, you can expect a lot of variety in the residential quarters. The palaces or the period rooms of this Jodhpur fort showcase grandeur in so many different ways. I can classify these palaces into three categories of period rooms

  • The Mardana or the King’s private chambers
  • The Zenana or the ladies’ area
  • The public audience halls

Personally, if you ask me, the tour of these palaces in Mehrangarh Kila was my favorite part of the entire visit. And you will soon see why!

Sheesh Mahal Jodhpur

Sheesh Mahal - one of the many Mehrangarh fort palaces or period rooms
Sheesh Mahal – one of the many Mehrangarh fort palaces or period rooms

The Sheesh Mahal was the bed chamber of Maharaja Ajit Singh (the same Maharaja for whom so many women become Satis). The elaborate glass and mirror work is what gave it the name “Glass palace” or the Sheesh Mahal. You can only see this chamber through a small enclosure. The same is perpetually crowded and owing to the rush, we could not really spend too much time here. However, those few minutes that we managed, were enough for us to realize how stunning this chamber was – with its colorful floral motifs interspersed by the mirror work and colorful paintings from Indian mythology.

Original mirror roof of the Mehrangarh Sheesh Mahal
Original mirror roof of the Mehrangarh Sheesh Mahal

The original mirror roof is what you see on the floor in the center of this room. Since the same had collapsed, a new one was built by the museum authorities. The original mirror work was so amazing that one candle lit here was enough to light up the entire chamber.

The Sheesh Mahal inside Amber Fort of Jaipur
The Sheesh Mahal inside Amber Fort of Jaipur

Sheesh Mahal is quite a common feature in the Rajasthani and Mughal palaces. This one is the mirror palace of the famous Amer fort in Jaipur. Quite different from the one that you see in Jodhpur and yet similar.

Phool Mahal of Mehrangarh fort in Rajasthan

Phool Mahal - a period room in Mehrangarh fort that is a part of the Mardana area
Phool Mahal – a period room in Mehrangarh fort that is a part of the Mardana area

Like the Sheesh Mahal, the Phool Mahal is also a part of the Mardana area. Phool Mahal translates to the Palace of flowers. This was built in the 18th century. A collective silence is what we got as soon as we entered this room and you can see why.

All kinds of colors filled up the room – from the ornate gold to the vibrant reds and blues. Built by Maharaja Abhay Singh, this room was used only by the men of the Royal family for their private celebrations – birthdays, ceremonies or even strategic and private meetings. If you notice the paintings on the walls here – they are of the members of the royal family. Everything about this room was just royal – from the gilded ceiling to the elaborately carpeted floors and stained glass windows.

The gilded ceilings and arch of Phool Mahal at Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
The gilded ceilings and arch of Phool Mahal at Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

I personally, felt a little too overwhelmed by the glitz of this room. I am surprised that it was not named “Sonar Mahal” or the Golden palace.  It was a little too ostentatious for my tastes, but then, who am I to complain? After so much bling, I really need to rest my eyes. Escaping into a small balcony, I found this pretty spiral staircase that gave my eyes a much-needed relief. Almost akin to smelling coffee beans after testing several fragrances.

Just a pretty staircase near the Phool Mahal
Just a pretty staircase near the Phool Mahal

Takhat Niwas

For a moment, I was wondering if they celebrated X’mas here. What with the X’mas balls hanging from the ceiling, till I was explained that these were the chambers of Maharaja Takhat Singh and he was a great patron of arts. If you note the interiors are filled with paintings from Hindu mythology. The X’mas balls? They were just a gift from the British and hence, were hung around.

One more funny thing that you can note here. Check the length of the bed. Wondering if the Maharaja was a dwarf?

One of Mehrangarh Fort's period rooms - Takhat Niwas
One of Mehrangarh Fort’s period rooms – Takhat Niwas

No! No such thing. He was a regular-sized man but the bed was deliberately made small so that his legs would touch the ground and if he was under attack, could react fast. Argh! Talk of Power and loss of sleep!

View of the Blue city from Mehrangarh Fort
View of the Blue city from Mehrangarh Fort

From here, you can just walk on the outer corridor and get some stunning views of the Blue City and of course, people enjoying their zip lines- which one of the most popular adventure activities offers in Mehrangarh fort. The activity is run by a company called Flying Fox and there are a total of 5 different lines that take you over the heritage fort walls.

