Tag Archives: Rajasthan

Ambaji Temple, Gujarat – Our next spiritual sojourn!

Mata Ne Bulaya hai!

This year when we decided to spend some part of our summer vacation in Rajasthan Hill Station, Mount Abu, I was driven by the drive of visiting and paying obeisance to one of the 51 Shakti Peeth’s – Ambaji temple. Ambaji ( Gujarati: અંબાજી, Hindi: अम्बाजी, Ambājī) is a census town in Banaskantha district in the state of Gujarat, India. It is known for its historical and mythological connections with sites of cultural heritage. The research on Ambaji town brought to the fore some important revelations, which I would like to share with my readers. You must be wondering that my year 2017 is taking me on a spiritual journey, believe me, it is just not by design, it is happening on its own. From many years, I have been planning to visit Ambaji temple, without knowing much about it, now I am looking forward to it.

Ambaji is an important temple town with millions of devotees visiting the Ambaji temple every year. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. Ambaji Mata temple is a major Shakti Peeth of India. It is situated at a distance of approximately 65 kilometers from Palanpur, 45 kilometers from Mount Abu, and 20 kilometers from Abu Road, and 185 kilometers from Ahmedabad, 50 kilometers from Kadiyadra near the Gujarat and Rajasthan border.

In the holy temple of “Arasuri Ambaji”, there is no image or statue of goddess the holy “Shree Visa Yantra” is worshiped as the main deity. No one can see the Yantra with the naked eye. The photography of the Yantra is prohibited.

The original seat of Ambaji Mata is on Gabbar hilltop in the town. A large number of devotees visit the temple every year, especially on Purnima days. A large mela on Bhadarvi Poornima (full moon day) is held. Every Year from all over the country people come here walking all over from their native place just to worship MAA AMBE in September. The whole Ambaji town is lit up as the nation celebrates the festive time of Diwali.

The temple is open from 7.00 am to 11.30 am, 12.30 pm to 4.30 pm and 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm.

The shrine of hi Amba is regarded as a revered shrine by the Shakta Shaktism sect of Hinduism. It is believed that the Heart of Sati Devi has fallen here. The origin of the Shakti Peetha status temple is from the mythology of Daksha Yaga and Sati’s self-immolation. Shakti Peethas were believed to have been formed when the body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi fell into different regions when Lord Shiva carried her corpse in sorrow after her death. The shrines are considered as highly revered by Shaivist (Shaivism) sect in Hinduism. The Shakti Peethas are mostly worshiped by tantra practitioners. Each Shakti Peetha has a Kalabhairava shrine associated with it the Kalabhairava of The Amba Matha Temple is Batuk Bhairav.

PM Narendra Modi performing puja at Ambaji Temple

Mythical History

Ambaji is one of the 51 ancient Shakti Peetha Tirth in India. There are 12 main Shakti Pith Tirth, significant places of pilgrimage for the worship of Shakti, namely, Ma Bhagwati Mahakali Maha Shakti at Ujjain, Ma Kamakshi at Kanchipuram, Mata Bramaramba at Srisailam, Shri Kumarika at Kanyakumari, Mataji Ambaji at AnarGujarat, Mata Mahalaxmidevi at Kolhapur, Devi Lalita at Prayag, Vindhya Vasini at Vindhya, Vishalakshi at Varanasi, Mangalavati at Gaya and Sundari at Bengal & Guhyeshwari Temple in Nepal.

There is no idol or picture in the temple but a simple cave like Gokh in the inner wall, in which A Gold Plated Holy Shakti Visa Shree Yantra having kurma back convex shape and 51 Bij letters therein, connected with that of the original Yantras of Nepal and Ujjain Shakti Piths, is also ritually installed in such a way it can be visible for devotion, but never photographed in past nor can be so done in future. The worship of this Visa Shree Yantra is done only after tying a bandage on the eyes.

More on return from Ambaji temple!! Watch this space for more!!!

 

 

Fascinating Rajasthan! Symphony created by Diversity!!

रंगीलो राजस्थान: पधारो म्हारे देस!

An exclusive photo-essay!

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This land is a colourful melange of massive forts, stunning palaces, diverse cultures, delectable cuisines and warm people, set amidst a rugged yet inviting landscape.

