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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the famous forts in Jodhpur?

Mercy Jacob DEC 10 2012
2 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

This extraordinary city founded by Rao Jodha, has a rich history filled with numerous tales of warriors, victories and the battles fought over this land, to tales of love matches, mass suicides, debauchery and love lost. All these stories are still kept alive and can be heard echoing within the high walls of the forts built centuries ago, which still stand high and slightly aloof from the mundane routine of the city, disclosing its secrets to anyone curious enough to approach it. Let us take you on a tour of these magnificent and ambitious feats of architectures situated around the city.

  • Mehrangarh Fort

    Mehrangarh fort was originally built by Rao Jodha in 1459 although most of the existing fort buildings date from Jaswant Singh’s period. Standing on a 125 m high hill in the outskirts of the city, this fort is spread over an area of 5 sq. Km. The fort’s bulwarks offer an overview of Jodhpur with the city seeming like a blue carpet laid at the foot of the hill. The fort walls are up to 36 m high and 21 m wide and enclose beautifully carved red sandstone palaces and exquisite temple architecture. This fort had been extended and embellished a little more with every new ruler who reigned here. Thus this remarkable piece of architecture showcases a historical timeline with some remnants of each period preserved in its walls.

    The main palaces are
    Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Zenana Deodi, Takht Vilas and Jhanki Mahal. Moti Mahal was the hall of private audience. Its ceiling is decorated with gold leaves and mirrors. Seashells were crushed and blended with plaster to give a polished look to the ceiling. The Phool Mahal (Flower Palace) remains intact to this date, with its gold filigree ceiling and stained glass windows. Sileh Khana has a collection of the varied weapons including gem-studded shields and armours for war elephants. Make sure you have a look at Jai Pol which was the most important of the seven gates to the fort, and still bears the old battle scars made by cannon balls during an attack.

    There are also two temples located inside the fort -
    Chamundi Devi Mandir and Nagnechiaji Mandir, dedicated to Goddess Durga and the Kuldevi respectively. Chamundi Devi’s idol was brought from the old capital of Mandore in 1460 to be installed in the Mehrangarh Fort. The Mehrangarh museum displays a rich collection of palanquins, musical instruments, royal cradles, costumes, arms, furniture and paintings. You can opt for an audio-tour or a guide service as well.

    Timings: Summer 8:30am to 5:30pm and Winter: 9am to 5pm (open on all days). The entry fee is INR 250 (including camera and audio guide).

  • Jaswant Thada

    Jaswant Thada, a royal memorial of the
    Rathore clan, is located around half a kilometre away from the Mehrangarh Fort. It was built in 1899 AD as a memorial for Maharajah Jaswant Singh II by his son, Maharaja Sardar Singh. This monument is built like a temple made entirely out of white marbles, with each marble sheet displaying intricate lattice carvings. There is an impressive collection of sculptures and frescos as well. A truly perfect example of architectural brilliance. The marbles are polished so fine that in the sunlight, the outer surface of the whole building emits a warm glow. You can get some great views from the terrace in front of the cenotaph. The memorial grounds also include a multi-tiered garden and a small pond that lends a serene atmosphere to the place. Today, it also houses the paintings and portraits of the former rulers of Jodhpur and two more tombs of the royal family.

    Entrance fees is around INR 15 and it remains open from 9am to 5pm on all days.

  • Umaid Bhawan Palace

    The Umaid bhawan Palace was the last palace built in Jodhpur and happens to be one of the largest royal residence in the world. It was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh with the intention of providing public relief and employment during a long period of drought. Around three thousand artisans were employed over a period of 15 years for this project and over a million square feet of marble and a special kind of sandstone (Chittar sandstone) was used to construct the palace, which is why it is also referred to as Chittar Palace by the locals here. With its balconies, gardens, courtyards and stately rooms the palace symbolises the best of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The palace has now been divided into three parts. One functioning as a hotel, another other housing a museum and the third used as the royal residence. Moreover, on the way to Umaid Bhawan, you will come across this city’s largest antique market selling silver jewelleries, metal wares, furniture, pottery, window frames and what not! Make sure you have ample luggage space for these artistic beauties.

    There is an entry fee of INR 20 for Indian tourists and INR 50 for foreign tourists. The museum remains open on all days, from 9:30am to 5:00pm. Cameras are not allowed.

Come visit these places and watch history come to life once again as you explore the palatial halls, the royal rooms, battle guards or the cannonball imprints on the fort walls attained during attacks, which have still been remarkably conserved to this date.

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