The forts of Rajasthan are one the desert state’s defining features – they dominate their surroundings and are usually very photogenic.
The Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur is a classic example, located as it is on a 30m high rocky hill with its walls and ramparts soaring another 100m. Giles Tillotson, an expert on the history and architecture of Rajasthan compared it to an aircraft carrier…
An interesting comparison given the distance from the sea, but his point is that the fort is an object statement of great power and prestige that also provided almost impregnable shelter from the ever-changing political and military fortunes of the times.
Photographing the Mehrangarh Fort
Both sunrise and sunset are great times to photograph the Mehrangarh Fort as the soft light brings out its desert hues and really makes the overall structure stand out.
Sunset is my favorite as the fort’s custodians turn the lights on round about the same time as the light is fading, giving you a short time window to capture the illuminated fort against a vivid blue sky backdrop.
A great place to set up shop is the side of Gulab Sagar “lake” on the eastern side of the fort, not far from the main clock tower and Sadar Market. At dawn the sun comes up behind you and paints the fort with soft light and if there is no wind there are really nice reflections in the rather murky waters of the lake.
At dusk the sun is going down behind the Mehrangarh Fort, which is when I took the image below:
Nikon D800 @ ISO 100, Nikon 24-70 @ 38mm – f11 and 13 seconds, 2 stop graduated filter and Gitzo tripod.