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Mehrangarh Fort dominates the city of Jodhpur and is the largest fort in Rajasthan. Founded in 1458 as the site of Rao Jodha's new capital - hence the name, Jodhpur - the city has grown around it, and in the 500 years that have passed the fort has never been taken by force. It's easy to see why: it occupies the entire top of a 150-metre hill with commanding views all around, with some three kilometers of massive ramparts built around the edges.
The name "fort" belies the size of the complex, which houses the Maharaja's palace, several temples and, tucked away in the back, an extensive garden still farmed to this day. Highlights within the palace include:
A number of people are employed here and there to add flavor by dressing in period costume and doing photogenic things like playing traditional instruments and smoke opium (yes, the real thing). Snap away, but they'll appreciate a tip if you do. The museum also includes galleries devoted to howdahs (elephant-mounted seats), palanquins, fine arts, weaponry, and the inevitable Turban Gallery.
Entry to Mehrangarh costs Rs.250, including still camera fee and an excellent audio guide available in six languages. A rickshaw from the city will cost around Rs.30, or you can try to pick your way through the alleys up on foot. Open 9:00am to 5:00pm daily.
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