The Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) was once a part of the private apartment of Maharaja Ajit Singh of Marwar (r. 1707-1724). It is located towards the rear end of a hall (now the textiles gallery) which was once used as residential quarters by the Maharajas of Jodhpur.
Under the arches in Sheesh Mahal are painted gesso panels depicting gods and goddesses such as Brahma, Shiv- Parvati, Devi and Ganesh on their thrones. Krishna is pictured playing the flute and lifting Mount Govardhan. Ram and Sita appear with Hanuman.
The wooden ceiling and the European glass chandelier suspended on it are later additions and were added in the 19th century. The original 18th century ceiling is displayed on the floor.
The Palace of flowers is a magnificent 18th century chamber built by Maharaja Abhay Singh (1724-49) as a hall of private audience. The ceiling is in gold filigree and mirror, and the walls, painted in the 19th century, depict the various moods of the Indian classical ragas, Royal Portraits and the incarnations of Vishnu and Goddess Durga.
With its delicate colours, golden sheen, ornate ceiling and stained glass windows and screens, the Phool Mahal is undoubtedly the grandest period room in Mehrangarh.
The bed-chamber of Maharaja Takhat Singh (1843-73) is decorated from ceiling to floor with paintings on a variety of subjects; from Hindu gods and goddesses to European ladies. Even the ‘carpet’ on the floor is painted. Especially noteworthy are the lacquer paintings on the wooden ceiling. Takhat Singh, a great patron of the arts, was the last of Jodhpur’s Maharajas to wholly reside in Mehrangarh.
Sardar Vilas is an 18th century palace room which underwent renovations in the 19th and 20th centuries. Displayed here are sets of wooden doors and windows which were once part of the palaces of Mehrangarh. Exquisite examples of 19th century woodcraft from Marwar, these are decorated with ivory, lacquer and paint.
Jhanki Mahal palace was constructed during the reign of Maharaja Takhat Singh of Marwar (r. 1843-1873). It is said that this palace was built to allow women of the zenana to view formal proceedings in the courtyards below (‘Jhanki’ means ‘glimpse’). The jaalis and small windows allowed them to look down without being observed.
Jhanki Mahal now houses the cradles collection. Some of these cradles or swings (‘jhulas’) were used for infants, while others were intended for idols which were placed in these swings on festival days.
Dipak Mahal is a part of the Khwabgah courtyard built in the 18th century by Maharaja Ajit Singh of Marwar (r. 1707-1724 and later renovated by Maharaja Takhat Singh (r. 1843-1873). It was once the main administrative centre of the fort where the Diwans and other officials who oversaw administrative matters of the kingdom sat. The seat at the back was intended for the Maharaja or a high official while other officials occupied seats on the floor.
The Pearl Palace is one of the oldest surviving period rooms in the fort. It was built in the 16th century by Sawai Raja Sur Singh (1595-1619) as a Hall of Public Audience. The walls of the room are lustrously polished with ‘chunam’ and decorated with niches in which lamps once flickered. The ceiling is beautifully embellished with mirror and gilt.