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10 Famous Forts of Rajasthan To Teleport You To The Age of Maharajas

    

Sometimes we never really return from the places that we visit. We leave a part of our soul right there to make every picture of every corner, eternal in our heart. And Rajasthan is absolutely one such place. The royal history of the desert state is still beautifully preserved and nurtured in the vestiges that resonate tales of pride and valiance. And what are these vestiges? The magnificent forts of the royal era that depict mesmerising blend of Hindu, Islamic and Colonial architecture. A visit to Rajasthan is definitely incomplete without witnessing the glorious and smartly built forts that are sure to knock your socks off.

1. Jaisalmer Fort

10 Famous Forts of Rajasthan To Teleport You To The Age of Maharajas-1 The only living fort of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer Fort is a gem nestled amid the town of amiable locals, Jaisalmer. Built-in 1156 A.D. by Rawal Jaisal, this fort is locally called Sonar Quila or Golden fort because of its yellow colour that lustres like gold during sunset and sunrise. The fort has a remarkable structure of various roads everywhere that connects it directly to the town so that you can walk out anytime while exploring the fort to have its external view. There are many beautiful temples within the fort, most famous being the Jain temples. Shopping local goods and handicrafts from the fort complex is a must while the rest of the time you can walk around the streets of Jaisalmer fort and talk to hostile strangers. Jaisalmer Fort is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the ‘Forts of Rajasthan’ category and visiting the fort is full of life experience that gives you the pictures of both, the ancient and the present day Rajasthan.

Visiting hours: 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Entry fee: Entry is free for everyone. However, carrying a camera requires you to pay INR 50.

2. Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur

10 Famous Forts of Rajasthan To Teleport You To The Age of Maharajas-2 When in Pink city, who would want to miss out on the spectacular skyline view of the city. Situated on the edge of Aravalli hills, Nahargarh was built in 1734 by the founder of Jaipur city, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. If stories are to be believed, the fort is named after Nahar Singh, whose spirit haunted the sight during its construction. Like most of the other forts of Rajasthan, Nahargarh fort too was primarily constructed to safeguard the city. Later on it was revamped and the extended walls of the fort now connect it to Jaigarh fort. The fort embodies temples, gardens and leisure places making it a renowned tourist attraction in Jaipur.

Visiting hours: 10:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.

Entry fee: INR 20 (for Indians), INR 50 (for foreigners), INR 5 (for Indian students) and INR 25 (for foreign students)

3. Ranthambore Fort

10 Famous Forts of Rajasthan To Teleport You To The Age of Maharajas-3 Situated in the midst of Ranthambore National Park, in the town of Sawai Madhopur, is the mighty remain of valiant Rajputana history that will leave you waxing lyrical praises for the place. Ranthambore fort has survived the lash of multiple attacks and conquests and every corner of this masterpiece has a story of valour to narrate. Even the park has a rich history of being the hunting ground of Maharaja’s of Jaipur before Indian Independence. The surrounding lakes and Ranthambore National Park serves an alluring view from the fort while various temples and war monuments inside the fort keeps visitors hooked to it. The fort has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage site under ‘Hillforts of Rajasthan’ category in 2013, and we can’t think of any reason that can coerce you to think twice before visiting the place. But in case you need few more reasons, the tiger safari around the park on either on an open bus or private gypsy is an irresistible reason to plan a visit at the place.

Best time to visit the fort is between the month of October to February to avoid adverse weather conditions. Also, the Park remains closed for visitors for the month of July, August and September. So, plan accordingly!

Visiting Hours: 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

Entry fee: INR 15 for adults and INR 10 for children.

4. Chittorgarh Fort

10 Famous Forts of Rajasthan To Teleport You To The Age of Maharajas-4 Chittorgarh Fort is the pride of not just Rajasthan but India. Situated in the town of Chittorgarh, it is one the largest forts of the world and the history associated with it chills down the spine and respect in heart of the visitors. It is the place where Rani Padmini along with all the female acquaintances performed self-immolation (Jauhar) on Rana Ratan Singh’s defeat from Allauddin Khilji. The grand architecture and revered history of the fort made it a UNESCO world heritage site in 2013. The fort once embodied 84 water bodies within it among which only 22 sustain till date which is the reason why the fort is also called Water Fort. Among major attractions of the sight like Vijay Stambha and Kirti Stambha, one is Padmini Palace which was the abode of Rani Padmini, wife of King Rana Ratan Singh. The palace, where Allauddin saw the incredibly beautiful Rajput Queen, is believed to be the reason of ignition of the battle between the Rana Ratan Singh and the Mughal emperor. Another major attraction of the fort is Rana Kumbha palace which is the spot where the queen and her female acquaintances committed self-immolation. It has hidden cells, dungeons and secret passages which have been closed now.

To feel the true essence of Rajputana valour and to walk around in every corner of the fort, picturing the life that once existed there, is an experience to stay in heart forever.

Visiting hours: 9:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Entry fee: INR 15 for adults and INR 10 for children.

5. Bhangarh Fort

10 Famous Forts of Rajasthan To Teleport You To The Age of Maharajas-5 With the mention of Bhangarh fort, here comes the spooky tourism of Rajasthan, making its debut. The most haunted place in India, Bhangarh Fort will coerce you to think twice if you are sceptic about the existence of spirits. And why not, if voices of women crying, the sound of bangles clinking, strange lights, the eerie smell after sunset and screams of ghosts cannot scare the living daylights out of you, we don’t know what can. Built in 17th century by Bhagwant Das, the fort is situated on the border of Sariska reserve of Aravalli hill range in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. There are different stories associated with the fort being haunted. One constitutes a Tantrik who fell in love with princess Ratnavati and cursed the fort and the entire town to be destroyed, on being rejected by the princess. The other involving ascetic Balu Nath who cursed the fort and the town to turn into crumble ruins because of the fort’s shadow falling on his meditation sight. Soon after the incidents, the fort was attacked by Mughals and everyone including the princess was killed. The villagers too abandoned the surrounding towns.

