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Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort stands a hundred feet in splendour 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 the finest living example of a Hindu fortress.

Jodha’s fortress was 'Chao Burja' – a fort with four Bastions. The extremities of the original fortress fall within the limit of the second gate today. Of Jodha’s time itself, very little remains, the fort expanded beyond his outer gates within fifty years of his death but the spot where this gate stood is known as “ Rao Jodhaji Ka Falsa” ( Jodha’s outer limit of the boundary). In its Janampatri the fort is named Chintamani, after the Mythological gem worn by lord Ram which supposedly frees the owner of all worldly worry. Chintamani gave way to Mordhwaj, the flag of the peocock, presumably because the forts outer parameter suggests the fan like tail of a dancing peacock, It is at some point after this that the name Mehrangarh began to appear in chronicles and poems. “Mehr” is a Rajasthani word for the sun and it is not at all unlikely that the Suryavanshi Rathores would name their first citadel in their mythological ancestor’s honour.

“The beauty of Kashmir has often been celebrated in prose and rhyme. However, one of the grandest sights in India is the fort of Jodhpur, built by titans in Kipling’s unrivalled phrase and lit with the glory of the morning sun it stands on a bluff over the town like some levia left high and dry by a subsiding flood”.

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