Ziplines by Flying Fox - one of the things to do in Mehrangarh Fort
Ziplines by Flying Fox – one of the things to do in Mehrangarh Fort

Jhanki Mahal – the beginning of the women’s chambers

Posing in the terrace of Jhanki Mahal of Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort
Posing in the terrace of Jhanki Mahal of Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort

Jhanki Mahal translates to the Palace of Glimpses. To get to this chamber you pass through a small courtyard or terrace. This corridor with lattice work walls was a section for the women to observe the royal proceedings in the Shringar courtyard. Remember – women were not allowed in public.

The lattice windows of Jhanki Mahal terrace
The lattice windows of Jhanki Mahal terrace

Even the Queen mother could not attend her son’s coronation ceremony and could only watch it behind these screens. I took a peep from these screens and realized that it was literally a “keyhole view” of what was happening below. I thought of how I make it a point to be there for all my daughter’s events and how it was important for me to have a full view of all that she was doing, Given that, it made me feel sad for these royal ladies for they could never be fully involved at the palace. Their life was just behind these screens. Not exactly what I would bargain for. Maybe I would have been a rebel in those times. 

The ceiling of the Jhanki Mahal - the zenana chamber of the Mehrangarh fort
The ceiling of the Jhanki Mahal – the zenana chamber of the Mehrangarh fort
One of the cradles used for the royal babies kept in Jhanki Mahal of Mehrangarh Qila
One of the cradles used for the royal babies kept in Jhanki Mahal of Mehrangarh Qila
Love the elaborate carvings of the cradle
Love the elaborate carvings of the cradle

The Jhanki Mahal has rooms that were used by the Royal ladies to peep down at the royal proceedings in the courtyard. Currently, it has been converted into a gallery where the cradles of the royal children are displayed. Gosh! Even these were so unusual and artistic. 

Moti Mahal of Mehrangarh Fort

Moti Mahal of Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur
Moti Mahal of Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur

Moti means Pearl and this room was a perfect metaphor for this. One look at it and you know why I fell in love with it.

Moti Mahal was the “Hall of Public Audience” or the Diwan-e-Aam section of Mehrangarh Fort. It is supposed to be one of the oldest parts of this fort and was built by Sawai Raja Sur Singh. Compared to all the rooms that I had seen so far, this one was more to my taste.

The mirror ceiling of Moti Mahal in Mehrangarh fort Jodhpur
The mirror ceiling of Moti Mahal in Mehrangarh fort Jodhpur

The simple white finish of the lime plaster on the walls is awash with vibrant colors – thanks to the gorgeous stained glass windows and the stunning glass and mirrorwork ceilings. A little minimalist with a touch of extravagance.

Dipak Mahal

More than a palace, this is an administrative area where the Diwans and the other staff of the Maharaja sat and conducted their business. It was built initially in the 18th century by Maharaja Ajit Singh and later renovated by Maharaja Takhat Singh. There is a royal seat for the Maharaja in the chambers – in case he came by to conduct business.

Sardar Villas

The Sardar Villas was closed when I visited Mehrangarh fort. However, I am given to understand it is now a gallery of doors and windows that were used in the fort. You will find this somewhere in the Mardana area between Phool Mahal and Takhat Vilas.

Temples of Mehrangarh Fort

I admit that I did run short of time and had to give up the temples of Mehrangarh fort. However, I did get a glimpse of one of the most important ones – the Chamunda Mataji temple. This is dedicated to the family deity of the rulers – who is an incarnation of Durga Maa. The temple is still visited by the residents of Jodhpur and on the day I was in Mehrangarh, it was crowded owing to Dusshera and Durga Pooja.

Women visiting the Chamunda Mata temple in Mehrangarh fort during Dusshera
Women visiting the Chamunda Mata temple in Mehrangarh fort during Dusshera

I am given to understand that the idol in this temple is the original one that was carried by Rao Jodha from Mandore to Mehrangarh.

Mehrangarh Museum Shop

Some of the craft articles on sale in the Mehrangarh museum shop
Some of the craft articles on sale in the Mehrangarh museum shop

After you finish the palaces, you will find yourself exiting the Zenana courtyard or the Zenana Deodi. The courtyard is filled with lovely sandstone windows and jhalis. Past this, you will encounter the Mehrangarh Museum shop. It is here that you can shop for some museum artifacts – which aren’t too expensive but neither too cheap. From Bangles to bags and handicraft items, you can pick something for yourself or your home. 

Any purchase made in the Mehrangarh Museum shop is used for the preservation of not just this place but also, the fort in Nagaur forts. You can also, purchase these souvenirs online.

With that, I conclude this section on the key things to see in Mehrangarh fort. It is now time for some practical tips and answers to some FAQs about Mehrangarh Fort.

FAQs about Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan

What is the best way to reach Mehrangarh Fort?