Visiting hours: 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

Entry fee: Entry is free for everyone. However, you will have to pay INR 25 to carry a video camera on the premises of fort.

6. Amer Fort, Jaipur

10 Famous Forts of Rajasthan To Teleport You To The Age of Maharajas-6 The Pink city holds so much treasure in its heart that never fails to make you feel rich of wonder. Another jewel in the crown of Jaipur is Amer Fort. Built in 16th century by the General of Akbar, Man Singh, Amer Fort is a beautiful amalgamation of Hindu and Rajputana architecture made up of sandstones and marble. It overlooks Maota lake which is the only source of water to the fort. The Char Garden of the fort serves a mesmerising skyline view of Jaipur which is sure to steal your heart. Other activities that you just can’t afford to miss when in Amer fort are the light show in the evening, the puppet show during dinner, elephant ride till afternoon and an excursion to turban museum.

And in case you need another buffer to hit the grand fort as soon as possible, how about telling you that the iconic 'Bajirao Mastani' was shot here.

Visiting hours: 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

Entry fee: INR 50 for Indians, INR 550 for foreigners, INR 10 for Indian students and INR 100 for foreigner students

7. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

10 Famous Forts of Rajasthan To Teleport You To The Age of Maharajas-7 Mehrangarh Fort can be best called the threshold of Jodhpur’s ancient history and vibrant culture. It was built by Rao Jodha in 1460 and shelters the culture of Rajasthan in every true sense. Every wall and corner of the fort has a different story to tell. One can witness the impressions of cannonball attacks from the attacking army of Jaipur and the walls of fort’s gates. Tourists are greeted on their arrival with the traditional musicians and dancers on the entrance beckoning you to Rajasthan even when you mark your retreat. Mehrangarh Fort also houses the most well-stocked museum of Rajasthan depicting traditional costumes, ancient war equipment, antic decor and much more. Tourists can also enjoy the Zip Lining here famously called Flying Fox. The fort blazes in sunshine during sunset making it a treat to eyes and heart.

Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest in India has also been featured in the Hollywood movie ‘Dark Knight Rises’ in a significant scene.

Visiting hours: 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Entry fee: INR 60 for Indians, INR 400 for foreigners and INR 100 to carry a camera along.

8. Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur

10 Famous Forts of Rajasthan To Teleport You To The Age of Maharajas-8 This gem of Rajasthan’s architecture on the top of Aravalli hill range is a treasure box for history buffs. Overlooking Amer fort and Maota lake, Jaigarh fort was actually built for the defence of Amer Fort and not a palace. It was built in 1726 by Jai Singh II. The fort depicts used weapons from the wars and other ammunition in its museum and rightly reflects on its another name, Fort of Victory. Major attraction is the huge cannon, Jaivana, which was then world’s largest cannon on wheel. The sandstone walls of the fort display remarkable carving which can keep the visitors hooked for hours. 15 km from Jaipur, Jaigarh Fort is a must visit, well-stocked for an astounding view of Aravalli hills and Amer Fort from the top.

Visiting hours: 9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Entry fee: INR 35 for Indians and INR 85 for foreigners

9. Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajsamand (Udaipur)

10 Famous Forts of Rajasthan To Teleport You To The Age of Maharajas-9 The birthplace of Maharana Pratap, Kumbhalgarh Fort is not just the holy grail of Rajputana architecture but also an epitome of pride for the warrior clan. Built in 15th century by Maharana Kumbha, this place is a brilliant showcase of smart architecture in every way making it one of the toughest forts to be conquered in history. The frontier of the fort is border by a giant wall from all the sides which is the second largest wall of the world spreading around 36 km. Sharp turns, steep roads, huge walls, traps for enemies along the way and everything about this place crowns the glorious era of Rajasthan. The fort houses more than 360 Hindu and Jain temples, most famous being the Neelkanth Temple which is a wonderful architectural feast.

The light and sound show in the evening is mesmerising. Entire fort is lightened up after the light show making it dazzle in not just visitor’s eyes but heart. The Kumbhalgarh festival is another major reason to visit the fort to soak up the vibrant culture of the royal state.

Visiting Hours: 9 AM to 6 PM

Entry Fee: 15 INR for Indian and SAARC country tourists, 200 INR for others.

10. Gagron Fort, Gagron

10 Famous Forts of Rajasthan To Teleport You To The Age of Maharajas-10 Another UNESCO world heritage site, Gagron fort is a hidden and unheard gem in the Jhalawar district. The fort is surrounded by water from all the sides and is called Jal Durg for the reason. This historic site is cloaked under wild vegetation however the restoration work of the fort is sure to return the admiration that it deserves. The construction of Gagron fort is dated back to the 14th century by King Bijaldeva. The structure is surrounded by River Ahu and River Kali Sindh. It has mainly two gates, one opening in water and the other towards the mountains. The best part about visiting the Gagron fort is avoidance of crowd of tourists since the fort is aloof and under restoration.

Visiting hours: 24 hrs

Entry fee: Free

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