Within a year after his coronation, Rao Jodha - the fifteenth Rathore ruler decided to build a fort that was far more secure than his original fort in Mandore in Rajasthan India.
The Bhakurcheeria hill or the Mountain of Birds hill, six miles away from Mandore was chosen for the purpose and the foundation of the fort was laid the by Rao Jodha himself in the mid fifteenth century. At that point of time, the only resident of the hill was a hermit. He was so outraged by the invasion of his hill that he cursed Jodha that his fort will forever suffer a problem of water.
In order to appease the hermit and the gods in general, Rao Jodha took several steps, some of them supremely extreme like burying a man alive in the foundation. Rumours have it that Rao Jodha buried three more people in the foundation of the fort but the credibility of these is doubtful. The fort that Rao Jodha built was a much smaller version of what you see today.
Successive generation of rulers contributed to make this fort the magnificent structure that it is today. The fort rises to a height of hundred feet with surrounding walls varying between 6 to 36m in height and from 3 to 21 m in thickness. Within this wall is an oblong space that is entirely covered by buildings. To make the outer wall more strong, a number of efforts were made like building chain of battlement with towers and buttressing it at many places.
A major portion of the fort is occupied by the women quarters since for military purpose the male folk of the fort were always out on expedition. Hence there are a number of Zenana Mahals, but apart from this there are other palaces as well like the Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phul Mahal and Takhat-Vilas. Today, these palaces act as museums and display a wonderful collection of palanquins, elephant howdahs, cradles, manuscripts, miniature paintings, costumes and weapons from every period of the Jodhpur history.
A visit to the Mehrangarh Fort is a must while touring the state of Rajasthan.