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!

Sig

 

Ancient TamilNadu – Tiger Cave, ECR

Yesterday i found time to visit this famous rock-cut temple on the way to Mahabalipuram (yes, Pallavas). Having heard about this place many times, it was interesting to see that the complex housed two rock-cut temples – the tiger cave (so named after the tigers adorning the cave like a garland and used as a stage to address the audience) and the shiva temple, called the Athirachananda cave (which i believe is being worshiped by the locals even to this day).

History says that these rock-cut structures were built sometime around the 7th – 8th Century AD by Narasimhavarman I of the Pallavas who were also building several other prominent structures along the East Coast Road. There are a few unfinished rock structures within the complex and these structures are maintained by the ASI under the ticketed monument model.

One of my friends who is also a history buff claims that the excavation site of a murugan temple (son of Lord Shiva and Parvathi) which is present in this complex could be THE ancient temple ever built in TamilNadu dating back more than 2000 years! Food for thought.

Hope you learnt something new about my country’s fascinating history and liked the pictures!

Sig