Forts and Palaces - Forts and Palaces in Rajasthan

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Forts and Palaces in Rajasthan


Rajasthan's history lies inducted in its forts and palaces. Some of the forts were abandoned, and captured, leaving behind a rich history. The palaces which were built outside the forts belongs to the 19th and 20th centuries and the forts are very old. These forts and palaces provide a rich heritage of Indo-Saracenic architecture, impacted by the Mughals, British and Rajputs. The spectacular palaces and forts were constructed by various rulers and architects, outside the walled city and used to safeguard the city from the foreign invaders and were also built on high hills overlooking the city. Some of the prominent forts and palaces in Rajasthan are as follows:


Chittorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh 
Chittorgarh Fort is the largest medieval fort of India and is also one of the largest fort of Rajasthan. From Chittorgarh Fort the Sisodias went to war against the Mughals at the well-known battle of Haldighati. Chittorgarh fort was founded in the 7th century, and became the seat of the Sisodia rulers. This fort is situated on a 152 m rocky high hills of the Aravallis range and gave Chittorgarh a great strategic significance. This fort is protected by seven impressive gates. The Chittorgarh fort was sacked in 1303 through an act of betrayal done by Allauddin Khilji to win the Rani Padmini and was sacked more in the 16th century, first to the forces of the Sultan of Gujarat, and then to the Akbar.

Chittorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh, Rajasthan

This fort was later abandoned by its rulers and some apartments, palaces and durbar halls were destroyed. Some of the palaces which were destroyed are Rani Padmini’s palace, Rana Kumbha’s palace, Jaimal and Patta palace. Some of the buildings that were protected are the 37-metre high victory tower, the 22-metre high, 12th century Kirti Stambh and Vijay Stambh, raised in the 15th century to honor a battle victory against the rulers of Gujarat and Malwa. Temples visited within the fort are Meera temple, Kalika Mata temple and Kumbha Shyam temple. More....

Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
Junagarh Fort, Bikaner, Rajasthan

Junagarh fort was founded in 1593 in Bikaner by Raja Rai Singh to safeguard the 37 palaces, pavilions and shrines. Raja Rai Singh was the general in the army of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. He built the 986 m. long Junagarh fort by red sandstone and is surrounded by a moat around the modern city of Bikaner is spread. The Junagarh fort is a very unexampled fort and was not conquered till date, except when Kamran captured it but could not retain it for over 24 hours. This fort has 37 pavilions which look very magnificent in the morning and evening. The large columns, arches, delicate stone screens, paintings, minarets, and statues in the fort always attract the visitors. Junagarh consists of some apartments and palaces which are in a remarkable state of preservation. There are some palaces which are wonderfully adorned like Chandra Mahal, and Anup Mahal. These palaces give the impression of a rich inlay of peitra dura.

The apartments are painted very lavishly and have been conserved due to the very dry heat situations of the desert town. The Badal Mahal has paintings of clouds on its walls. Wooden Durbar Hall and a set of sandstone staircases were added in this palace by the Maharaja Ganga Singh. More....

Kumbhalgarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh

Kumbalgarh Fort was the 2nd most prominent fort of the Mewar kingdom after Chittorgarh Fort. This invulnerable fortress was raised in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, and perched on the top of 13 mountain peaks in the Aravallis. This fort also conferred refuge to the prince Uday who was smuggled out of Chittorgarh by his nursemaid Panna Dai, and it was from here that he ruled before setting up the new capital at Udaipur. This fort also conferred refuge to the Mughal prince, Jehangir. The fortifications of the fort are 36 km long which safeguard the bastions of the fort that over-hung with steep walls. A steep climb up a narrow road leads to the entrance of the fort. From the fort a very beautiful and strategic view of the lower land can be seen. Badal Mahal within the fort is famous for its beautiful interiors and its tall height as compared to other structures.

Kumbhalgarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan

The ancient Jain temples belonging to the Mauryan era, medieval Hindu temples with fluted pillars, and a few monuments or chhatris can also be seen here. The buildings at Kumbhalgarh are mainly intact. More....

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Mehrangarh fort is a very magnificent hill forts of Rajasthan. Mehrangarh fort appears to rise from the bluff-coloured sandstone hill itself, and so built properly into the base in such a way that it is difficult to tell where the walls begin and the hill ends. Mehrangarh fort is superb and forbidding from the outside. In 1459 AD, Rao Jodha was once advised by a saint to set up an impermeable headquarter and so the Mehrangarh fort was founded by Rao Jodha on a steep hill. The fort is easily reachable by a series of seven gateways. Across the large courtyards of the fort there are the lavish apartments, with the elegantly latticed windows. Only a few palaces of this fort are open to visitors. Presently this fort is maintained and managed as a museum by the royal trust. These palaces were built by Rao Jodha and his successors from 1456 AD onwards like Jhanki Mahal, Moti Mahal etc.

Chandan Mahal, Darbar Takhat, Phool Mahal and Rang Mahal. Some other famous palaces are Sheesh Mahal, Umaid Vilas and Maan Vilas. From the ramparts of Mehrangarh, one can also see the art-deco Umaid Bhawan Palace located on top of Chattar Hill. More....

Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer

The Jaisalmer fort, stands at an elevation of 100 metres over the city of Jaisalmer. This fort rises from the sands, and combines with the sand dunes. Jaisalmer fort is also known as the Sonar Qila. Jaisalmer fort was built by Bhatti chief Jaisal in the year 1156. This fort is built of yellow sandstone which lusters into a golden flame when the sun shines on it and provide an amazing view. There is a complete community within the 99 bastions, which consists of a large living complex, a palace, Hindu shrines and the havelis of rich Jain merchants. The Sonar fort is reachable through Suraj Pol, Hawa Pol, Ganesh Pol, and Akshya Pol. Some entrances also guard the Jawahar Mahal and Megh Darbar which bear the imposing symbols of the Bhatti clan's lunar lineage. Presently, the 19th century Abdul Mahal (Palace of Clouds) is the residence of the previous rulers of Jaisalmer. There are some very spectacular royal apartments like the Moti Mahal, Gaj Vilas and Rang Mahal. These palaces have pavilions, pillars and balconies with graceful stone carving. More....

Balcony of Jaisalmer fort, Jaisalmer
Kota Fort, Kota
Kota Fort, Kota, Rajasthan

Kota Fort
Kota was once a part of the kingdom of Bundi, and known for its stirring history of chivalry and bravery. The Kota Fort is a large and extensive structure and one of the prominent tourist attraction in Kota, that overlooks the Chambal river. The Kota fort was founded in the mid 13th century by Jait Singh. This fort houses the museum and has some lavishly painted chambers. The Kota Fort is famous for its Durbar Hall which has mirror work and paintings, and has doors of ivory and ebony.

This fort also has very high quality of the miniature wall paintings that depict the hunting scenes. More....

Taragarh Fort, Bundi

Taragarh Fort in Bundi is very romantic place of Rajasthan. This fort was constructed by the Hada Chauhans in the mid-14th century, from the basalt rocks and the sandstone of the Aravallis. This fort is located within the horse-shoe shaped hills, and lakes and water reservoirs, and conserved by the Aravalli hills. In the Bundi Palace complex, there are some apartments of private residences and public affairs. Some of the very high quality of wall paintings can be seen in the Chandra Mahal and the Chitrashala or picture gallery founded in the 18th century by Rao Raja Umed Singh. These paintings reveals scenes from the life of Krishna, and are remarkable for their blue-green tints. More....

Taragarh Foert, Bundi, Rajasthan
Lohagarh Fort, Bharatpur

Lohagarh' means 'fort of iron'. Lohargarh always stood firm giving Bharatpur town the security it needed. Lohagarh fort is situated on an artificial island in the heart of the old city of Bharatpur. It was founded in 18th century by the Maharaja Suraj Mal who was the Jat ruler of Bharatpur. There are painting of large elephants on the gateways of the fort. This fort was inaccessible and has bastions of sand that were strong enough to absorb the impact of canon shells that simply embedded themselves within it. One can reach the fort through the large entrance gate from the crowded street. Monuments inside the fort include the following: Kothi Khas, Mahal Khas and Kishori Mahal. Moti Mahal and towers like Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj were built to honor the victory over the British army and the Mughals.

Amber Fort, Jaipur
Amber Foert, Jaipur

Amber Fort is located about 10 km from the city of Jaipur. Before moving to Jaipur, Amber was the ancient capital of Kachhawaha dynasty for 6 centuries. While many of the early structures are either vanished or destroyed from the fort, but those belonging to 16th century onwards are present very properly inside the fort. The existence of Amber Fort belongs to various rulers like Raja Jai Singh I and II and Raja Man Singh. The Amber Fort is a unique combination of Hindu and Mughal architecture, built in white marble and red sandstone. The palace complex has various staircases, narrow passages, gardens, palaces and apartments, windows, courtyards, high walls, halls, pillared pavilions shrines, separated by some gates. Some of these architectural wonders are Sukh Niwas, Diwan-E-Khas, Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-E-Aam, Jai Mandir with beautiful mirror work, Shrine of Shila Mata, Kesar Kyari and Shrine of Kali and a well laid out garden. More....

Bala Kila, Alwar

The "Bala Kila" or the Bala Fort is situated on the most famous hill of Aravallis range depicts the rich history of Alwar. Bala Kila is also known as the Kunwara Kila.  This huge medieval fort has 15 large and 51 small towers, 446 openings for musketry and 8 large towers that rises about 3000 m above the city. Some of the Mughal rulers also stayed here before it was reverted back to the Rajput rulers in the 18th century. The fort is circumscribed with several gates known as Pols like Jai Pol, Laxman Pol, Suraj Pol. Salim Mahal, which lies in ruins now, is said to have been the palace where Prince Salim, later the Mughal Emperor Jehangir, spent his three-year exile. More....


Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur
Jaigarh Fort was founded by Sawai Jai Singh in the year 1726. Jaigarh fort stands on a small hillock between the thorn scrub hills overlooking the city of  Jaipur. Jaigarh fort is also known as Victory Fort.  
The fort is surrounded by huge battlements with various walkways offering stunning views on all sides. From the Dungar Darwaza, the main gate of the fort, there is a beautiful view of the Jaipur city. Important attraction inside the Jaigarh Fort is the Jaivana, which is the world's largest cannon on wheels. It was constructed in the 1720 in Jaigarh's foundry. There are a large number of wide water channels in the fort which were a part of rainwater harvesting system. There is also a small museum and armoury in the fort. More....

Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur
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