Rajasthan is a land that has inspired me and countless others. Come tread on the sands of time. In Rajasthan you will find every hue in Nature’s grand palette – the red sands, the blue of royalty, the pink cities or the amber sunsets. Surrender yourself to the sounds of trinkets or the sounds of the all conquering wind. Sight and sounds that are far removed from any city. Sights and sounds that will transport you into a folk lore.

The contour of Rajasthan is varied and well divided by the Aravalli Range that spreads across the state from the southwest to the northeast. With an unproductive region in the northwest to a comparatively fertile land in the east. Rajasthan’s topography is a potpourri of the sandy deserts and prolific vegetation. It is home to the Great Indian Thar Desert and the Chambal River which is solely responsible for the water supply in the region.

Music, art and dance is woven into every inch of this land  called paradise. You will find it carved in every grain of sand. Here you will find the past, the present and the future. You will find passion. You will find adventure. And you will find yourself.

Irrespective of rich cultural roots, Rajasthan is equally modern and flourishing as any other urban city. The state roads flaunt the most expensive vehicles and at the same time run camel carts, horse drawn tongas and scooter rickshaws. The region is well connected by a network of roads and a steadily improving transport system.

Come, walk into the unforgettable embrace of Rajasthan.

In an attempt to reinvent and celebrate the extraordinary strengths of RAJASTHAN, these projects and events created especially for the larger domain of the people and their inherent traditional and contemporary skills, connecting with similar international interventions showcased in the State, the Chief Minister, Vasundhra Raje, has infused a new, fresh and contemporary energy into the inherited

Topography

When it comes to accommodation, Rajasthan welcomes royal tourists and backpacking travellers equally. Your choices range from luxurious hotels to economical yet comfortable dormitories. The State owned Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation also run a chain of hotels in the major destinations. These tourist bungalows provide reasonably priced accommodation in the form of dormitories, single rooms, air-cooled and air-conditioned rooms.

Courtesy: पधारो म्हारे देस & RajasthanTourism.gov.in

Udaipur: Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal, unsung destination!

I had never come across this place even while researching about Udaipur or while talking to people who had been there. Our Cabbie just stopped at a colourful gate and said “Aap andar jayeeye”. I Questioned: “Which is this place”? He replied: Lok Kala Mandal and continued: you will like it very much. How true he was!

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Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal is a museum of Rajasthani Folk Art which displays rich collection of folk dresses, paintings, pagris, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls and folk musical instruments. Besides there is a section on Tribal Art. The world renowned puppeteers of Udaipur put up shows on regular intervals which we enjoyed very much.

The museum was just awesome, the collection was reflection of Rajasthani Art Forms and student of art/ architecture/ design would just love it. It would provide great learning to these students of Rajasthani Art Forms.

Rajasthan Tourism needs to promote this Centre amidst foreign tourists also who as it love everything about Rajasthan!

The unsung hero of Udaipur should get Hero’s welcome!

Need to say more? Watch it to believe me!

An exclusive Photo-Essay of Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal.

Pics Courtesy: Mukund Rai

Udaipur, Lake Pichola: Calm, Serene & Picturesque

Next morning we set out for our trip to Udaipur’s Lake Pichola…

…what an amazing place it turned out to be!

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No wonder, Rudyard Kipling mentioned this lake in his Letters of Marque (1899), “If the Venetian owned the Pichola Lake, they might say with justice, `see it and die’. The beauty of Lake Pichola attracts people from all over the world. One can undeniably say for Pichola that once, if you see this lake, you would definitely fall in love with it. The mesmerizing beauty of Lake Pichola makes it worth visiting Udaipur. The pristine blue waters of the left a soothing impact on us. I wondered how much stressed lives are we leading in Mumbai.

If Fateh Sagar Lake was vibrant, well-lit, scenic, slightly commercialised, more of a family destination, Lake Pichola was in sharp contrast. It would be any writer’s or poet’s dream destination. Lake Pichola, surrounded by lush green lining, sitting benches, big banyan trees, lofty palaces – Jagmandir Palace and hilly backdrop made ideal setting for a romantic Rajesh Khanna Movie. Sitting there and just watching the lake was an experience in itself. Living in Mumbai makes you accustomed to very fast life, whereas sitting beside the lake Pichola and just watching it, I felt that time had just stopped, but it hadn’t, how I wish it had. Time passed in boating, roaming and chit – chatting and it was time for us to move to new destination.

Let me add here, located in the heart of the city, Pichola Lake is the oldest and one of the largest lakes of Udaipur. In 1362, the beautiful lake was built by Pichhu Banjara during the ruling period of Maharana Lakha. Talking about the dimensions of Pichola Lake, it is extended to 3 miles in length, 2 miles in width and has depth of 30 feet.

