Rajasthan has been the state of opulent princely states whose rulers have built majestic forts in order to ward off the attacks from the enemies. These forts have covered areas extending upto 20 kilometers in circumference and have been built in varied geographical typologies ranging from deserts to lakes, forests and hills. The influence of the Mughal and the Sultanate periods is clearly visible on the architecture of these fortresses. These forts are one of the many attractions for the tourists interested in undertaking the Rajasthan tours to witness their stately architecture and royal splendor. Here is a brief mention of these six UNESCO World Heritage forts of Rajasthan.
Chittorgarh Fort: This fort of Chittorgarh is a pride of Rajputs of Rajasthan. The number and variety of architectural remains found here give it a distinctive monumentality and scale, which remains unmatched by any other fort. It also has the distinction of being the largest fort in India. The legendary fort was beseized three times but the Rajput warriors never gave up and the women folk preferred performing ‘Jauhar’ (mass suicide) rather than being won over by the enemies. These three attacks were by Alauddin Khilji in 1303, Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in 1535 and Akbar in 1565. Vijay Stambh and Kirti Stambh are also tourist attractions of this fort.
Kumbhalgarh Fort: This is a fort which is remarkable for retaining its architectural coherence because it was built in a single phase by Rana Kumbha in 15th century. You might find it interesting to note that the 36 kilometer long fortification wall of this fort is considered to be the second largest wall after the Great Wall of China. It is also famous for its Palace of Clouds, or Badal Mahal.
Ranthambore Fort: For the tourists, Ranthambore is famous for its wildlife and the Tiger Reserve. Ranthambore Fort is another destination which is the primary focus of the tourists. The Fort is unique in being a forest hill fort and in being home to the remains of Palace of Hammir.
Gagron Fort: There is no perfect example than that of the Gagron Fort which is a river protected fort. Besides seeking protection from the river, the Fort enjoys strategic location by being situated in the pass and, thereby, it controlled the trade routes during those times.
Amber Palace: Amber Palace was built during an important phase of the Mughal-Rajput synergy and this is clearly reflected in its court style of architecture of buildings and gardens. Raja jai Sigh I played an instrumental role in its development.
Jaisalmer Fort: This is a classic example of developing a fort in hot desert regions where the sand dunes rule for vast expanses. Quite a few Jain temples and the still inhabited township within its precincts lend vibrancy and sacredness to this fort.
India holidays packages to this princely state are not complete without including one or more these majestic forts in their itineraries. These are examples of a tradition of fort planning, defensive architecture, valour, royal splendor, folklore and sacredness. These are symbols of resilience and Rajput pride that history has left for us to explore and admire.