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Earlier called the Chintamani fort, the Meherangarh Fort was built in 1459 by Rao Jodha the founder of Jodhpur on the summit of a steep hill called the Bakharchiriya or bird’s nest. The citadel was fortified by eight Pols or gates (now reduced to seven) regulating entry into the premises. The expansive ramparts of the castle span some 10km, and if you stand atop the fort, you do get a bird’s eye view of the city with its whitewashed homes. Bakharchiriya was an apt name for the hilltop on which the fort now sits, is perched on top of Meherangarh and from there you get a commanding view of the landscape. The fort stands 122 metres above the plain and rises on sheer bare rock. It is fortified by walls ranging from seven to twenty-four metres in thickness, and rising upto a height of 40 metres.

As you get in, you realize that its been built on a high-land and adding its own height, it really gets very tall. The fort stands 122m above the plains and rises up to a height of 40m on sheer rock with fortified walls ranging from 7-24m in thickness guarded by 7 fortified gates. At certain places the thickness of the outer wall is about 17 meters in width. Once we came out from our car in the fort’s parking lot, we were astonished by the gigantic size of fort. In the single glance, you could see both base and top of this iconic fort of the city. Our heights diminished as we looked up at the fort towering above us. So colossal are its proportions that Rudyard Kipling had called it "the work of giants". The tiny man at the top right would give you an idea of the scale.

The top of the outer wall has been formed into wide ramparts for working artillery and on the other sides the wall is surmounted by a complete chain of battlements, with towers to support heavy guns. The palace displays stone carving in its arches, windows, balustrades and balconies, which are both elegant and beautiful in design and finish. The masonry is very solid and substantial through out, the walls of the fort and palace are of heavy cut stone, well cemented and sometimes pinned together with iron spikes. To give additional strength to the outer walls, they were in many places strongly buttressed, and the masonry spiked to the rock on which it rests.

Mehrangarh Fort in Rajasthan won the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award of Distinction, in 2005

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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