Among the famous forts and palaces of Rajasthan, Mehrangarh Fort stands out as jewel of Jodhpur. The mammoth, sturdy and beautiful fort of Mehrangarh is a battle fort. Mehrangarh Fort, being the centre of Jodhpur and Rajasthan tourism, holds special place in Rajasthan tour packages. Mehrangarh Fort is a treat to a visitor's eyes as it houses, probably, the best museum of Rajastha
Impressive, magnificent and formidable Mehrangarh Fort, made of red sandstone and spread over an area of 5 square kms, dominates the skyline of Jodhpur city, the former capital of the Marwar state. As the fort looks like an elegant peacock, Mehrangarh Fort is also known as "Mayurdhwaj Garh". Built at an altitude of 125 metre atop a hillock known as Bakharchiriya (bird's nest), Mehrangarh Fort has walls up to 36 metre high and 21 metre wide. Previously, this fort used to be called Chintamani Fort. Rathore kings of Jodhpur kept the Mehrangarh Fort preserved since last 500 years with its pristine glory and vitality intact. After completion of Ummed Bhawan Palace, the ruling Rathore dynasty shifted to new palace, vacating the Mehrangarh Fort which is now maintained as a museum with 18 apartments showcasing collection of palanquins, ivory inlaid wooden furniture, royal cradles, musical instruments, weaponry, regal costumes, elephant saddles, regional paintings etc.
There used to be eight gateways or Pols to enter the fort but only 7 gateways are remaining. The main entrance gate is called Jai Pol, built as symbol of victory of Raja Man Singh over Jagat Singh of Udaipur. The Fateh Pol on western side is representative of the reclamation of the fort from the Mughals in 1707 by Ajit Singh. Suraj Pol or Sun Gate is one of the oldest gates in the Fort. Other gates are Lakhan Pol or the Dedh Kangra Pol, Amrit Pol and Loha Pol (Iron Gate).
Mehrangarh Fort is in itself a vast township which houses several magnificent buildings like Tope Khana (meant for collection of armoury), Sileh Khana, Daulat Khana(wealth house), Vichhala Mahal, Phool Mahal (meant to be used for pleasure purposes), Pearl Palace (five alleys leading to hidden balconies meant for five queens), Mirror Palace (typical Rajput architectural style) etc. The palaces of Mehrangarh Fort are known for their unique characteristic that these palaces can be approached only by narrow staircases. Every nook and corner of the fort offers rich repository of medieval period architectural specimens. Ramparts of the fort offer excellent view of city of Jodhpur and also of famous cannon- Kilkil.