In 1406, Rao Chounda battled Mandore from Parmars and kept it as their capital.1459 A.D. was the year when Rao Jodha, son of Ranwal, shifted the capital from Mandore and founded the city of Jodhpur. Formerly called Mordhwaj or Maharana, fort encircles a periphery of 4 miles.
The fort is located at the top of a 400ft high hill. The northern side is more scraped and is build on a 120ft cliff. 20 to 120ft high and 12 to 70ft thick towers encase a run of 1500ft long and 750ft wide. This colossal fort holds its credit to Rao Jodha, who on the recommendation of a great, fortified the Godagir (The hill of conflict). On is advice, it was to be named as Bakuchirain-the birds nest. The task was to imply to the conditions of the great keeping in mind the factors of security and access. For this, a place, four miles south of Mandore was selected. It was geographically such that it was virtually impossible to attack and invade it.
Grand doors with huge portals were built. For concrete security system 7 obstacles blocked the circular ascent. In 1707 A.D. Maharja Ajitsingh erected the Fatehpol to mark his victory over the Mughals. In times of Jodha, Amripole, Jodha ka falsa (the oldest gate) were built by Rao Maldeo. Raja Mansingh soiled the combined armies of Jaipur and Bikaner in 1807 A.D. The Jaipole stands as memory of the same. The palm impressions at the Lohapol are the signs of “Sati”, a ritual wherein the widow submitted herself to the husband’s pyre.
Red stone architecture and buildings of civil interests were constructed. Fine panels, latticed windows and stone work were the exclusive features. Moti Mahal by Raja Sur Singh and Phool Mahal by Abhaysingh, have noteworthy paintings. For adding to the serenity, Gulabsagar and Rani Talab were made, besides a nine feet deep reservoir. Arms and old weapons were kept in the Sileh Khana.
Unusually long and thick cannons like Kalka, Bhawani, Kilika, still point to the city from the cliff. The Jaswant Thara near the fort is the blend of Indo- Muslim architectural excellence. Chamunda Kul Devi mandir, Talhati Ka Mahal and Raj Mahal on Gulab sagar, Gangashyam Temple, Balsrovar,Sardar Museum and Umed Bhavan are yet other places of interest to the tourists.
The 101 towers at the east of the fort are another engineering achievements. Sojatigate, Merta Gate, Jalori Gate, Siwanchi Gate, Nagauri Gate and Chandpole Gate were the six gates that opened into the capital.
The beauty of the fort also seeded jealously in the hearts of rulers of Jaipur, Bikaner and Udaipur. Also, the fort encountered frequent invasions from Marathas and Mughals in the reign of Maldeo, Ajeetsingh and their successors.
On successful encounter with Sarangkhan, the Chattra and Chamer ere to be bestowed upon Rao Bika by Jodha.
In the trail of defence, Tilokasi lost his life to Sher Shah, who demolished a temple and constructed a mosque over it along with the Golkighati. Maldeo overthrew him, but could not sustain for long.
The exponentially increasing Mughal power, made it easier or it to make the kings surrender than opt a war. Mota Raja, accompanied Mughals in their conquest against Rao Chandrasen, during the period of Hasan Ali Khan. He received the fort as a gift for his service.
Rajppots thereafter, altered their strategies and aligned themselves and attacked the fort of Jodhpur. Within 3 days of demise of Aurangeb and Ajeetsingh , Inayat Khan with a force of 20,000 marched towards the fort . Nazim Khan, the governor then, fled without resistance.
Abhay Singh was constantly investigating the fort and was checked by Sawai Jaisingh. Governors of Ajmer Bakatsingh and Zulfikar, collectively attacked and face strong resistance from Mertias of Ramsingh, but later fort came to Bakatsingh.
Pokaran’s Sawai Singh, and Jaipur army teamed to attack. The Jaipur army withdrew just before the treaty was about to be signed. The attackers’ plans to mine the wall near the Fatehpol, were foiled by hot oil that they was poured upon them.
The fort books the mark in history for its ever felt gracious presence, and tale of thrones and valor.
By reshu Sharma