Rajasthan – Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Jodhpur, the blue city of Rajasthan, so aptly named after the blue painted homes dotting the rustic landscape of Jodhpur. I for one, was very excited and was eagerly waiting to visit the Mehrangarh Fort for many reasons – this was where “The Dark Knight Rises” was filmed! Remember the epic Pit Climb scene with Christian Bale? and the sweeping shot of him standing on the edge of the pit set in front of a massive fort? Yep. That is Mehrangarh Fort, one of the best preserved and colossal forts in all of India, built by King Rao Jodha (of the Rajput clan) 400 feet above the city on a cliff structure composed of igneous rock (the cliff was declared a National Geographic Monument by the Geological Survey of India)

Mehrangarh translates into ‘fort of the Sun’ – trust me. They weren’t kidding, one must visit the fort during twilight or at dusk (as I did, breathtaking to say the least) – Click on images to expand

But it wasn’t just a fort or a military base, it also housed several palaces and was a thriving center for art and culture. Within the fort are well-preserved galleries for public display –

Elephant Howdah (seats used on Elephants)

Palanquin Gallery (typically carried by 2 – 8 persons)

Royal Rooms

View of Jodhpur from the Fort

I was also able to satisfy my fan-boy antics by doing this –

Lastly, the Flying Fox Zipline at the Fort is NOT to be missed! Extreme fun and amazing views of the fort, rocky landscape and the blue city!

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Rajasthan – Amer Fort, Jaipur

Amer Fort or Amber Fort is one of the 6 Hill Forts of Rajasthan that were recently included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh I, one of the war chiefs of Emperor Akbar in the 16th Century, Amer Fort is known for its Hindu and Rajput styles of architecture and is one of the important tourist attractions in and around Jaipur. The Fort is in Amer town, which was once the capital of the Kacchawas, who later shifted the capital to Jaipur.

While we had less than 3 hours to cover most parts of the fort, we were able to see the Jaleb Chowk (place for soldiers to assemble), the Sheesh Mahal (a stunning mirror palace), Diwan-i-Aam (Public audience hall), Diwan-i-Khas (Private audience hall) and the magic flower fresco.

Amer Fort, Jaipur:

Amer Fort, Sheesh Mahal:

Apparently, the Queen was not allowed to sleep out in the open. And so to recreate the effect of a starry night, this mirror palace was built! One candle of light was sufficient to illuminate the entire palace, pretty amazing right?

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