Lake Pichola comprises several islands that accompany the calm waters of the lake. The world-renowned Lake Palace is perfectly located on the Jag Island of this tranquil lake. Even the Jag Mandir, another destination of tourists, is located on an island of this lake. Above all, a trip to Pichola Lake would be incomplete with a boat ride. At the time sun-set, a boat ride in this lake is would be wonderful, but we did it in the morning.

The beauty of this lake has not spared anyone to attract towards it. The lake looks more enchanting with its scenic surroundings. Maharana Udai Singh must have been certainly captivated by the charm of this pristine lake with the perfect backdrop of lush green hills as when he founded the city of Udaipur. He also constructed a dam made in stone that falls under the ‘Badipol’ region on the shore of this lake.

Pichola Lake is enveloped by lofty Palaces, temples, bathing ghats and elevated hills on all its sides. In the southern part of this lake, there is a hill that is known as Machhala Magra and one can see glimpse of Eklinggarh Fort from here. The City Palace of Udaipur broadens along the eastern banks of this lake.

Rajasthan Tourism need to promote these two lakes as their prime tourist destination.

Pictures Courtesy: Mukund Rai

 

Rajasthan never ceases to surprise you, so did Udaipur!!

A reluctant trip to Udaipur turned out to be most fascinating one, Read on to know how?

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The trip in April to Rajasthan was not a great idea according to many but my brother –in-law Anurag encouraged me to make it. And I made it!! Anurag who had studied there told me elaborately about the place and sight-seeing spots and we almost followed his itenery. The train journey by Udaipur Superfast from Bandra to Udaipur was pleasant but when I came out of station I was quite fascinated by its architecture and immediately clicked some pictures there. As we have been watching in Rajasthan Tourism Commercials which says: Rajasthan never ceases to Surprise you! It applied to us: Me & My husband Mukund too! Weather was nice especially evenings.

No wonder Udaipur has been inspiration for countless artists, architects and poets for several years. Not only this it has been part of many a romantic Bollywood and Hollywood movies and earned a name for itself: ‘City of Romance’ besides fondly addressed as ‘City of Lakes’. They all conjure up a wonderful and fascinating image and Udaipur is worthy of them all.

Interesting historical note on city of Udaipur:

Maharana Udai Singhji roamed the country side well away from the hub of Mughal activity and eventually came across lake Pichola, the principal being Chand Pole at northwest corner, the Hathi Pol on the north, the Delhi-Gate on North East , the Suraj Pole of the east and Kishan Pole on the south and cradled protectively by the surrounding tree clad Aravali Mountains, a green & pleasant area, with a cooler climate than surrounding lands, abundant water supply, fertile soil and plenty of good hunting. Udai Singh ji founded this as new capital and this is how Udaipur came into being.   

So immediately after reaching hotel which we had booked Online: Kaveri Palace, we set out to famed Fateh Sagar Lake and voila what a place it was. The setting was just awesome: nicely lit, breezy, waves, boat-rides, camel rides, Chaupati like food court and many tourists having gala time there. We took a long stroll on the side and watched beautiful lake closely. It was quite an experience in itself!

Fateh Sagar Lake, situated to the north of Pichola Lake and connected to it by a canal, was originally built by Maharana Jai Singh who had constructed even the more famous Jaisamand Lake. Later when the old embankment of the lake was swept away by heavy rains, the lake was reconstructed in its modern avatar by Maharana Fateh Singh. The foundation stone of the new embankment was laid by the Duke Conaught, Son of Queen Victoria in 1889. How do I know all this? The history is written on its banks as soon as you enter the Fateh Sagar Lake. The lake has been expanded to optimum levels to ensure that Udaipur would always have a substantial supply of water.

The lake, which covers an area of about two square miles when full, has one small island, which has been made by the Government of Rajasthan into a public park which has fountains known as Nehru Garden. Though Nehru Garden is not that well maintained, as I had expected.

While returning from Fateh Sagar Lake we halted at most famous picnic spot: Sukhadia Circle which looked to me situated in the middle of city and named after Chief Minister Shri Mohan Lal Sukhadia. It was a very fascinating picnic spot with its lush – green lawns, water fountain and boating. I found Udaipur people peacefully having great time there. Special lighting all over added to its splendour and beauty. But later I came to know that Sukhadia Circle is located in front of the Railway Training School and this huge circle has been converted into pond. Its diameter is 20 Ft. And it has 42 Ft. High fountain, unique in the country. As I told you above, the pond has green park all around it embedded with beautiful flowers and herbs.  

