Forts of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is a treasure of history and heritage. The stories of the valor of the Princely clans of the region are legends. These valiant rulers have been long gone but their legacy still lives. The Forts, Palaces, Mahals and Temples are reminiscences of the glories of the rulers. The forts built by these ruling clans are magnificent specimens of military strategy, splendid beauty and historical value.
- Achalgarh is a fort situated about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) north of Mount Abu. The fort was originally built by the Paramara dynasty rulers and later reconstructed, renovated and named as Achalgarh by Maharana Kumbha in 1452 CE, one of the several forts built during his reign.
- Bala Quilaalso known Alwar fort is a fort in Alwar. It is situated on a hill in the Aravalli Range, above the town of Alwar. The fort is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) long and is about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) wide. It was built in 15th century by the Hasan Khan Mewati. In the following centuries it went to the Marathas, Yadavas,and to the Kachwaha Rajputs.
- Amer Fortis a fort located in Amer, Rajasthan, India. Amer is a town with an area of 4 square kilometres (1.5 sq mi) located 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Located high on a hill, it is the principal tourist attraction in the Jaipur area. The town of Amer was originally built by Meenas and later it was ruled by Raja Man Singh I (December 21, 1550 – July 6, 1614).
This palace, along with Jaigarh Fort, is located immediately above on the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the same Aravalli range of hills. The palace and Jaigarh Fort are considered one complex, as the two are connected by a subterranean passage. This passage was meant as an escape route in times of war to enable the royal family members and others in the Amer Fort to shift to the more redoubtable Jaigarh Fort.
- BhainsrorgarhFort or Bhainsror Fort is an ancient fort that has become a major tourist spot in Rajasthan. The nearest town is Rawatbhata, 7 km from Bhainsror.
Bhainsrorgarh is an impregnable fort, inhabited from at least the 2nd century BC. It is dramatically positioned between two rivers, the Chambal and Bamani. It had passed through the hands of several clans before becoming the seat of a premier noble of Mewar, the large region around Udaipur and Princely State of the Sisodia clan. It contains five tanks, temples to Devi Bhim Chauri, Shiva, and Ganesh and a palace that is for rent.
Bhainsrorgarh held great importance to the Chundawat clan of Sisodia Rajputs, as it was granted to Rao Chunda after he renounced the Mewar throne for his yet to be born younger brother. As the eldest son of Rana Lakha, then ruler of Mewar, Chunda Ji was the heir apparent to the throne of Chittor.
- The Bhangarh Fortis a 17th-century fort built in the Rajasthan state of India. It was built by Man Singh I (one of the navratnas of Akbar’s court) for his younger brother Madho Singh I. It was named by Madho Singh after his grandfather Man Singh or Bhan Singh. The fort and its precincts are well preserved. The Bhangarh Fort is located on the border of the Sariska Reserve in the Aravali range of hills in Alwar district.
- The Bhatner fortis at Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, India, about 419 km northwest of Jaipur along the old Multan-Delhi route and 230 km north-east of Bikaner. The old name of Hanumangarh was Bhatner, which means “fortress of the Bhatti Rajputs”.Believed to be 1700 years old, it is considered to be one of the oldest forts of India.
The ancient fort situated on the bank of river ghaggar was built in 253AD by Bhupat, son of king Bhati of Jaisalmer. It is said that after losing the battle against the Sultan of Ghazni, King Bhupat took shelter in the jungle around the Ghaggar River. This fort stands in the path of invasion of India from Central Asia and had acted as a strong barricade against the attack of enemies. Finally in the year of 1805, it was captured by Emperor Soorat Singh of Bikaner and remained with it till the formation of Rajasthan.Since the day of victory was Tuesday (known as day of Hindu God Hanuman), so he named Bhatner as Hanumangarh.
- The Chittor Fortor Chittorgarh is one of the largest forts in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort was the capital of Mewar and is today situated in the Chittorgarh town.
The Guhila (Gahlot) ruler Bappa Rawal is said to have captured the fort in either 728 CE or 734 CE. From 7th century, the fort was ruled by the Mewar Kingdom. In 1303, the Turkic ruler of Delhi, Alauddin Khalji defeated Rana Ratan Singh, in 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat defeated Bikramjeet Singh and in 1567 Akbar defeated Maharana Udai Singh II who later founded Udaipur.
The fort and the city of Chittorgarh host the biggest Rajput festival called the “Jauhar Mela.It takes place annually on the anniversary of one of the jauhars, but no specific name has been given to it. It is generally believed that it commemorates Padmini’s jauhar, which is most famous. This festival is held primarily to commemorate the bravery of Rajput ancestors and all three jauhars which happened at Chittorgarh Fort.
- Jaigarh Fortis situated on the promontory called the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the Aravalli range; it overlooks the Amber Fort and the Maota Lake, near Amber in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. The fort was built by Jai Singh II in 1726 to protect the Amber Fort and its palace complex and was named after him.
Amber was known in the ancient and medieval period as Dhundhar (meaning attributed to a sacrificial mount in the western frontiers). What is known in the present day as Jaigarh Fort, which was actually the main defensive structure rather than the palace itself. The two structures are interconnected by a series of encompassing fortifications and ruled by the Kachwahas from the 10th century onwards. The history of Amber and Jaigarh is indelibly linked to these rulers, as they founded their empire at Amber.