Mehrangarh fort is located in Jodhpur which is one of the key cities of Rajasthan. You can get to Jodhpur by any of the following ways.

Jodhpur by air
Jodhpur has its own airport. However, it has a limited number of flights. Jaipur is the closest international airport with a very good frequency of flights. It is around 5.5 hours by road from Jaipur airport to Jodhpur.

By rail
Jodhpur is a major railway junction and is well connected by trains to the major cities of India. You will find numerous trains on a daily basis to this city

By road
You can hire a cab or car from any city in Rajasthan and get to Jodhpur by road. The road conditions in most parts is quite good. You will also, get a lot of tourist and private buses to Jodhpur from Jaipur and other cities.

Once in Jodhpur, you can hire any of the local transports – autos or cabs to get to the fort. There are tourist buses too that take you to Mehrangarh fort.

What is the best time to visit Mehrangarh Fort?

In terms of season, the best time to get to Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur would be from October to February when the weather is reasonably cool and pleasant. Jodhpur is a part of the Thar desert and you will find summers extremely cruel.

There are two major festivals that take place in Mehrangarh fort and planning a visit during that time will add a more vibrant touch to your trip here. The first is the Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk festival that takes place in October. During this festival you can witness some of the best folk performances of India .

The 2nd festival of Mehrangarh Fort is called Sacred Spirit Festival. This usually is celebrated in February. You can enjoy the soulful Sufi beats along with some of the best artists from across the world. For the exact dates of these festivals, you can check the dedicated webpages through the given links in this section.

What are the Mehrangarh fort timings?

Mehrangarh fort and museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day.

How much do the Mehrangarh Fort tickets cost?

For domestic visitors, the Mehrangarh entrance fees is INR 200, while international travelers will have to pay INR 600 for the same. If you wish to take an elevator to the highest point of the fort, you will have to pay an additional fee of INR 50. Do note that the elevator is only a one-way charge. You will need to climb down using stairs.

On 12th May, Mehrangarh fort celebrates the Jodhpur Foundation day. On this day, the entry to the fort is free.

What are the Mehrangarh Fort guide charges?

There are two types of guides available at Mehrangarh Fort – in person guides as well as audio guides. The audio guide is available for INR 180 for domestic travelers. For international travelers, it is a part of their entrance fees and they do not have to pay an additional amount for it. The guided tours are available in 11 different languages.

The charges for an in -person guide at Mehrangarh fort vary on the group strength. It is INR 500 for a group of 4 people and goes on to INR 1000 for a large group of 50 people. You can pay these charges at the ticket counter itself.

How much time does it take to visit Mehrangarh Fort?

I would highly recommend keeping at least 4 -5 hours aside to see Mehrangarh Fort. It would be ideal if you can keep aside another hour and visit the royal cenotaphs of Jaswant Thada that is close to the fort. The white and red monument is called the Taj Mahal of Marwar and is totally worth the stop.

Who is the current owner of Mehrangarh fort?

Maharaja Gaj Singhji is the current owner of Mehrangarh Fort. He has established a trust to preserve the heritage of this fort and the royal family.

Do you have to walk up the Mehrangarh fort or you can drive up?

You can drive up the hill to the Mehrangarh Fort entrance. There is ample parking available for your vehicle. From there, you will need to walk past the gates to the inner entrance of the fort.

It is also, possible to trek up the hill to the Mehrangarh fort.

How did Mehrangarh fort get its name?

The Rathore clan consider themselves as Suryavanshis – worshippers of Sun God. They decided to name their new abode in honor of their Lord. Initially it called called Mihirgarh – Mihir meaning Sun and Garh meaning fort. However, with the local dialect and accent, the name changed to Mehrangarh.

What is the famous quote of Rudyard Kipling on Mehrangarh Fort?

Rudyard Kipling, the famous English novelist described Mehrangarh Fort as “A palace that might have been built by Titans and colored by the morning sun”

Travel and Photography tips

  • There are two cafes located inside Mehrangarh fort – Cafe Mehran and Palki Cafe. You can opt for light meals and snacks at these places. Both of them are reasonably priced.
  • There are clean toilets and drinking water stations available inside the fort.
  • There is a fair amount of walking to be done. Comfortable shoes and clothes will make it easier and more enjoyable to tour the fort.
  • Carry a wide-angled lens as well as a zoom lens for capturing the architectural details of the place.
  • Tripods are not allowed inside the fort
  • If you are opting for the Zipline activity, remember to carry your action camera with you.

