A complex of courtyards, gardens and buildings, the impressive City Palace is right in the centre of the Old City. The outer wall was built by Jai Singh, but within it the palace has been enlarged and adapted over the centuries. There are palace buildings from different eras, some dating from the early 20th century.
Rising perpendicular and impregnable from a rocky hill that itself stands 120m above Jodhpur’s skyline, Mehrangarh is one of the most magnificent forts in India. The battlements are 6m to 36m high and as the building materials were chiselled from the rock on which the fort stands, the structure merges with its base.
Adjacent to the City Palace is Jantar Mantar, an observatory begun by Jai Singh in 1728, which resembles a collection of bizarre sculptures. The name is derived from the Sanskrit yanta mantr meaning ‘instrument of calculation’, and in 2010 it was added to India’s list of World Heritage Sites. Jai Singh liked astronomy even more than he liked war and town planning.
A zigzag ascent of more than 1km leads through six outer gateways to the main gate on the western side, the Ram Pole (the former back entrance). On the climb you pass two chhatris , domed memorials, between the second and third gates. These mark the spots where Jaimal and Kalla, heroes of the 1568 siege, fell during the struggle against Akbar.