There are many forts I visited in Rajasthan, but the most beautiful and attractive fort that I ever visited is the Meherangarh fort. When I entered the fort, it was unlike any other fort but as soon as I started exploring, I found that the fort was very unique.
In the entry, I saw few boutique shops and cafés on either side of the pathway. The pathway is paved perfectly without any abrasion. As I walked through the fort, I entered into the museum after showing my ticket. As soon as I started exploring the museum, I was taken aback by the beautiful miniature paintings and architecture of the fort. I passed from one museum to another and came across the darbars of the fort. The open darbars are surrounded by beautiful walls. The meshed architecture on the walls of the forts reminded me of the bollywood cinemas. I remember that those architecture were shown along with music in cinemas before introducing the queen to create a pleasant feeling among audience.
I saw the beautiful city through the open ends of the fort. Jodhpur city is also knows as blue city. I had an aerial view of the city from the fort, few houses were in blue shades while majority were on sandstone. The tall walls of the fort are built with sandstone too and the small temples within the fort takes you to the era of the kings of Mewar. There were two small temples which I visited while exploring the fort. One of the temple was built with tall walls surrounding it. There were quite a few stairs to reach the temple. Within the boundaries of the temple, there is also a water body that added a mysterious charm to the temple.
Nevertheless, there was also a beautiful book store that was built inside the fort. It had collections of varieties of books as well as few photographs and accessories.The architecture of the fort is brilliant and it is built in such a way that one can view Umaid bhawan, the residence of the king, from the fort. The well maintained fort made with sandstone and rocks attracted me with it’s exceptional charm and beauty.
But as every story has a flip side, the Meherangarh fort has its dark side too.It is believed that king Rao Jodha had a desire to built this majestic fort on this particular hill. He executed a will to vacate the people dwelling on the hill. While everybody accepted the order of the king, one saint disagreed. The hill was the abode of variety of birds and the saint used to feed them. As he was upset by the king’s decision, he spelled a curse that the kingdom would suffer from draught if the king build his palace on the hill.
Once aware of the situation, the king asked for forgiveness from the saint. The saint agreed to forgive but as curse couldn’t be reversed, he came up with a different solution. He said that a man should grave himself alive as per his own will in the hill. Then the fort should be built. This will neutralize the curse.
The situation was tricky. The king didn’t find anyone who can sacrifice their life willingly. But finally a noble minded man, Rajaram Meghwal agreed to sacrifice his life. He was buried alive on an auspicious day and then the foundation of the fort was laid in 1459.
To my surprise, while I visited the fort, I found beautiful birds surrounding the water bodies outside the fort. There is also a bird watching zone outside the fort besides nature walk. The squirrels of the fort was exceptionally friendly. This compelled me to question if the nature has enough capability to connect the past and present. The present is neither the king nor the saint but the beautiful nature with variety of birds. While I visited the fort, did the cold breeze that touched my body whispered in my ear with a clue of the past …a past of resentment.