Mehrangarh Fort – The Ballad of Royalty

by Mohit Behl
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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. Mehrangarh Fort 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 battle, 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.

“A Palace that might have been built by Titans and coloured by the morning sun.” — Rudyard Kipling

The Might of Mehrangarh Fort precedes many a giant. Zeus would be proud of this citadel rising 400 feet above the skyline of the city of Jodhpur.

Bird’s eye view of the Blue City. Quite literally!

Miniaturized view of the Clock Tower from Mehrangarh Fort

Some will see clutter, others will see close-knit beauty. The sprawling Blue City and Umaid Bhawan Palace at the upper right corner.

Lock ‘n’ Load. Lock, if you must, eyes with the stunning city that sprawls around this towering might. Load, if you must, in your mind, the panoramas that behold and beguile you for good, for all the good reasons.

Rugged can be beautiful too, can it not?

The downhill view of the mighty Mehrangarh Fort and the sprawling Blue City beneath it.

A not so loose cannon. It’s difficult to fathom its size seeing it in a photograph. You got to see it there!

Taking a breather from walking in the sun all day. Much needed!

A wonderful little cafe inside the fort complex. Eat, drink, and continue exploring. There’s more to see, much more!

One of the many paintings kept inside the museum.

One of the many paintings kept inside the museum.

While I don’t remember the exact location and name of this hall (inside the Mehrangarh Fort), it was one of the most captivating man-made sights I’ve ever come across. Dripping with royalty!

The end result isn’t perfect but this little shadow and light play had me hooked. One of the royal halls inside the Mehrangarh Fort.

They have seen many battles but time hasn’t battered them. A closer look in real will reveal how sharp the edges are, still.

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