15 Must Visit Forts in Rajasthan
Rajasthan is one of the most splendid places in India to explore. In a state where there is too much to explore, the forts of it count for the most amazing things to see. Each fort in Rajasthan stands for the royal life that the Rajput had in their time. The forts are a symbolism of the valour, bravery, wealth, lavish life, and the love for architecture that the Rajput had. Rajasthan, the city of Rajputs, had seen enough invaders throughout because of this rich aura that they created. Exploring the forts of Rajasthan means diving into the history and lives of the Rajput and returning with tonnes of gorgeous pictures.
Ranthambore Fort: Ranthambore Fort in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan was built by the Rajput Chauhan rulers in tenth century. The fort is perched on seven hundred feet high hillock. One of the rarest and finest examples of forest forts, Ranthambhore Fort is spread within four kilometer long periphery, fortified by stone walls, ramparts, turrets and bastions. Within the ramparts of the fort are the ruins of temples, pavilions, palaces, water tanks, cenotaphs etc. Though most of the architectural structures in Ranthambore Fort are in dilapidated condition but Hammir Palace is still surviving. Presently, Ranthambore is the most famous wildlife sanctuary & tiger reserve in Rajasthan. Ranthambore Fort lies amidst the deciduous forest. The fort is in ruined condition because of several invasions and attacks. Lord Shiva Temple within the fort’s complex remains crowded with the devotees throughout the year.
Chittorgarh Fort: The Chittorgarh Fort stands out as a symbol of Rajput courage. Located about seventy miles from Udaipur, Chittorgarh was the ancient capital of Mewar State. Though Chittorgarh Fort is in ramshackle condition now-a-days but its ruins today speak eloquently of the deeds of its glorious past. The foundations of the fort of Chittor are ascribed traditionally to the 7th century and it remained the capital until 1567 AD. This fort has become the most popular fort of Rajasthan these days for the travellers because of the movie Padmavat. It is one of the oldest and an extremely lavish fort. The fort has its history of valour and sacrifice. The palace has enough attractions inside like the Padmini Palace, Ratan Singh’s palace, and more.
Nahargarh Fort: Located on a hilltop of the Aravalli ranges, Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur is called as ‘tiger fort’ too. Nahar in Sanskrit means tiger. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II constructed this fort – palace complex as a summer retreat in 1734 AD. Further additions were made to it, by the succeeding rulers in the 19th century. It was used as a personal treasury for many years. Since, it has high extending walls & ramparts, it offers delightful view of the entire Jaipur city, particularly the Man Sagar Lake and the surrounding area.
Amber Fort: Located in the hillock of the Aravalli ranges, the Amber Fort is a very popular place of attraction in Jaipur. The famous palace of Amber is situated seven miles from Jaipur and was the ancient capital of the old state of Jaipur. Construction work of Amber Fort began in 1592 AD by the Rajput commander. The fort – palace complex is an excellent example of Rajput and Mughal style of architectures, built in red sandstone and white marble. The palace used to be the capital of the Kachchawaha ruler. Within the palace, there are spots like Diwan-I-Aam, Diwan-I-Khas, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Niwas, Shila Devi temple etc. Shila Devi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The temple is very famous for its huge silver lions and silver doors. This is a major tourist attraction in Rajasthan.
Jaigarh Fort: Jaigarh literally means the ‘fort of victory’ and was built in 1726 AD by Sawai Jai Singh. If there is enough man made creativity on Earth, this palace should be one of them. Jaigarh Fort was a center of artillery production for the Rajput and it is home to the world’s largest cannon on wheels, the Jaivana. Jaigarh Fort has many wide water channels, which were a part of a rainwater harvesting system. The Fort also has three underground tanks, the largest one of which can store 60,00,000 gallons of water.
Jaisalmer Fort: Jaisalmer Fort is unique in a way from other forts in Rajasthan and elsewhere in India – the original & ancient city of Jaisalmer was lying within the ramparts of the fort. Jaisalmer Fort in the desert city is known as the Golden Fort or Sonar Qila because of the yellow sandstone used in the construction. The view of the fort from the Thar desert is just beyond putting in the words. This is the second oldest fort in Rajasthan. This mega structure in Jaisalmer city is over 800 years old and lies on Trikuta Hill.
