Famous Forts in Rajasthan That You Should Visit at Least Once

Rajasthan - the land of deserts, the land of warriors, the land of colours and the land of forts! Undoubtedly one of the most fascinating states of India, the land is blessed with forts that speak the glory of the past, of the wars and the men who fought with unmatchable courage.

These historic forts in Rajasthan display excellent architecture, are replete with art influenced by Hindu, Jain and Muslim cultures and are an epitome of rustic, exotic beauty.

We list down the top historic forts of Rajasthan that are among the best places to visit in Rajasthan!

1. Ranthambore Fort

Image Source: crispydevesh/flickr.com

Lying within the stunning Ranthambore National Park which is a beautiful bounty of nature, Ranthambore fort is one of the most striking forts in Rajasthan. The fort stands as an epitome of the gallantry of Hammir Dev belonging to the Chauhan Dynasty.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this fort is believed to be constructed in 944 CE and has held a significant place in Jain culture and gained popularity as an important centre for Jain pilgrimage.

Transferred to different dynasties including the Mughals, the fort was last owned by the Kachwaha Maharajas of Jaipur from the 17th centuries and was used as a hunting fort.

The fort has seen the rise and the fall of various empires, seen bloodshed and has been standing proud and tall all these years.

Visit the Ranthambore National Park and explore the grandeur of the Ranthambore Fort.

2. Mehrangarh Fort

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

This seven gated fort is one of the tallest in India and dates back to the 15th century. Attributed to Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur, this fort also features a museum replete with old royal palanquins, including the elaborate domed gilt Mahadol palanquin, arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms.

According to a legend, the hill on which the fort is built was inhabited by Cheeria Nathji, the lord of birds who was forced to move out during the construction of the fort. He cursed the king and his kingdom with draught and scarcity of water and locals believe this to be the reason for the draught even today.

The popular Hollywood movie 'The Dark Knight Rises' was shot here!  

Travel to the Sun City of Jodhpur; plan your itinerary with Jodhpur Trip Planner.

3. Kumbhalgarh Fort

Image Source: Ramnath Bhat/flickr.com

Birth place of one of the greatest warriors India has ever seen - Maharana Pratap and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this fort was built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. With fifteen feet thick frontal walls that are second longest in the world, the fort was an unbeatable stronghold of the Sisodia kingdom.

Home to around 300 ancient Jain temples and 60 Hindu temples , this is a great place to observe the dreamy sand dunes of the Thar desert.

The fort celebrates a three-day annual festival in the remembrance of Rana Kumbha which is one of the most prominent festivals of Rajasthan.

4. Jaisalmer Fort

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Famed as one of the largest fortifications in the world, this mark of royalty dates back to the 12th century and is attributed to Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. Shining in the vast emptiness of the Thar Desert, this UNESCO World Heritage site played an important role in trade with Persia, Arabia, Egypt and Africa.

Once home to the entire population of Jaisalmer, the Brahmin and Daroga communities still reside within the fort.

Attacked multiple times, Jaisalmer fort continued to be a strategic location till the 20th century and played an important role in the Indo-Pak wars.

Guarded by four entrances, one of the must-see features of this fort is its brilliant drainage system called ‘Ghut Nali’.

5. Amber Fort (Amer Fort)

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

This fort is also popularly known as the Amer Fort. Located just a drive away from Jaipur, this historical fort of Rajasthan is set on a hill and was built by Meena tribe and was dedicated to goddess Amba who was popularly called as ‘Ghatta Rani’ or ‘Queen of the Pass’.

Displaying distinct Hindu elements in its architecture, the red sandstone and marble exterior of the Amber fort is worth admiring.

Residence of the Rajput Maharajas, this is one of the most visited historical forts of Rajasthan with around 1.5 million visitors every year.

The Sheesh Mahal, the Suhag Mandir and the frescoed ceilings are a masterpiece of Indian art. have you ever visited these historical places in india?

6. Junagarh Fort

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Literally meaning ‘Old Fort’ the original name of this historic fort in Rajasthan was Chintamani. The city of Bikaner was developed around the Junagarh fort and it was home to the royal Singh Family that resided in the fort till the 20th century.

The fort was built by Rao Bhika, the son of Rao Jodha-the founder of Jodhpur.

Bordered by Aravalli range on one side and Thar Desert on the other, this is one of the very few forts in Rajasthan that are not built on a hill top.

The main courtyard adorned by Italian Carrara Marble and the explicitly decorated chambers display fantastic art, architecture and breathe a history that can take you into the glorious times of the Maharajas!

You may also like to explore these weekend getaways in India.

7. Chittorgarh Fort

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

One of the most popular and notable forts in Rajasthan, Chittorgarh fort defines bravery, sacrifice, spirituality and beauty in its first glimpse.

Home to popular historic figures like Meera Bai- the devotee of Lord Krishna, Queen Padmavati-one of the most beautiful women in India and Rani Karnavati- the woman who led a Johar, the fort dates back to 7th century and was built in the Mauryan rule. Ruled and led by influential families of Indian history like Sisodias and Suryawanshis, this fish shaped hill fort has multiple attractions dotted within its premises that require at least one whole day to explore.

The Vijaystambha, the Meera temple, the Kirtistambha and the Padmini’s palace will hook you and stun you on your visit!

8. Jaigarh Fort

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Also known as Cheel ka Teela, this fort is also popular as Victory fort and is located on a hill in the Aravalli Range overlooking the Amer Fort. Resembling Amer fort in its art and appearance, Jaigarh fort was built as a defensive fort and is connected to the Amer fort by subterranean passages.

The Laxmi Vilas, Lalit Mandir, Vilas Mandir and Aram Mandir located within the Jaigarh fort are interesting to visit. The most remarkable feature of Jaigarh fort is the 'Jaivana’ which is the world’s largest cannon on wheels. Built inside the fort itself, Jaivana is one of the masterpieces of artillery productions by Rajputs and is well-preserved even today.

9. Gagron fort

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

This fort is attributed to the Parmar Dynasty and was built between 7th and 14th Century. Surrounded by Ahu, Kali and Sindh Rivers on its all sides, this fort is a refreshing change from the other hill forts of Rajasthan. The abundance of water, Mukundarrah Range of hills and a verdant forest give the fort a beautiful backdrop.

The fort has a temple dedicated to Hindu deities like Shiva, Ganesha and Durga.

The fort has witnessed multiple battles and sacrifice of Rajputs of the Khichi Chauhan community.

Just outside the fort is the Dargah of Sufi Saint Mittheshah which hosts the yearly fair during Muharram.

So, when are you planning a trip to Rajasthan?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
RENUKA SHAHANE RENUKA SHAHANE

Living out of a carry-on and traversing through the labyrinths of Europe, exploring the wilderness of America, divulging the eccentric culture of the Latin world and re-connecting her roots that sprawl in the rustic villages of India is one dream that she sees every single night. Once Lost, Now Found; Renuka is still oscillating between the paths to choose and the dreams to chase. A believer of righteousness, she likes to trust that her life is in accordant with her favourite book.

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