Our night sojourn completed with a round of Chetak Circle and nice hearty meal in the end.

Watch out this space for more on Udaipur!!!

  

Thar Festival Jaisalmer: Melting pot of Culture, Tradition, Music & Folk-dance

My cousin Aarti was here in Mumbai recently for her official visit and was kind enough to visit me for a day. She hails from Jodhpur and is married in Jaipur, so a true blue Rajasthani. Amidst our conversation, she mentioned about Thar Festival of Jaisalmer which is a big attraction amidst tourists especially foreigners. As Rajasthan never ceases to fascinate me, I always look forward to visiting Rajasthan at any given opportunity.

She invited me to come to Jaipur as usual and asked me to come in February, 2016 so that I can visit Jaisalmer also and attend the famed Thar festival too. My curiosity grew and I wanted to know more about Jaisalmer and in particular, Thar Festival. I connected with an old friend of my mine who told me about fascinating sand dunes of Jaisalmer but she had visited the place in December so she could not share much about Thar festival. I imagined in my head that Thar Festival would be somewhat similar to Rann Utsav which I had been to in December of 2013. Good, it was not! Read on to know why Thar festival is different?

On digging deeper I came to know that Thar festival is a mirror to the Rajasthani culture and tradition which is lively with vibrant colours which is a continuous celebration for three days when your soul gets one with the soul of Rajasthan. Here you become one with everything Rajasthani.

It is the grand and famous fort of Jaisalmer which is host to the celebration of the Desert festival, whereas the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation is taking all the responsibilities to organize it successfully. The auspicious Day is Full moon (Purnima) when the event kick starts. If you have dream to witness this grand event which takes place in the beginning of every year in the month of February, this is the time to be in.

During the Desert Festival entire Jaisalmer shrinks in the campus of Jaisalmer fort. Groups of folk dancers in Ghaghra & Dhoti Kurta accompanied with folk singers who are equipped with local musical instruments sing and express the tale of warriors, lovers, kings & queens of Sand city and Rajasthan. There are some other performers like snake charmers, acrobats and puppeteers who amplify the charm of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, too. Don’t miss to attend the contests to judge the man with the best (Read: Biggest) moustache.

Aarti suggested that we should not miss the Camel riding/racing when the Camel riders try to leave behind their rivals in the competition creating the clouds of sand. Attired in the colourful embellishments these camels look awesome when they run like horses on the festival ground and it creates a truly mesmerizing view.
Every night during the festival in the Thar Desert there are various events where fabulous plays and dances are performed and one doesn’t feel tired and wants the show to go on and on. You can stay at one of those royal camps, where you feel like a maharaja or maharani yourself.

This is the time when you can find a big range of Rajasthani handicrafts, wooden items, fabrics, paintings, jewelleries in the Desert festival ground. You can buy beautiful multicoloured long skirts and odhnis too.

Don’t forget to savour Rajasthani Daal-baati, Churma, Gatte ki Sabji and other more famous dishes along with tea served in the clay pot available in the food stalls. Jaisalmer Desert Festival is totally is a time to live some best moments in your life.

Location: Sam Sand Dunes 42 K.M. from Jaywalker
How to reach: SUV or Camel safari
Timing: In the month of February
Attractions: Cultural showcase
Airport: Jodhpur
Railway Station: Jodhpur

Inputs courtesy: Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation

Here I come Jaisalmer, & Aarti!!!

Great Indian Travel Bazaar returns next year in Jaipur

After a hiatus of one year the well- known inbound tourism mart, the Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB) will now return to Jaipur. Recently, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Department of Tourism and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in Jaipur.

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As per the MoU, GITB will be organized jointly by FICCI and the tourism department for the next five years beginning 2015 to 2019 to be held in the month of April. Alike the past, it will be actively supported by Union Tourism Ministry, Indian Heritage Hotel Association (IHHA), Hotel & Restaurant Association of Rajasthan (HRAR) and Rajasthan Association of Tour Operators (RATO).

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GITB, which began in 2008, became an increasingly popular B2B inbound tourism mart in the country. A large number of tour operators, travel agents and travel writers were visiting Jaipur for the event. GITB was to the tourism industry what the Jaipur literature festival was for litterateurs.

