It's the F"Fort of the Titans" as Rudyard Kipling said once...I clicked this marvel of a castle palace last January in Rajasthan.
Mehrangarh Fort stands a hundred feet in splendor on a perpendicular cliff, four hundred feet above the sky line of Jodhpur. Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons . Much has been written about the Citadel of the Sun, for truly, it is one of the most impressive in all Rajasthan. So colossal are its proportions that Rudyard Kipling called it “ the work of giants”. Today, it is acknowledged as one of the best preserved fort in India.
For over five centuries Mehrangarh has been the headquarters of the senior branch of Rajput clan known as the Rathores.
Rao Chunda (r. 1384-1428), the twelfth Rathore to rule in Marwar, established his capital at Mandore, which he had acquired as a part of a dowry. Two generations later, Rao Jodha (r. 1438-89) began to build a fort at a new site six miles to the south, on an isolated rock with a higher elevation and better natural defences. Jodhpur, the town that sprang up at its base, was named after him. The fort was named Mehrangarh, meaning ‘fort of the sun’ – a reference to the clan’s mythical descent from the sun god Surya. Over 500 yards long, its wall rises in places to a height of 120 feet and is 70 feet thick.
Forts like Mehrangarh is an object of great power and prestige; in today’s terms it would be rather like owning an aircraft carrier. Its uses, perhaps, were somewhat more varied; it was not just a military base, but also a palace for the rulers and their wives; a centre of patronage for the arts, music, literature; and with its many temples and shrines it was also a place of worship. These diverse uses are reflected in many buildings within.
The current head of the Rathore clan and custodian of the fort, Maharaja Gaj Singh II, has preserved the buildings and developed the museum as a record of the lives of his predecessors. His ancestors ruled the state of Marwar and over many generations built this architectural treasury, and it falls to him to ensure that their legacy is maintained and understood.
Critiques | Translate
Noel_Byrne (33060) 2013-03-07 8:35
Another magnificent example of Indian architecture. This is a truly superb structure, looking as it does that is grown from, or perhaps been hewn from, the very rocks themselves. Again, the upward point of view brings a fine sense of majesty.
The hollow windows look quite ghostly, and give a great sense of mystery to the whole image, and the turret in right foreground creates great depth too.
Really excellent note to accompany this most excellent image.
All the best