My visit to Jodhpur was part of my grand family tour of Rajasthan covering Jaipur -> Ajmer – Pushkar -> Jaisalmer -> Jodhpur. This was my last leg of the journey in Rajasthan and after travelling so many places we still had enough energy to push on. Our train from Jaisalmer was at around 5 PM which reached Jodhpur at around 11 PM. I had booked a home stay at Jodhpur and the owner was quite cooperative and gave me the detailed direction and approximate cost that the Auto might take from the station to the home stay.
By the time we reached the home stay it was around 11.30 PM and we were extremely hungry. The home stay had no food arrangements so I tried with the many home delivery options but unfortunately, none were willing to take orders so late. Luckily for my toddler daughter, we always have backup arrangements and managed to feed her some noodles. The owner of the homestay was extremely cooperative and seeing our plight went back to his home on the top floor and prepared for us rice, daal and jeera alu. And by the way, when I went to pay for the food he refused saying that this was home food and he cannot charge for them.
Being very tired we went to bed and was in deep sleep in no time. Suddenly I was woken up by a loud thundering sound, checking my watch it was around 4 AM in the morning and I was confused as to what was going on. It’s then I realised that our homestay was right next to the Air Force Base and an MIG 29 was on a practice sortie.
The homestay owner was extremely helpful in planning out the sightseeing tour, initially, I wanted to book a car to visit all the points but he managed to convince me to take Auto instead to each of the locations since all the places were accessible with auto. This helped us save some good amount of money and also he guided us to the approximate cost that we would incur from one point to another.
Our first stop for the day was Mehrangarh Fort, this fort became famous worldwide after the movie Batman – Dark Knight Rises was shot here. This fort has become a sort of destination for Hollywood actors to have gala parties so you should not be surprised if you happen to spot one.
Coming back to Mehrangarh Fort this fort is a massive stone structure on top of a small hill, due to its position it can be easily spotted from a distance and the first view will definitely take your breath away. This fort is considered as one of the largest forts in the country and with its history dating back to 1460 AD makes also a landmark in the region’s history.
This fort actually has a long construction history, originally started by Rao Jodha when he decided to move away from Mandore to this much more secure hilltop fort. The fort what we see now was actually mostly constructed by Jaswant Singh during the 17th century.
This fort has many famous gateways and in some of them, you can still find the damages that were originally done by the cannon balls fired by the enemies. At present, the fort houses a museum with a variety of collection from the days of the maharaja.
This place is actually a huge complex with multiple sections and multiple storied thus be prepare to climb all the stairs. Alternately you may also take the paid elevator to reach the top directly and come all the way down which is much comforting.
From the top, you will get a very good panoramic view of Jodhpur and the thing that will strike you most are the Indigo coloured houses. Apparently the houses that are coloured with Indigo blue have connections to the royal palace and belong to the direct descendants of the Brahmins who served the royals.
The fort from inside gives you a real royal feel, the exquisite architecture and stone works make you wonder the amount of manpower that was required to achieve this feat of fine artistry. We were lucky to be there at the fort when the state was celebrating Rajasthan International Folk Festival. We could see several folk singers and dancers all around the fort.
The museum inside has a fantastic collection of all things royal, from turbans to palanquin to hooka’s. Make sure you have enough time in your hand to enjoy each of these thus I would recommend that you spend an entire day at Mehrangarh Fort.
The Chokhelao Garden situated at the back of the fort is something worth visiting, it feels as if you are in a hanging garden with tree and plant species from all over the country. This place is also the right place to beat the sun and spend some time contemplating the massive structure and the way it was built by hand without any modern machinery.
The fort also has lots of cafes serving excellent confectionaries and trying a couple of them can also be in your menus. If you like adventure then be sure to try the Flying Fox which is a zip line ride around a section of the fort. Unfortunately, with our toddler daughter, we had to skip this part.
Hope you have enjoyed my visual journey through Mehrangarh Fort, there are many more places that you can visit here in this city like Mandore Gardens, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum, Clock Tower etc. these I will take you in my next blog, till then have a great day.