After the first edition of GITB an MOU was signed between FICCI and the department of tourism for five years. “GITB was a concept suggested by FICCI and the name was jointly registered between the two. The then minister tourism Bina Kak announced at GITB 2013’s inaugural ceremony that the seventh edition of GITB would be organized in Jaipur in 2014 and the dates would be announced in due time. But thereafter the MoU was not renewed by the Gehlot government and the 2014 event had to be cancelled.

“GITB had established itself as the most important travel mart in North India during the six years. It had become especially important for small and standalone hotels of Rajasthan which cannot afford to attend international travel marts. I am glad it is being organized again from next year,” said Randhir Vikram Singh Mandawa, general secretary of Indian Heritage Hotels Association.

Visit Kumbhalgarh Fort, Sanctuary to satiate tourist in you!

Hi friends,

My recently married cousin, Aarti Shrivastava Mathur visited Kumbhalgarh Fort and Sanctuary in Rajasthan and happily shared her pictures of the trip with our blogger community. The place is really awesome, natural, historical with heavy dollops of wild –life adventure. To me it looked like a complete package of all above which can cater to all types of tourists. If you are in Rajasthan, do include Kumbhalgarh in your iterinery. The nearest city to reach Kumbhalgarh is Udaipur in Rajasthan. Her trip aroused enough curiosity in me to dig in details about this fabulous fort and share the detail s with my readers.

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Kumbhalgarh is a Mewar fortress in the Rajsamand District of Rajasthan state in western India. It is an World Heritage Site included in Hill Forts of Rajasthan. Built during the course of the 15th century by Rana Kumbha and enlarged through the 19th century, Kumbhalgarh is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great king and warrior of Mewar. Occupied until the late 19th century, the fort is now open to the public and is spectacularly lit for a few minutes each evening. Kumbalgarh is situated 82 km northwest of Udaipur by road. It is the most important fort in Mewar after Chittaurgarh.

Built on a hilltop 1100 metres above sea level, the fort of Kumbhalgarh has perimeter walls that extend 36 kilometres. The frontal walls are fifteen feet thick. Kumbhalgarh has seven fortified gateways. There are over 360 temples within the fort, 300 ancient Jain and the rest Hindu. From the palace top, it is possible to look tens of kilometers into the Aravalli Range. The sand dunes of the Thar desert can be seen from the fort walls.

According to legend, in 1443, the Maharana of Kumbhalgarh, Rana Kumbha, was initially repeatedly unsuccessful in attempts to build the fort wall. A spiritual preceptor was consulted about the construction problems and advised the ruler that a voluntary human sacrifice would solve whatever was causing the impediment. The spiritual advisor advised building a temple where the head should fall and building the wall and the fort where the rest of his body lay. As can be expected, for some time no one volunteered, but one day, a pilgrim (some versions suggest a soldier, and some, that the spiritual preceptor and the pilgrim were one and the same) volunteered and was ritually decapitated. Today the main gate of the fortress, Hanuman Pol, contains a shrine and a temple to commemorate the great sacrifice.

According to popular folklore, Maharana Kumbha used to burn massive lamps that consumed fifty kilograms of ghee and a hundred kilograms of cotton to provide light for the farmers who worked during the nights in the valley.
Its wall is the second largest wall in Asia.Kumbhalgarh in its present form was developed by, and said to be personally designed by, Rana Kumbha. Rana Kumbha’s kingdom of Mewar stretched from Ranthambore to Gwalior and included large tracts of erstwhile Madhya Pradesh as well as Rajasthan. Out of the 84 forts in his dominion, Rana Kumbha is said to have designed 32 of them, of which Kumbhalgarh is the largest and most elaborate

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Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is in the Rajsamand District of Rajasthan state in western India and surrounds the Kumbhalgarh fortress and covers an area of 578 km2 (223 sq mi). The sanctuary extends across the Aravalli Range, covering parts of Rajsamand, Udaipur, and Pali districts, ranging from 500 to 1,300 metres (1,600 to 4,300 ft) elevation.

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It takes name after the impressive historic fort of Kumbhalgarh, which come into view over the Park. It is 578 km2 (223 sq mi) in area and at an altitude of 500 to 1,300 metres (1,600 to 4,300 ft). It is home to a very large variety of wild life, some of which are highly endangered species. The wild life includes wolf, leopards, sloth bear, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, sambhar, nilgai, chausingha (the four horned antelope), chinkara and hare.

