Blue city wonders - Jodhpur - I

10:28 PM

The blue hues of the city is due to its vivid blue-painted houses around the Mehrangarh Fort often perceived from an aerial view from the fort.
The colossal Mehrangarh Fort
The colossal Mehrangarh Fort
Blue city as seen from the fort
Blue city as seen from the fort
The city has to offer a very few but fascinating attractions, first of which we explored was the Mandore gardens. It is often neglected and skipped by many tourists, but i feel it is one of the must visit if you are an aesthete.
Mandore Gardens
Mandore Gardens
Inside the Mandore Garden there are cenotaphs, built with red sandstone in the style of Hindu temple instead of the typical of Rajasthani chhatri-shaped cenotaphs. Some of them are four stories high.

Mandore Gardens
Mandore Gardens

Mehrangarh fort & Palace:
The next day morning we were most excited to visit the mighty Mehrangarh fort, we started early and took the trek route instead of the usual roadway, so that we could enjoy the views of the fort and the city at various altitudes.
Mehrangarh fort
Mehrangarh fort
After reaching the fort gate had some refreshments which was very much required after the short trek.
Main entrance of the fort
Main entrance of the fort
There is an elevator available next to the ticket counter which takes you directly to the Palace, much advisable to buy a one-way ticket. Unlike the Jaisalmer fort this one is completely inhabited and is under the maintenance of the fort authorities.
The fort stands on a hill with its tall standing walls over 100 feet in height, originally started in 1459 by Rao Jodha. The fort consists of interconnected network of palaces, courtyards and halls. Most prominent among them are the Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Takhat vilas and Moti Mahal, which are not to be missed,
The first one we came across was the Sheesh mahal or the “The Hall of Mirrors”. It was then Maharaja Ajit Singh’s bed chamber, decorated with mirror work.
Ravishing interiors of the Sheesh Mahal
Ravishing interiors of the Sheesh Mahal
The Phool Mahal or “The Palace of Flowers” was the Hall of private audience built during 1724-49 AD. Watch out for its ceiling in gold filigree & mirror, its stained glass windows, and paintings on its walls, which makes it the grandest room of the Mehrangarh palace.
Phool Mahal
Phool Mahal
Gold filigree ceiling of Phool Mahal
Gold filigree ceiling of Phool Mahal
Further inside the palace is the Takhat vilas, which is the bedchamber of the king Takhat singh. The room is decorated on its walls, ceilings, columns and even its floor.
Takhat Vilas
Takhat Vilas
Jhanki Mahal, where the royal Cradles and Jhulas are kept
Jhanki Mahal, where the royal Cradles and Jhulas are kept
Each of these Mahal's are connected through wide open courtyards with exquisite sculptured windows, Jharokas, Jali screens and walls.
One of the beautiful courtyards inside the Palace
One of the beautiful courtyards inside the Palace
Then comes the Moti Mahal or “The Palace of Pearls”, which is one of the oldest rooms in the fort built by Sawai Raja Sur Singh during sixteenth century. The lime plaster used to build the hall is mixed with finely crushed shells, to give the surfaces of the room a pearl-like luster, hence the name Moti Mahal. Another interesting feature of this hall is the five secret balconies on its right wall, they were meant for the queen's and royal ladies to listen to the proceedings in the hall without being noticed.
The ceiling of which is delightfully embellished with mirror and gilt and the doorways with colorful glass windows.
Moti Mahal
Moti Mahal
At the end is the Zenana enclosure for the queens and ladies of the royal family.
The Queens apartments, Zenana enclosure
Queens apartments, Zenana enclosure
Once exiting the palace take the right which takes you through the ramparts of the fort with the canons protecting the fort then, overlooking the blue city below.
Canons along the ramparts of the fort
Canons along the ramparts of the fort
Ramparts of the fort
Ramparts of the fort
The Mehrangarh is one of the best preserved monument and largest fortification found in India, definitely the best attraction of Rajasthan.
Mehrangarh Palace through the entrance
Mehrangarh Palace through the entrance
No wonder why so many Bollywood and Hollywood movies were shot here including the blockbuster The Dark Knight rises



Mehrangarh Fort Information:
Opening Times: 9am to 5pm, daily
Best Time to Visit: Aug to Feb
Duration: Half day
Explored By: Foot

To be continued....

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