Come explore the Forts and Monuments that Rajasthan has to offer.
The Bala Qila (young fort) was built on the foundations of a 10th century mud fort and is a towering structure set atop a hill. Strong fortifications, graceful marble columns and delicate latticed balconies make up the fort. Bala Qila can be entered through six gates, namely Jai Pol, Suraj Pol, Laxman Pol, Chand Pol, Krishan Pol and Andheri Gate.
While it is difficult to arrive at the exact date the fort was established, legend has it that the construction of the Chittorgarh Fort was initiated by Bhim, a Pandava hero from the mythological epic Mahabharata. The fort houses several magnificent monuments, some unfortunately ravaged by time.
Gagron Fort is a fine example of a hill and water fort. It is one of the six hill forts of Rajasthan to be a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Surrounded by the tranquil waters of the Ahu, Kali and Sindh rivers on three sides, the fort is indeed a sight to behold. A beautiful mausoleum of Sufi saint Mitheshah just outside the fort is the venue for an annual colourful fair held during the month of Moharram.
The foremost tourist attraction in Kota is the ‘Garh’. This large complex, also known as the City Palace, is built in a predominantly Rajput style of architecture. The palace is a sprawling complex of suites and apartments built by different rulers of the Rajput dynasty at different times in history.
Of the three hilltop forts that overlook the city of Jaipur, Jaigarh is perhaps the most magnificent of them all. About 15 kilometres from Jaipur, it was built by Sawai Jai Singh II sometime in the early 18th century amidst the arid, rocky and thorn-scrub covered hills. Despite its ancient construction, it still retains most of its imposing citadel appearance. Visitors can see the world’s largest canon – Jaiban, at the fort.
The Jaisalmer Fort also goes by the name Sonar Quila (Golden Fort) as it rises from the desert itself and seems to become one with the golden hues of the sand. The setting sun adds its own magic and shrouds the fort with mystique. The fort is constructed in the classic style of the royals by local craftsmen. This fort is a world heritage site and forms an important plot point in one of Satyajit Ray’s famous Feluda stories and corresponding movie, Sonar Kela (The Golden Fortress).
Situated in the centre of the town, the Jhalawar fort or Garh Palace is a beautiful monument. It was built by Maharaj Rana Madan Singh and his successors added beautiful paintings inside the rooms. These can be seen with the permission of appropriate authorities. The Zenana Khas or the ‘Women’s Palace’ has some excellent frescoes on both, walls and mirrors and they are prime examples of the Hadoti school of art.
Junagarh is an impregnable bastion that holds the distinction of having never been captured. It was constructed in 1588 AD by Raja Rai Singh, one of Emperor Akbar’s most distinguished generals. The fort complex houses some magnificent palaces constructed in red sandstone and marble and visitors can feast their eyes on an attractive assortment of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows.
True to its name, Lohagarh Fort has withstood many attacks by the British, but was ultimately captured by Arthur Wellesley. Where Lohagarh Fort differs from others is that it is not flamboyant, but radiates an aura of rugged strength. The fort is surrounded by a moat which used to be filled with water to keep enemies out. Interesting monuments inside the fort are Kothi Khas, Mahal Khas, Moti Mahal and Kishori Mahal. Raja Suraj Mal built Jawahar Bhurj and Fateh Bhurj to commemorate victories over the Mughals and the British.
Deeg is a beautiful garden town situated north of Bharatpur. It has many embellished palaces that add to the beauty of the place. Known for its forts, palaces, gardens and fountains, the highlight of Deeg is an impressive fort surrounded by moats and gateways. It was built by Raja Suraj Mal and stands over a slightly elevated point. Although the interiors are almost in ruins, the watch tower containing a gun still maintains watch over the city.