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The bird life at Kumbhalgarh is also gratifying. The normally shy and untrusting grey jungle fowl can be spotted here. Peacocks and Doves can be sighted regularly feeding on grains scattered by the jungle guards. Bird like the red spur owls, Parakeets, golden Oriole, grey Pigeons, Bulbul, Dove and white breasted kingfisher can also be seen near the water holes. Kumbhalgarh’s natural beauty is attracting many tourists and especially for its accessibility from Udaipur, which is 100 km from here. Foot tracking and horse safari organised by local tour operators are proving to be very popular. A typical safari route enters the sanctuary from the Kumbhalgarh Fort and cutting across the sanctuary it reaches Ghanerao, and then borders an old abandoned road. On this road, one can sight Chinkaras, Neelgais, four horned Antelope and many birds.

The nearest city to reach Kumbhalgarh is Udaipur in Rajasthan.

Pretty Pictures Courtesy: SIDDHARTH PUROHIT

 

Me & Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

It was one of those relaxed mornings in Jodhpur when my cousin Aarti’s wedding functions were over.

This is when I decided to steal few hours to make most of my visit to Jodhpur, in fact to bring it to full circle as it was family re-union of the sorts after ages and this being last marriage in the family, the grandeur surrounding it cannot be explained in words. We set out to Mehrangarh Fort at around 12 noon when weather was very pleasant and reached after around 40 minutes drive.  As I reached the fort and looked down, I could catch the bird’s eye view of entire city. It was such a memorable sight.

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Mehrangarh Fort located in Jodhpur city, is one of the largest forts in India. It is situated on a lofty height, 400 feet (122 metres) above the city, and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Inside its ways, there are several palaces, which are known for their intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards. The foundation of the fort was laid on May 12, 1459 by Rao Jodha on a rocky hill nine kilometres to the south of Mandore.

The invincible fortifications are six meters thick. Some of the walls still bear cannon marks they had once withstood. The Chamunda Mataji was Rao Jodha’s favourite goddess, he brought her idol from the old capital of Mandore in 1460 and installed her in Mehrangarh. She remains the Maharaja’s and the royal family’s Isht Devi or adopted goddess and is worshipped by most of Jodhpur’s citizens as well. Crowds throng Mehrangarh during the Dussehra celebrations. It contains period rooms like Moti Mahal – The Pearl Palace, Sheesha Mahal – The Hall of Mirrors, Phool Mahal – The Palace of Flowers, Takhat Vilas -Maharaja Takhat Singh’s Chamber.

Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrates a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures. To enter the Mehrangarh fort, seven gates have to be crossed.

The work of building the fort originally commenced in 1459 on the behest of the founder of Jodhpur – Rao Jodha but much of the fort as it stands today was built in the era of Jaswant Singh. This magnificent fort is spread over 5 kms. and is located on top of a hill which is all of 125 meters high.

The Mehrangarh Fort encloses many palaces, which are known for their intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards. The Moti Mahal which is made of elaborately carved stones is the dwelling place of the royal throne of Jodhpur which is popularly referred to as the Sringar Chowki in local parlance.

There is also the majestic Umaid Villas that showcases some remarkable Rajasthani miniature art work. The Ajit Villa is conspicuous with its rich collection of musical instruments and regal attires while the gorgeous Phool Mahal is where the legendary Jodhpur Coat of Arms is preserved.

The parapets of Phool Mahal are adorned with exquisite art works portraying various melodious scenes. There are seven gates, which include Jayapol (meaning ‘victory’) built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. Fattehpol (also meaning ‘victory’) gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of the Mughals. The palm imprints upon these still attract much attention even today.

The museum in the Mehrangarh fort is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan. In one section of the fort museum there is a selection of old royal palanquins, including the elaborate domed gilt Mahadol palanquin, which was won in a battle from the Governor of Gujarat in 1730.

The museum exhibits the heritage of the Rathores in arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms. Mehrangarh fort has never ever been seized. The invincible fortifications are six meters thick.

Some of the walls still bear cannon marks and today this magnificent Jodhpur fort is a living testimony that recounts the chronicles and legends of Jodhpur’s rich past.

It was really a very memorable afternoon like icing on the cake. I wish we had more time to splurge on this Rajasthani marvel.

If Rajasthan visit is on your agenda, don’t give it a miss…Watch video for a great experience!