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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Feb 7, 2014: View from a Jodphur window

15 - Jodphur fort window-

Glancing up from the courtyard towards one of the intricately carved plaster facades of a palace inside Mehrangarh Fort, I spot this palace guardian inspecting the throng of visitors below. For a second, this is just such a perfect opportunity for a photo!

 

Mehrangarh Fort stands massively on top of a 400 ft (122m) high hill, originally called "The mountain of birds",  some 9 kms outside the city of Jodphur in Rajasthan, Northern India. The building of the fort started in 1459 and was progressively added to and enlarged over subsequent years. A winding road leads up through the castle gates from the road below and this entry is particularly special for a visitor as the ascent is made on the rocking palaquin on the back of one of a herd of (relatively) tame elephants each guided by a mahout. Once safely deposited in the main courtyard of the fortress, you are then free to wander the extensive passages and richly decorated rooms of the buildings and palaces.

 

Aside from the breathtaking views of Jodphur and the surrounding area seen from atop the massive walls still equipped with many canons of the period, the fortress boasts some of the richest period rooms and best equipped museums in the whole of Rajasthan. Most of the exhibits are directly from the history of the fortress itself and is a breathtaking display of gold filigree, mirrors, gems, armour, painting and turbans (!).

 

A final curious, if somewhat gory, fact about the construction of the fortress was that when Maharaja Rao Jodha decided to build the fortress in 1459, he took an extreme measure to ensure that the new site proved propitious: he buried a man called "Raja Ram Meghwal" alive in the foundations. "Raja Ram Meghwal" was promised that in return his family would be looked after by the Rathores (the Maharajah's dynasty). To this day his descendants still live in Raj Bagh, "Raja Ram Meghwal's" Garden, an estate bequeathed them by Jodha.

 

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  • Jodphur Mehrangarh fort window: A palace guard glances from the window

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

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