Mehrangarh Fort.

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images


Top choice in Jodhpur

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. Mehrangarh is packed with history and legend.

Mehrangarh’s main entrance is at the northeast gate, Jai Pol. It’s about a 300m walk up from the old city to the entrance, or you can take a winding 5km autorickshaw ride (around ₹120).

Jai Pol was built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1808 following his defeat of invading forces from Jaipur. Past the museum ticket office and a small cafe, the 16th-century Dodh Kangra Pol was an external gate before Jai Pol was built, and still bears the scars of 1808 cannonball hits. Through here, the main route heads up to the left through the 16th-century Imritia Pol and then Loha Pol, the fort’s original entrance, with iron spikes to deter enemy elephants. Just inside the gate are two sets of small hand prints, the sati (ritual suicide of widow on husband’s funeral pyre) marks of royal widows – the last to commit sati were Maharaja Man Singh’s widows in 1843.

Past Loha Pol you’ll find a restaurant and Suraj Pol, which gives access to the museum. Once you’ve visited the museum, continue on from here to the panoramic ramparts, which are lined with impressive antique artillery. The ramparts were fenced off in 2016 after a fatal selfie accident – hopefully a temporary measure, as the views are spectacular.

Also worth exploring is the right turn from Jai Pol, where a path winds down to the Chokelao Bagh, a restored and gorgeously planted 18th-century Rajput garden (you could lose an afternoon here lolling under shady trees reading a book), and the Fateh Pol. You can exit here into the old city quarter of Navchokiya.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Jodhpur attractions

1. Mehrangarh Museum

0.07 MILES

The fort's museum encompasses its former palace, and is a superb example of Rajput architecture. The network of courtyards and halls features stone…

2. Chokelao Bagh


Chokelao Bagh is a restored 18th-century Rajput garden featuring garden and rooftop restaurants.

3. Chamundaji Temple

0.14 MILES

At the southwestern end of the fort, this temple is dedicated to the goddess Durga in her wrathful aspect.

4. Fateh Pol

0.15 MILES

At the southwestern side of the fort, this gate was erected by Maharaja Ajit Singh to commemorate his defeat of the Mughals. You can enter the fort from…

5. Jai Pol

0.16 MILES

The Jai Pol was built by Maharajah Man Singh in 1808 following his defeat of invading forces from Jaipur.

6. Toorji Ka Jhalra

0.28 MILES

This geometrically handsome step-well (also known as a baori or wav) has been rejuvenated after decades as a rubbish dump. Its clean lines and clear, fish…

7. Clock Tower

0.39 MILES

The century-old clock tower is a city landmark surrounded by the vibrant sounds, sights and smells of Sardar Market. The market is bordered by triple…

8. Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park

0.44 MILES

This 72-hectare park – and model of ecotourism – sits in the lee of Mehrangarh. It has been lovingly restored and planted with native species to show the…