Fort in Jodhpur
Opening hours: 9:00am-5:00pm
Address: Fort Rd, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Ticket price: Indian/foreigner including audio guide ₹100/600, guide ₹400, camera/video ₹100/200
Visit duration: People typically spend 1 to 2 hours here
The impregnable-looking Mehrangarh Fort stands perpendicular to the land. The fort was built on a rocky hill called Bhakurcheeria or the hill for birds. It is a must-see attraction of Jodhpur and is visited by tourists from all over the world. It is an amalgamation of diverse history and stunning architecture.
Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India covering an area of over 1,200 acres. The battlements of the fort are as high as 6 m to 36 m and were chiselled from the rock of the hill on which it stands. This gives the fort an appearance that makes it merge with the base.
As soon as you enter the fort, you see a stark difference between its exterior and interior. There are several palaces with beautiful and intricate carvings and open courtyards within the walls of the Mehrangarh Fort.
The foundation of the formidable Mehrangarh Fort was laid by Rao Jodha in the year 1459. Since then, the construction of various parts of the fort has continued for centuries.
There is a legend that surrounds the construction of the fort. It is believed that in order to build the fort, Rao Jodha had to forcefully shift a hermit called Cheeria Nath. Infuriated, he cursed that the fort would face severe drought. Even the construction collapsed the very next day it started. To break the curse, the hermit said that someone has to bury himself alive in the fort's foundation. A man named Raja Ram Meghwal got buried alive breaking the curse. The ruler had promised to take care of his family and even to this day, the current generation of Raja Ram Meghwal's family is living in the Raja Ram Meghwal garden.
The Mehrangarh Fort is guarded by seven walls.
The main entrance is the Jai Pol by Maharaja Man Singh to celebrate his victory over Jaipur's Maharaja Jagat Singh in 1808. Another gate that was constructed to remember is the Fateh Pol or Victory Gate. This was constructed to celebrate taking back control of the fort from the Mughals in 1707.
The other gates are Amriti Pol, Lakhna Pol or Dedh Kanghra Pol, Loha Pol and Suraj Pol. The Loha Pol has the handprints of 15 queens who performed Sati, an ancient practice in which the queen and royal ladies of the family sacrificed their lives willingly in order to escape enslavement by Mughals.
There are several palaces including the Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Takhat Vilas Palace, and Moti Mahal among others. These palaces are a reminder of how opulent the lives of the kings and queens were. In some of these palaces, you can still see pictures of the kings.
Some of the temples in the fort that are worth seeing are the Chamunda Mataji Temple, Nagnechiji Temple and Jaswant Thada Cenotaph.
You can take a tour of the Mehrangarh Fort Museum and witness all these amazing places that are steeped in history and showcase the fineness and glory of the bygone ages.
The tickets to visit the Mehrangarh Fort is ₹100 for Indians and ₹600 for foreigners. This ticket fee includes an audio guide that helps visitors know the history of the fort and its significance. The audio guide also helps to navigate the fort in about one or two hours.
On 12th May every year, the doors of the fort open to all for free to celebrate Jodhpur Foundation day.
The fort opens its gates to the tourists at 9:00 am and remains open till 5:00 pm.
Rising above Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort is located at the top of a hill, approximately 125 metres above the city. There is a 3 km road connecting the city centre to Mehrangarh Fort. Alternatively, the fort can be reached on foot via a not-so-steep trail.
You can click photographs and even shoot videos at the Mehrangarh Fort by paying a minimal fee of ₹100 and ₹200 respectively for photos and videos.
Yes, aged visitors can visit the Mehrangarh Fort and avail of the elevator service to go up instead of taking the steep path leading inside the fort.
The fort remains open till 5 pm. However, the fort when lit up after sunset has a stunning view so you can spend some time in a nearby restaurant in the evening and catch a glimpse of the fort lit up at night.
It usually takes around 2 hours for visitors to take a tour of the fort. However, if you wish to spend more time learning the history of the place, your visit could last a good 3 to 4 hours.