The Mehrangarh Fort and its palaces were built over a period of 500 years, following their foundation in the mid 15th century. As a result, the varied building styles of many different periods are represented in this architectural masterpiece. The Elephant Howdah and Palanquin Gallery on the southern side of Shringar Chowk, is now a hauda khana with a display of the 18th and 19th century howdahs (seats for riding on the elephants) decorated with some fine silver repousse work. A priceless and unique historical howdah is the silver one presented to the Maharaja Jaswant Singh I (1638-78) by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, as a mark of special honor. The Palanquin Gallery displays one of the richest collections of palanquins in Rajasthan. Pinjas, the covered palanquin is an exquisite piece of craftsmanship. It is beautifully decorated with lacquer paintwork. Rajat Khasa, the beautiful lotus shaped royal silver palanquin used by the Maharajas is another fine piece of art. The palki designed for a woman in purdah, with a red and silver striped velvet covering, and carrying poles that terminate in elephant heads; and the palki fitted with a European style chair are noteworthy.
The Painting Gallery displays a large and magnificent collection of Miniature Paintings; and perhaps the finest collection of paintings from the Marwar School. Court painting in Jodhpur developed greatly during 17th century through the association of Marwar's Rulers with the Mughal Emperors. During the 18th and 19th centuries it evolved into a distinctive Rajasthani style, combining Mughal naturalism with local folk style and bold colours. Jodhpur paintings later took on an even more exuberant turn under Maharaja Man Singh (1803-43), and dozens of paintings of the ruler, his nobles and his ladies were made. The Textile and Turban Gallery at Mehrangarh comprises several late Mughal tents, tent walls, canopies, hangings, and floor-spreads that date from the late 17th to the mid 18th century, and a large number of garments and furnishings from the late 19th and early 20th century. Mehrangarh holds perhaps the single largest collection in the world of such textiles from this period. The Turban Gallery in the Mehrangarh Museum seeks to preserve, document and display the many different types of turbans once prevalent in Rajasthan ; every community, region and, indeed, festival has its own head-gear and this diversity, the colors of the desert, is wonderfully brought out in this collection.
The Sileh Khana or Arms exhibition highlights stunning examples of watered steel blades, hilts embellished with gold and silver inlay, masterfully crafted daggers and dagger blades, and rare examples of shields decorated with leather work. The gallery also has on display personal swords; among them are the Khanda of Rao Jodha, weighing over seven pounds, and the sword of Akbar the Great.
The museum offers internship programs for the youth and has a manuscript library which can be accessed by researchers and scholars.