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Mehrangarh Fort

Jodhpur is a colorful dusty city that I immediately fell in love with the first time I visited. It is known as the Blue City of India. It is the second largest city, after Jaipur, in the state of Rajasthan.

If you ever have the chance to visit, I would say the first place to check out is the fort. Mehrangarh Fort, which actually is the largest fort in the entire state, dominates the city, as you can see it from many points of interest. The photo above (taken at the Sardar market) is a good example, as you can see the fort up on the hill.

Its walls are very thick. 20-foot thick. Walking around it you might find some of the cannons these walls have withstood. To enter there are seven gates.

Once inside the fort there are several period spaces or mahal, which must be visited. The moti (pearl) is where the kind used to sit on his throne and meet the community. The phool (flower) is one of the most beautiful period spaces at the fort, where entertainment took place. The sheesh (mirror) is a hall of mirrors showing the work of the Rajput.

My favorite part of the palace is the Jhanki Mahal, the courtyard where the Maharaja’s women spent their days. That is why it’s called the “peeping palace,” as these women wanted to know what the men were up to.

The temple devoted to Chamunda Devi, which is one of the seven mother goddesses or matrikas, is a very interesting space, as well. Chamunda was the founder’s favorite Hindu goddess. It is unsure whether it was built in his lifetime or later.

There is a gallery, museum, and other things to see like concerts, film festivals, etc. The Mehrangarh Museum Trust has been responsible for the administration since the early 1970s. International tourists pay about ₹500 (INR), while the locals pay about ₹60. There are extra fees if you want to take video (200 INR) or photos (100 INR).

AJ Paris is a New York based photographer and the author of the coffee table book Men Around the World.

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