Before you go, pin this

Mehrangarh fort guide
Inside mehrangarh fort jodhpur
Mehrangarh fort tour 1

Booking Resources

  • Makemytrip.com is a good resource to book your flight tickets – both international as well as domestic. They have numerous offers going on that will help you get a good price.
  • Booking.com has several Jodhpur hotels listed on their site. You could use this link to browse and book the same.
  • If you prefer Agoda.com as a platform to book your hotels in Jodhpur, then you can use this link to get to the site and pick one.
  • Viator.com offers several tours in and around Jodhpur. You will even find a guided tour of Mehrangarh fort and Jaswant Thada fon the site. Use the link to discover more and book one for yourself.
  • Klook.com has various local tours and car bookings available that you can use to book your trip to Jodhpur .You can also, book special walking tours, cooking classes and other immersive experiences on their site.
  • For any of your travel needs or general shopping, consider using Amazon through this link.
Klook.com
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. Thank you for supporting me with this.
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86 thoughts on “Inside Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur | A guide to its history, architecture & tips to visit”

  1. Never been to Jodhpur, but have heard a lot about Mehrangarh fort, especially after the 2008 Batman movie. And I must say that as compare to other forts in Rajasthan or north India, this one is quite clean. I think the Jodhpur royal family should turn it into a resort, as this will be one hell of a holiday destination. Good share Ami.

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  2. i am a regular reader of your blog and from past few months i have not missed a single post by you but i must say the pics you have shared here are the best pics i have ever seen in your blog, earlier pics are awesome but these pic has totally blown my mind, super awesome takes.

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  3. What a perfectly detailed account of an incredible site! I feel like this is a several day activity with lot’s of time to sit and paint small watercolors of everything. Really incredible!

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  4. This fort is so big! I imagine you could spend a few days exploring all of it! Amazing carvings and paintings which is not what I think of when I think fort!

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  5. I am from Jodhpur and every friend/relative/collegue who visits Jodhpur demands to see the fort. It is an absolute beauty and the view of the blue city from the top of the fort looks amazing. Many bollywood movies are shot from this fort. You have captured the essence very well.

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  6. Great post Ami! Thank you for refreshing my memories and can’t agree with you more – the fort is one of the most mesmerizing monuments that I have visited in India! Look forward to reading part 2 & 3.

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  7. Amzing pictures. Thanks for sharing this one. I try imagining myself visiting the fort. It is something I would do in an early morning before the place becomes crowded. Hehe. This is one of my top list if revisiting India. Have seen a documentary. It seems impressive and I hopefully I will be able to see it with my own eyes.

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  8. Wow! that is a massive fort. It looks way bigger than the Red Fort in Delhi which is the only one I’ve seen in India.

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  9. This Fort reminds me of the scene at Lord of the Rings where the Elves are waiting for Frodo. I wonder how the early folks do these beautiful fort and make it last for centuries. You are indeed blessed to see this part of miracle 😀

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  10. I love how you give a bit of history and meaning in your story 🙂 Makes me feel so much more educated than just looking pictures and names. It’s an incredible place, and putting it on my bucket list 😀

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  11. This place is amazing and the architecture so beautiful. I love learning about new places and the history behind it that you gave is fantastic. Very detailed information which also serves as a guide to. Beautiful place to visit.

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  12. It looks so incredible! I was wondering, if there were any movies filmed in here? I think they should have made at least one movie, that’s for sure.

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  13. The Mehrangarh fort is another majestic example of the fascinating architecture of Rajasthan that is steeped in a colourful history combined with a vibrant culture. Jodhpur is high on our list and hope to get there soon.

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  14. We have been to Mehrangarh fort on your visit to Rajasthan and it is one grandiose fort with aweinspiring architecture.

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  15. That fort seems like such an exciting place to explore! I loved the beautiful paintings and colors. I saw a hook and pulley system like that in Hamburg and I was told it was for getting goods on and off ships. Not sure if that makes sense here!

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  16. Aaah The Land of Forts. i last visited Rajasthan in 2014. I have only seen the Eastern side of it. But would love to go back one day and cover the Western part of this State. Arnt those forts amazing with such beautiful architecture. In fact, it sometimes thrills me the level of knowledge and the advancement in architcture in those days that their buildings are still standing while ours are falling once in every 2-5 years 😛

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  17. Wow, this is so impressive, the details and the photos are just amazing! I bet it’s impressive when you’re getting so close, because I do feel that way just looking at them quite frankly!

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  18. I am from Jodhpur only and glad to read your beautiful article. The way you describe our very own for is just wonderful. You almost covered all the stories and places in the fort. Thank you for your kind words for Mehrangarh fort.
    Best regards
    ABHAY VYAS

    Reply

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