Top Hill forts of Rajasthan
Rajasthan, rightly called as ‘Land of Kings’ was ruled by several clans including Jats, Rajputs, Gujjars and Meena’s. It has several historical monuments that reflect its rich cultural heritage. Hill forts of Rajasthan have gained prime importance here, owing to their superb architecture and rich culture. The idea behind constructing the forts on the top of the hill was safety, security & protection from the invaders.
The Aravali Hills are spread all over Rajasthan. It is one of the oldest mountain ranges so geologically it is stable & has a moderate height. These are perfect conditions for the construction of the forts. Most of the forts were like small townships with all the required amenities for living such as water wells, ponds, temples, recreation centers, courtrooms, places for the living of the royal family. Rajasthan has more than 100 small forts so covering all hill forts is difficult. But based on historical & Political significance, grandeur and architectural styles given below are the top hill forts of Rajasthan that you must visit.
Top Hill forts of Rajasthan
This is the largest hill fort in the country and was constructed by Chitrangada Mori, the Maurya ruler. There are 7 gates in this fort namely, Ram Pol, Laxman Pol, Jodla Pol, Ganesh Pol, Hanuman Pol, Bhairon Pol and Pandan Pol. There are many historical monuments too like Padmini’s Palace, Gaumuk reservoir, Rana Kumbha palace, Fatah Prakash Palace, Kirti Stambh and Vijay Stambh. There are several Hindu temples too.
History– Basically, the construction of this fort was done in 7th Century AD by Chitrangada Mori but later, the Sisodiya clan of Rajputs ruled it. Later in 1567, it was invaded by Emperor Akbar and finally, the fort was abandoned in the year 1568.
Architecture: The architecture seen here reflects the Maurya period.
It was built by Rao Jaisal, the Bhati Rajput King in 1156 AD. It is also known as Golden Fort or Sonar Quila. Raj Mahal, Lakshminath Temple, and Jain temples are the major attractions of this fort. The Havelis here have been converted into museums. One can also check out several eateries here including Native, Italian and French cuisines.
History– this fort was built in 1156 AD by Rao Jaisal and hence, it got its name Jaisalmer. There was a time wherein the city’s entire population lived in the fort.
This fort is located in Jodhpur, 400 feet above the city. It is a perfect reflection of the Rajputana architecture. There are 7 gates in this fort, 4 having historical importance. There are 4 main rooms in this fort named Phool Mahal, Sheesha Mahal, Moti Mahal as well as Takhat Vilas. There is also a Chamunda Mataji Temple here. UNESCO has listed this fort as a world heritage site.
History– Maharaja Rao Jodha Singh, the 15th ruler of Rathore Rajput realized that Mandore Fort wasn’t secure anymore and hence, took the decision of moving Capital of Marwar to Jodhpur. The foundation of this fort was laid in the year 1459.
Architecture– This fort is a perfect example of Rajputana architecture.
Located in Amer village, it is surely a must- visit. There are 4 courtyards in this fort, the 1st one that includes Shila Mata Temple, the 2nd one being the house of public assemblies, the 3rd one housing Sheesha Mahal, Lion Gate, Tripolia Gate, Mughal Gardens and the Maharaja Quarters while the 4th one being the place of Queen and courtesans. Around 5000 visitors come here every day. A perfect reflection of Rajput Royalty.
History: This fort was constructed in 1592 AD by Kachwaha Rajput Clan’s Maharaja Man Singh and later, Maharaja Jai Singh I expanded it. Various improvements were seen in this structure for around 150 years until the year 1727.
Architecture– The architecture here is mainly reflective of the Mughal and Rajput period. It is known for its marvelous architectural competence and cultural flamboyancy of Rajput rulers.
Located in Udaipur, this fort lies 1100 meters above the sea level and is the 2nd most important Mewar fort. There are more than 360 temples here. Earlier, the Sisodia Rajput family had occupied this fort, but now it has become a popular tourist attraction.
History-Rana Kumbha built this fort in 15th Century AD and later enlarged it in the 19th century. This fort is also termed as Maharana Pratap’s birthplace. For Mewar rulers of Chittorgarh, this is the 2nd most important fort.
This fort was founded by Nagil Jats in 944 AD. Earlier it was ruled by Mewar Rajputs, later by Mughals and then by Kachwaha Rajput family. The fort covers an area of 4kms. There are also various temples here that date back to 12th century. People visiting Ranthambore shouldn’t miss out this.
History– Raja Sajraj Veer Singh Nagil, the Jat king found this fort in 944AD for protecting the kingdom from invaders. Later for more protection, the citadel was raised 700 ft above. Later the Chauhans took over after which Sultans took over.
King Bijaldev built this fort in 14th Century AD. Located in Jhalawar, this fort is surrounded by Sindh, Kali and Ahu rivers on 3 sides. Inside it, you will find temples of Durga, Ganesha, and Shiva. Outside the fort, there is Dargah of Mittheshah, the Sufi Saint, wherein a fair is held each year during Moharram.
History: Pramara dynasty’s King Bijaldev laid the foundation of this fort in 7th century AD. It was completed in 14th Century AD. Many battles have been seen here and it is known for heroic valor as well as the martyrdom of Rajputs standing against Hosheng Shah, the Mandu ruler.