One can find forts everywhere in Rajasthan- in the mid of lakes, top of hills, in the deserts. They reflect the rich architecture, art and cultural heritage of India. The forts in Rajasthan dot the entire state. Every year thousands of tourists from around the world come to see beauty of the forts of this state. Many of these forts have been made into luxury heritage hotels now.
With the mention of Rajasthan the pictures of its vast expanse of deserts, folks in colourful and vibrant attires, spicy food, huge havelis and forts and warm hospitality comes to fore. This state is one among the other famous destinations for tourists in our country. In addition, it rightfully deserves to be that since for years, it has preserved the culture, pride and history of this nation and the forts here bear a witness to that.
Rajasthan was under the rule of Rajputs and has a history of being connected to royalty. The numerous forts that we see here give testimony to the grandeur and influence of regency. Majority of forts in this state are well preserved and fine. Some forts have been turned into heritage resorts. Mostly the forts are located on hilltops to make them inaccessible to the enemies. UNESCO has given international recognition to six forts here including them to the list of World Heritage Sites. One can visit these forts to get a peek into our magnificent past and a great experience.
The famous forts of Rajasthan include Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur), Ranthambhore (Sawai Madhopur), Jaisalmer Fort (Jaisalmer), Chittaurgarh Fort (Udaipur), Jaigarh Fort (Jaipur) and Amer Fort (Jaipur). One can find a fort in almost all the big cities of Rajasthan. They have truly stood the test of time and are exemplary of the valour and strength of the Rajputs. The inside of these forts is also well preserved and upon entering, one can view the articles that the kings used to make use of. Get the experience of viewing the artefacts that are kept in the Jaisalmer and Mehrangarh Fort's museums, the armoury collection of the Jaigarh Fort, Amer Fort's mirror work or just wonder how the Rajputs erected such magnificent structures.
While one visits these forts, one can get a complete insight into their history by means of audio tapes and guided tours. For Indian nationals the entry fee is just nominal. While visiting these forts one is transported into the bygone era of the kings and queens and their extravagant and indulgent lifestyle. With such indomitable presence in Rajasthan, the forts embody the glory of the state.
Some Famous Forts of Rajasthan are:
It was in 1354 that this massive fort was built and one can reach there by treading a steep road. It is a star attraction as one can view the entire city from there. The fort is not in such a good condition now and is ruined partially with marching time. There are six gates to this gigantic fort. It also has huge reservoirs made out of rocks and were employed to water the towns close by in the past. The fort's biggest battlement known as the Bhim Burg that had Garbha Gunjan (India's second largest cannon) is also popular.
This fort is also known by the name of Junagarh Fort. This is an unconquered fort and has stood the harsh test of time and remained impregnable. A moat bounds this fort and it has thirty-seven pavilions and palaces making it even more impressive. It was built in 1593 AD by the General of the Army under Mughal Emperor Akbar. His name was Raja Rai Singh. He ruled Bikaner from 1571 - 1612 AD as its sixth ruler. The only person to be able to conquer this fort was Kamaran but even he was able to retain his victory only for 24 hours. An elevated wall and the deep moats surround the Bikaner Fort. There are 37 citadels to guard it and has to entrances known as the Karan Pol and the Suraj Pol that lead way to the fort's interior.
Inside the Amber Fort is built the magnificent Amber Palace. Amber Palace is marked by excellent planning, sprawling gardens, large rooms, grand, chambers and a rich decoration. It was built by a ruler of Jaipur who belonged to the Rajput Kachwaha clan who was also a Mughal Army General known by the name of Man Singh. This palace has marvellous structures like Jai Mandir, Ganesh Pol, Sukh Niwas and Sheesh Mahal. They all are pearls from history that are designed with opulence and decorated lavishly. Amber Palace has the Sheesh Mahal, which is a dazzling example, and Jai Mandir whose name means "Temple of Victory". Natural water-flow is used to create air conditioning-like effect in Sukh Niwas.
Dunlod village is located in Shekawati seven kilometres away from Nawalgarh. It was built in 1750 AD by Kesari Singh. One will notice that the exterior of the fort is done using a combination of the Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture while the interior uses the European and traditional Rajasthan artefacts. Main gateway of the Fort, the Suraj Pol takes one to Bichla Darwaza and the Uttar Pol takes to chief courtyard, which lead to a staircase that takes one to Diwan Khana. Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private) has a mustard coloured arcade. Imparting warm colours, the stain-glass window beautify the chamber. The library that has rare books and Louis XIV furniture magnify the charm of old world in this Fort. There is a jaali gallery known as the duchatta (in Diwan-i-Khas) that was meant for the women to observe all the proceedings while they remained in Purdah without having them to reveal themselves in front of other people.
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