It became one of the world’s most efficient cannon foundries mainly due to the abundance of iron ore mines in the vicinity of the fort.
- Gagron Fortis situated in Jhalawar district of Rajasthan, in the Hadoti region of India. It is an example of a hill and water fort.
- Jaisalmer Fortis one of the largest fully preserved fortified cities in the world. It is situated in the city of Jaisalmer. It was built in 1156 AD by the Rajput Rawal (ruler) Jaisal, from whom it derives its name. The fort stands amidst the sandy expanse of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill.
- Jalore Fortis the main attraction of Jalore, a town in the Indian state of Rajasthan, one of the nine castles of the Maru, under the Paramaras in the 10th century. It is one of the most famous and impressive forts in the state and has been known through history as the Sonagir or the ‘golden mount’.
Jalore Fort is regarded as one of the most impregnable forts of the country. There is a saying: Let the sky be torn, the earth turned upside down, let the iron armor be cut to pieces, body fighting alone, but Jalore would not surrender
- Junagarh Fortis a fort in the city of Bikaner. he fort was originally called Chintamani and was renamed Junagarh or “Old Fort” in the early 20th century when the ruling family moved to Lalgarh Palace outside the fort limits. It is one of the few major forts in Rajasthan which is not built on a hilltop. The modern city of Bikaner has developed around the fort. Junagarh fort is located in the arid region of the Thar desert of Rajasthan bordered on the northwest by the Aravalli range, a range of mountains in western India. Part of the desert area is in Bikaner city, which is one of the three desert triangle cities; the other two cities are Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. The name of the place where Bikaner city with its forts was established was then known as Jungladesh.
This fort was built in 1478 by Rao Bika who established the city of Bikaner in 1472. Rao Bika was the second son of Maharaja Rao Jodha of the Rathor clan, the founder of Jodhpur city.
- Kumbhalgarh(“Kumbhal fort”) is a Mewar fortress on the westerly range of Aravalli Hills, in the Rajsamand district near Udaipur of Rajasthan state in western India. It is a World Heritage Site included in Hill Forts of Rajasthan. Built during the course of the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, Kumbhalgarh is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great king and warrior of Mewar. Kumbhalgarh in its current form was built and ruled by Rana Kumbha and his dynasty who were Hindu Sisodia rajputs descendents.
- Lohagarh Fort(Iron fort) is situated at Bharatpur in Rajasthan, India. It was constructed by Bharatpur Jat rulers. Maharaja Suraj Mal used all his power and wealth to a good cause, and built numerous forts and palaces across his kingdom, one of them being the Lohagarh Fort (Iron fort), which was one of the strongest ever built in Indian history. The inaccessible Lohagarh fort could withstand repeated attacks of British forces led by Lord Lake in 1805 when they laid siege for over six weeks. Of the two gates in the fort, one in the north is known as Ashtdhaatu (eight metalled) gate while the one facing the south is called Chowburja (four-pillared) gate.
- Mehrangarh(Mehran Fort), located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is one of the largest forts in India. Built around 1460 by Rao Jodha, the fort is situated 410 feet (125 m) above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls.
There are seven gates, which include Jayapol (meaning ‘victory’), built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur, Udaipur and Bikaner armies. Fattehpol (also meaning ‘victory’) gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of the Mughals. The palm imprints upon these still attract much attention.
Mehrangarh (etymology: ‘Mihir’ (Sanskrit) -sun or Sun-deity; ‘garh’ (Sanskrit)-fort; i.e.’Sun-fort’); according to Rajasthani language pronunciation conventions,’Mihirgarh’ has changed to ‘Mehrangarh’; the Sun-deity has been the chief deity of the Rathore dynasty.
- Nahargarh Fortstands on the edge of the Aravalli Hills, overlooking the city of Jaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Along with Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh once formed a strong defense ring for the city. The fort was originally named Sudarshangarh, but it became known as Nahargarh, which means ‘abode of tigers’. The popular belief is that Nahar here stands for Nahar Singh Bhomia, whose spirit haunted the place and obstructed construction of the fort. Nahar’s spirit was pacified by building a temple in his memory within the fort, which thus became known by his name.
Built mainly in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur, the fort was constructed as a place of retreat on the summit of the ridge above the city.
- Ranthambore Fortlies within the Ranthambore National Park, near the town of Sawai Madhopur, the park being the former hunting grounds of the Maharajahs of Jaipur until the time of India’s Independence. It is a formidable fort having been a focal point of the historical developments of Rajasthan. The fort is known for the glory and valor of Hammir dev of the Chauhan dynasty. The Ranthambore fort was built by a Chauhan ruler, although the exact name of the ruler is disputed. A widely held belief states that the fort was built the reign of Sapaldaksha, in 944 CE. Another theory states that the fort was built during the reign of Jayant.
- Taragarh Fortor ‘Star Fort’ is the most impressive of structures of city of Ajmer in Indian state of Rajasthan. A rather ramshackle fort, with its overgrown vegetation, It was constructed in 1354 upon a steep hillside. There are three gateways to the fort, well known as Lakshmi Pol, Phuta Darwaza and Gagudi ki Phatak. Most parts of these impressive gateways are now in ruins. During its heyday, Taragarh Fort was renowned for its tunnels crisscrossing the entire hillside.
It offers a panoramic view of the city of Bundi situated in Nagpahari of Aravalli ranges. The fort capture by Dara Shikoh and ruled as mughal subah from 1633-1776