Rajasthan, as we all know, is a paradise of forts belonging to the eras of great kings and empires like Rajputs, Jats, Gujjars, and more. Besides being the epitome of masterpiece architecture, their location on hilltops adds an astounding beauty and grandeur to their existence. We have listed down the top ten forts that deserve a visit at least once in your lifetime:
1. Amber Fort
This fort is situated at a distance of around 11 km from Jaipur and dates back to the 16th-century era of the great and mighty King Raja Man Singh. The fort is built with red sandstone and marbles and makes for a popular tourist attraction for tourists across the globe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Nahargarh Fort
This fort was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1734. Initially, this fort was built as a place of retreat for the royals on the top of the Aravalli range. Being an ancient fort, most parts of the fort are in ruins. The fort provides a breathtaking view of the entire city of Jaipur. The fort also houses some beautiful gardens and traditional temples.
3. Mehrangarh Fort
Yet another fort on a hilltop with a bird’s eye view of the pink city. Dating back to the 15th century, this fort is home to many majestic mahals like the Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesha Mahal, and more. The fort also houses a museum of ancient musical instruments, weaponry, and furniture belonging to the then Empire.
4. Jaisalmer Fort
The historic Sonar Quila is located on the Trikuta hill facing the only desert of India. It was built in the 12th century by Rawal Jaiswal and has witnessed numerous historical battles. What distinguishes this fort from others is its grand structure and tight security system. The fort is the only one whose streets are lined up with living quarters, restaurants, shops, and various other souvenirs.
5. Chittorgarh Fort
Yet another massive fort that has witnessed many historical battles. This was also considered as a romantic gateway by the kings and queens during that era. It houses some major palaces and temples in its complex, which have earned it a mention in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
6. Ranthambore Fort
This fort is situated in the Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary. It is one of the ancient forts in Rajasthan whose origin can be traced back to the 10th century. It stood as a brave testimony to the warriors who were martyred in the battle between Mughals and the British. Most of the fort is in ruins with a few Mahals and temples standing intact.
7. Kumbhalgarh Fort
The Kumbhalgarh Fort is known for being the largest fortification in the entire country with deep historical significance. It stands tall on the Aravali ranges with numerous iconic attractions inside its complex. With majestic palaces, mansions, temples, bastions, and gateways, it reflects the impregnable dominance of the empires during that time.
8. Taragarh Fort
Another historical fort located on a hilltop built in 1354 AD reflecting the glory and bravery of the Chauhan dynasty. The fort is popular for its water tunnels and reservoirs, which served as a major source of water during that time. It also houses some exquisite Mahals with the Rani Mahal being the most stupendous amongst all.
9. Junagarh Fort
Built in the 16th century by Maharaja Rao Bika, this is located in Bikaner. The fort has been well preserved and worked upon by many rulers till the British era. Hence, it is in very good condition with its heritage standing intact. One can see a beautiful fusion of architectural styles of all the empires that have contributed towards its construction. It is a storehouse of fortresses, palaces, pavilions, temples, and many more.
10. Lohargarh Fort
Loha means Iron, hence it is also known as Iron Fort locally. It was built by the Jat ruler Maharaja Sural Mal, who was in power during the 18th century. It has witnessed countless attacks from the Mughal and British empires. One can see grand weaponry, armory, paintings, and ancient manuscripts in the museum at its complex. Some of the exquisite Mahals and Havelis are also there for tourists to explore.