Junagarh Fort: The construction of Junagarh Fort in Bikaner dates back to the 16th century. This is one of the very few forts in the country which has never been conquered. The foundation was laid down by Akbar’s contemporary Raja Rai Singh in 1587 AD and additions were made by successive rulers. Thirty seven palaces, pavilions and temples were added to the original structure and each has been cleverly built to connect with the previous building. There are many Jain temples inside Junagarh Fort and attract a large number of tourists. There is a museum within the fort’s compound which has a valuable collection of miniature paintings and other rare items dating back to several centuries. The gates of Junagarh Fort are more than huge which make for a perfect backdrop for pictures.
Mehrangarh Fort: For the people who love the vintage vibes, Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur is the best fort in the state. The fort was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 A.D. The area within the fort is covered with beautiful palaces and spacious courtyards. The palace has the Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace) and Daulatkhana. The gargantuan fort is home to well-kept royal museum containing a rich varied collection of palanquins, weaponry, folk music instrument, costumes, furniture, paintings etc.
Kumbhalgarh Fort: Located in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan and merely sixty kilometer away from Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh Fort is one of the mightiest forts of Rajasthan that is known for its glorious history. Maharana Kumbha was the one who made it in the 15th century. The most impressive fact of this fort is that its wall is the second largest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China. Warrior king was born in Kumbhalgarh Fort. Haldighati, the famous battlefield, is located merely twenty five kilometer from Kumbhalgarh. The fort is equipped with seven gates (known as ‘Pol’) and seven ramparts. It is home to more than three hundred sixty temple. One of the major attractions of the fort is beautiful Badal Palace.
Gagron Fort: This one is quite a little underrated in terms of tourism but it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which speaks for itself. Gagron Fort in Jhalawar is known as Jal Durg because of water surrounding it from three sides and the fourth side surrounded by dense forest. The two rivers, Kali & Ahu, surround the castle and form confluence just outside Gagron Fort. Another striking feature of Gagron Fort is that it is bereft of any foundation and built on rocky hillock. The temples and the sight of the water from all sides make for a highlight of this fort.
Lohagarh Fort: To begin with, Lohagarh Fort in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan is the most glorified fort of India because this is the only fort of India that is not surrendered to the Mughal & the British. As the name says, it was a very strong fort. Lohagarh Fort was built by famous Jat ruler Maharaja Suraj Mal in eighteenth century. Another significant fact about the fort is that one of its gates belonged to Chittorgarh Fort. As per historical legend, the gate of Chittorgarh Fort was looted & brought to Delhi by Alauddin Khilji as a sign of victory. Jat warriors trounced the Mughal, brought back the gate of Chittorgarh in 17th century and got it fixed in Lohagarh Fort. The fort is surrounded by deep moat.
Taragarh Fort: Another underrated but an amazing fort to explore in Rajasthan is the Taragarh Fort. Located in Bundi, the Taragarh Fort is built on the steep hills and talks about the rich history of the Rajput Chauhan rulers. It is a ruined fort but is still pretty to explore and click pictures at. The beautiful architecture of the place filled with murals is its attraction for the explorers.
Ajabgarh Fort: This fort lies between the Bhangarh Fort and the Pratapgarh Fort. Ajabgarh Fort is not actually in Sariska but is quite close to it. The grandson of Madho Singh, Ajab Singh Rajawat built this fort. The fort is known for its beauty, unique design, and for its relation with the Bhangarh Fort and its haunting stories.
Bhangarh Fort: One of the oldest and famous forts in Rajasthan is Bhangarh Fort. It was built in the 16th century in Rajgarh by Bhagwant Das for his son Madho Singh. Currently, Bhangarh Fort is the most haunted place in India and the government doesn’t allow people to enter the place before sunrise and after sunset as spirits are believed to enter the fort during this time. Hence, the best time to visit Bhangarh Fort is daytime. The precincts and the fort are well preserved till date.
Alwar Fort: Alwar Fort is popularly famous with the name of Bala Quila. Its location on the Aravalli ranges for the best views from the top of the fort. Alwar Fort is one of the oldest buildings of Alwar along with being one of the top tourist places of the city. Hasan Khan Mewati was the one who constructed this fort in 16th century. The fort has aged gracefully with time and is also very huge.
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