“A Palace that might have been built by Titans and coloured by the morning sun.” — Rudyard Kipling
Think, for a moment, for the sake of playing along, of Rajasthan as a person with the city of Jodhpur for its hand, and on its finger, a diamond of insurmountable worth, grandeur, and royalty. The Fort of Mehrangarh is that diamond, precious than the precious, and stronger than the mightiest, the one to put even the hammer of Thor to Asgardian shame. And as I was making my way through the by-lanes of the Blue City beneath, upon which it towers a staggering 400 ft, I could feel its pull, made stronger by a hundred courtly symphonies. I, standing at the base of the rock on which it stands, could at best try to vaguely conceive the pictures of an era gone by. And I, standing at that base, was sucked right into it.
What was started by Rao Jodha in the mid 15th century, 1459 to be precise, took over 5 centuries and many a generation, each incorporating a new design element of its time, to have come where it is today. It had been, a strategic location, a vantage point, a natural defence, an object of desire of power, an epicentre of many a battles, a palace not only serving as a home for the royal bloodline, but also as the centre of arts, literature, and music. As I looked up to fathom what rose above me, a sun glare averted my vision and I couldn’t help but think about the origin of its name- ‘Fort of the Sun’, a reference to the Rajputs’ ancestry that descended from the Sun, or the Sun God, Surya. And the Ballad of Royalty started playing as I started the ascent, to be one with it. Here is a pictorial account of what followed.