One of the proudest things of being an Indian is that the country is blessed with royal palaces and forts in India that attract countless tourists and also makes it to the list of world heritage site. These palaces and forts are the prime examples of everlasting cultural significance and architectural brilliance by medieval architects and Maharajas.
Each fort is uniquely designed to fulfil the needs of people of ruling period. Amongst all the states in India, Rajasthan tops the list of the best, and royal looking palaces turned into hotels.
Rajasthan is not only about endlessly stretched desert, heavy silver ornaments, lavish and colourful festivals or vibrant culture, but also for the beautiful set-up of forts. Built centuries ago, these forts still held high in terms of strong architectural work. These marvels built in hilltops give a panoramic view of the respective city.
In 2013, six extensive and majestic hill forts made it to the list of World Heritage Site by UNESCO. These includes-Chittaurgarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort and Amber Palaces. These forts resemble the power of Rajputana rule that flourished between 8th-18th centuries.
Let us now dig into more, why these six palaces and forts are the epitome of Rajasthan’s heritage:
- Chittorgarh Fort: This hugely built fort was ascribed to Chitrangad of the Mori Dynasty in 7th century A.D. Right from its completion, the fort has witnessed several dynasties including Mori or Mauryas (7-8th century AD), Pratiharas (9-10th century AD), Paramaras (10-11th century AD) and much more. Moreover, it has withstood after several attacks by Muslim invaders to take over the regime. The Chittorgarh fort stands with pride of the Rajput’s. It has several gateways, two commemorative towers and series of temples inside that defines the Rajput pride.
- Kumbhalgarh Fort: Built in 15th Century by Raja Kumbha, the fort is situated in the midst of the thick forests of Kumbhalgarh town and has seven gateways. The fort gives a magnificent view of Aravalli Hills in Kelwada district. The mastermind behind this huge palace was Samprati, a Jaina Prince of the second century BC. Inside the fort, one can find several groups of temples (total of 360) divided into Hindu and Jain. Additionally, the fort consists of several monuments including Badal Mahal, Kumbha Mahal, Birth Place of Maharana Pratap and ancient bunds, etc. Visitors can feel the cool winds blowing from the Aravalli Hills that surrounds the fort. One of the unique features this fort is that it has second- longest wall after The Great Wall of China.
- Ranthambhore Fort: Ranthambhore is not only known for the national park, but also for the hugely structured fort. The fort reflects the entity of Chauhans and the strategic locations that pull tourists who visit Ranthambhore National Park that surrounds the fort. The Ranthambhore is derived from two hills-Rann and Thambore. Built at the height of 400 meters, every space and wall indicate the signature style of Nagil Jat Clan. Located in Sawai Madhopur, the fort holds a significant role in controlling the trade routes between Northern and Central India. Though there different Mahals inside, Jogi Mahal has a special place because it is now a guest house to welcome eminent personalities.
- Gagron Fort: How about standing atop Palace and watching the panoramic view of the silent running river? Located 12kms away from Jhalwar City, Gagron Fort is surrounded by two meeting rivers- Kali Sindh and Ahu and is further complimented with the forest at the back side. It was built by King Bijaldev of Parmara Empire in the year 1195 AD. This massive fort houses Shiva, Durga and Ganesha temple and outside Dargah of Sufi Saint Mitteshah. During Moharram, a huge number of Muslim pilgrims visit this Dargah to offer prayer.
- Amber Fort: Located in the valley of Aravalli Hills in Amber town, this is the largest and most beautifully built fort in Rajasthan. Established by Raja Man Singh in the 16th century, the entire fort is the blend of Mughal and Rajput architectural design. The pale yellow and pink sandstone with white marble creates a unique architectural look that defines the beauty. The entry to Amber Fort either by walk or elephant rides; you’ll be entering through Suraj Pol. There is a Maharaja apartment on the third courtyard which you can enter from Ganesh Pol and is the most beautiful one to explore. The carved marbles and exquisite design of each wall are quite magnificent to visit.
- Jaisalmer Fort: One of the highly visited forts in Rajasthan, the fort is located in Jaisalmer city. Built in 1156 AD by Bhati Rajput ruler Rao Jaisal, the fort overlooks the golden stretches of the Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert. One of the reasons why this fort is a must visit, especially during sunset because the entire fort turns into Golden colour due to the rays of the The fort is 1500 ft. High and 750ft long and is craftily blended with Islamic and Rajput architectural style. One of the major attractions of this fort is the Maharawals, at the Chauhata Square.
Strategic location, impressive architectural work and rich look make Rajasthan forts an epitome of heritage that has been visited lakhs of visitors of every year from across the world.
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