A good day starts with a good breakfast and so was our day in Jodhpur. We had a gala Rajasthani breakfast at the Janta Sweet Home at Nai Sarak and were ready to plunge into the treasure trove at the Sun city of Rajasthan.
Our first destination was Mehrangarh Fort. A look of the fort from afar is awe-inspiring, a mammoth structure in red stone is aptly named -Mehrangarh, Citadel of the Sun. It is 5 Km long and on the 125 m high hill. Rudyard Kipling did not exaggerate when he said,” It is built by giants”.
Founded by Rao Jodha , the chief of the Rathore clan, in 1459 A.D., the fortress-city of Jodhpur was a major trade centre years ago.
However, the fort is remarkable for its collection of miniature paintings, Takht Vilas, Phool Mahal and its spacious courtyard, Zenana Dewri and many more.
Here you can take an audio guide at the cost of Rs.175/= and can enjoy the fort tour yourself. Only you need to deposit your Voter ID at the counter and will be returned on returning the Audio set. There is lift facility available. For elderly people, this fort tour is quite comfortable.
The Museum and Daulat Khana
The Museum consists of miniature paintings, artefacts made of ivory etc. and there are armory including a sword of Akbar , Elephant Howdah etc.
I felt that the miniature paintings are mainly of two types—Suraj Prakash and Durga Charit
, Bhanudipa, the second son of Rathores’ ancestor Punja, tormented by a famine in his kingdom Kangara, propitiate the goddess Jwalamikhi. Pleased at his devotion ,Jwalamukhi appears before Bhanudipa and ordains that henceforth no famine or calamity will affect Kangra.
Suraj Prakash traces the descent of the Rathore Dynasty from Lord Rama and contains 70 paintings by artist Amardas Bhatti who drew for Maharaja Man Singh in 1830. This collection shows how different gods and goddesses came to help the Rathore in their times of crisis.
Rathores were the worshipper of Naganichaya (kul Devi) incarnation of Devi Chamunda. Devi paintings and murals decorate various palaces of this fort.
Among many weapons ,the Sword of Akbar is a valuable exhibit.
Phool Mahal or the Palace of Flowers is built by Maharaja Abhay Singh in the 18th century. The ceiling is in gold filigree and mirror ,decorated with the murals of Vishnu and Godess Durga. The walls painted in 19th century represents various moods of the Indian Classical Ragas.
It is the bed-chamber of Maharaja Takhat Singh. This is probably the most gorgeous chamber of the fort. The floor is painted like a carpet, the room is decorated with both Indian and European style of paintings. Even colourful hanging balls lend this palace a charm of Christmas celebration.
Well, we didn’t enter this royal cenotaph of the Jodhpur rulers but many visitors go there to see the architecture built in white marble in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.
Our next destination in Jodhpur was Umed Bhawan Palace but before that we take a last look at the mixed architectural wonder of Jodhpur; a view of the King’s palace, the Queen’s palace and the Zenana Dewri.
Beauty of the Blue City of India can be enjoyed best from the top of the Mehrangarh Fort.