How old is the Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort
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The beautiful city Jodphpur on the edge of the desert Thar is dominated by a mighty 130 meter high rock and on top of it is impressive and dominant Mehrangarh Fort, probably the most impressive residence Rajasthan. The 125 meter high wall measures ten kilometers Mehrangarh Fort, also called the Citadel of the Sun. The writer Rudyard Kipling called the structure "The work of angels and giants". Here you walk through the gates and experience 500 years of glorious, bloody and sensational history. Sometimes gloomy and incomprehensible to us Westerners, but the stuff of myths and legends.
The fort consists of a compact palace complex surrounded by bastions and fortifications running around the rock. Kings and their wives once lived here who claimed to be descended from the sun. It was them RathoreWarrior, one of the leading Rajput clans, the Rajasthan, the land of kings, ruled for more than 1000 years. Your kingdom, here on the edge of the great Indian Thar Desert was then like today Marwar. Literally this means "the land of death". It was in 1459 when the 15th ruler of Marwar, Rao Jodha, with the construction of Mehrangarh started and moved its headquarters here to this city. He founded so Jodhpur, Jodhas City.
From the city you drive up a winding, fascinating road to the entrance. You always have magnificent views, unfortunately mostly with bushes and pipes in front of them. The parking lot is huge, all drivers are waiting for their customers here and whole schools arrived at the bus parking lot. But inside the palace the crowds run away quickly. From the edge of the parking lot you already have the first panoramic view of the old town of Jodhpur.
Only here at Mehrangarh Fort is a specialty: Instead of numerous Guides is there a Audio tour, with a lot of luck even in German, and you can walk around the fort and the museum with your head high. It is included in the entrance fee of 250 rupees and is not optional. 33 individual stations are indicated, where you can hear information about history and also about social aspects of the present and the past, plus 9 chapters of background knowledge at the appropriate point to select. The 70-minute audio notes are available in Hindi, French, English, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. A deposit has to be deposited at the entrance, our driver gave his driver's license for it, which we picked up at the end when we returned the equipment.
Each of the seven fortress gates that have to be crossed during the steep, serpentine-like ascent to the palace, bounded by high walls, bears traces of the house's eventful history Marwar. The tickets are available in Jai Pol, the Victory Gate, built by Maharajah Man Singh. The second gate called Ded Kangra Pol shows some cannon impacts, they have been marked with circles for better identification. Here troops had tried in vain to conquer the fortress at the beginning of the 19th century.
Behind it sat a musician with his family and traditional music accompanies you on the ascent. Of course, they hope to get a tip for their performances. Even the first terrace with a huge cannon offers a beautiful view of the city again. The next gate is called Amrit Pol and was the entrance of the original fort. Legend has it that an ascetic had his meditation cave at a spring, called "Lord of the Birds". He was from Rao Jodha expelled, thereupon he placed a curse on the ruler. The frequent droughts in the region are said to be the result. In order to free the fort from this curse, a henchman settled down Rao Jodhas voluntarily wall in the foundations alive.
Then it goes steeply uphill and the view up along the steep walls is overwhelming. The last gate is the huge sun gate Suraj Pol, behind it are the palace complexes. They host that today Mehrangarh Museumto which I have dedicated a separate page.
Something special, if a little scary, is the gate Loha Pol. Not only the doors with their pointed iron spikes against elephants are impressive. On the side there are 32 red, slightly faded handprints and a hand memorial stone adorned with flowers. They come from the widows of Maharajas Man Singhwho died in the usual cremation death when his body was cremated in 1843. This kind of suicide will Sati called, the women gave away all their belongings to the poor on the last way through the city and threw themselves at the stake when the corpse was cremated. Women who Sati committed, were held in high honor and in some cases divinely venerated. This type of widow burning was banned by the English colonial rulers in India as early as 1829, but it was practiced again and again until the 20th century. Here in Jodhpur is said to be the last in 1953 Sati burned from the royal family themselves.
On the plateau
The plateau on the summit, which one has now reached through the gates, has three areas: the palace in the northwest, today the museum. A large terrace in the east of the palace with beautiful views and the heavily fortified part in the south. You should reserve a few hours for an extensive tour, rushing through here would really be a shame, because there is a whole lot to discover.
Right behind the gate with the Sati handprints there is a small restaurant shortly before the entrance to the museum Cafe Mehan. Here you can relax wonderfully, sit in the shade, watch the people passing by and eat something at reasonable prices. The card ranges from Club sandwich, Pizza or burger for 65 rupees up to a non-vegetarian Rajsi-Thali to 120 rupees. A Fresh Lime Soda is available for 20 rupees, coffee for two cost 35 rupees in 2006. In 2007 we saw an advertisement, now apparently a dinner buffet is also being offered in the evening on one of the terraces, certainly very romantic with a view of the city.
It remains to be mentioned that no conqueror has ever made it this far, even if there have been numerous attempts and long sieges in the course of history.
Google Map on the subject
The mighty fort
Video on the subject
Soundtracked video about Jodhpur.
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