Jodhpur: The Fort of the Sun God

After establishing the Rathore kingdom chieftain Rao Jodha chose to build a new fort for his new capital Jodhpur. Legend tells, he invited a powerful female sage Karni Mata to lay the foundation stone of Mehrangarh. And it's due to her eternal blessing the Rathore clan owns Mehrangarh Fort till today; which is considered to be a miracle as all other Rajput clans of Rajasthan had to leave their respective forts due to some or other reasons. Rathore clan owns the Bikaner fort as well which too was blessed by Karni Mata.

As per Indian Mythology, the Rathores are considered as the descendants of the Hindu sun god Surya. The word Mehrangarh originates from 'Mihirgarh' or the fort of the Surya. The Rathores had dedicated their fort to their god. In ancient times, the gods were much vicious in nature. In order to grant success they used to demand blood sacrifice in return. Rao Jodha buried someone alive at the foundation in order to appease the gods. By doing so his soul remained trapped in the fort forever. He became a yaksha, the eternal guardian of the fort.

Temple of goddess Chamunda, the kul devi of the Rathore clan.

Sacrifice was no unusual topic for the Rajputs apparently. Hand-prints of the queens of Maharaja Man Singh who immolated themselves at the funeral pyre of their husband. I don't get creeped out very easily but here I was speechless for few moments, staring intently at the wall and trying to picture the faces of those unknown women.

Mehrangarh Fort has seven different gates, or 'pols'. If my memory serves me right, we took the Fatehpol. This one is located at a walking distance from gundi ka moholla, or the local brahmin neighbourhood. And thank all the gods of Rajasthan that we did so, however unknowingly. Because when we exited through the main entrance of the fort we could see the touristy pandemonium going on there. Whereas, we had a chance to walk for at least a kilometer of distance completely undisturbed and unaccompanied by anyone but the a few locals who probably live inside the fort premises.