Nahargarh Fort

Nahargarh Fort

Legends, stories, myths- these have always intrigued us to the zenith of excitement. There is a saying about myths; “sometimes they are true”.And if the myths relate to spirits or paranormal activities, chills do come racing down the spine, don’t they? We have no intention to scare you whatsoever, but what if the place itself conspires to freak you out? Let us strengthen our senses to be prepared for the unexpected.

Nahargarh fort- the story starts with a myth, which might be true. The name traces back its origin to a popular belief, that the fort was named after Nahar Singh Bhomia, whose exasperated spirit haunted the place, posing a barrier to its construction. Some brave hearts gathered their guts and built a temple inside the fort to liberate the wandering spirit from a cursed existence.

Neglecting the dimension of horror which the fort presents, the Nahargarh Fort splices a nexus with fascinating events in Indian History. Built in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II on the edge of the Aravalli Ranges, the fort served its purpose as a place of retreat. The fort was never prone to any invasion during its regime but, it was a destination where some of the important treaties in Indian history were brought up and discussed upon. The fort was a refuge for the British resident’s wife, who was granted protection by the then king of Jaipur, Sawai Ram Singh, during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.

The virile fort was also used as a hunting reserve by the Maharajas. It came to serve Indian government’s purpose too, from where gun fire would suffice for time signal in order to study solar time reading from the Jantar Mantar observatory.

If you are an avid Bollywood movie fan, you are sure to notice that some of the scenes of the movie ‘Rang De Basanti’ have been shot in the Nahargarh Fort. Its majestic beauty inspires many to encapsulate their treasured moments or fulfill their deepest desires in the vicinity of the Nahargarh Fort.

Such a blend of romanticism ,grandeur,mystery and history is rare and Nahargarh stands as an emblem of such mystified rarity.

Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh Fort

Rajasthan has always been famous for its forts and palaces. The majestic grandeur showcased by these gargantuan structures of scintillating architectural beauty has instilled awe in the minds of the people from time immemorial. You may visit numerous places which drench your eyes in their ethereal beauty, but you can never return without your feet leading you to the most spectacular destination of Rajasthan- the Mehrangarh fort.

Standing as an epitome of the enormous strength and might of Rajasthan, the fort, located in the city of Jodhpur, is one of the largest forts in India. Rising 400 feet above the city, the fort is protected by thick, impregnable walls -which treasure intricate and exquisite carvings in their domain. The fort houses seven gates in its vicinity, which grab a lot of attention because of the palm imprints whose fading reminiscence stills narrates an entire episode of history. The fort survived major attacks during its regime, which is evident from the cannon-ball marks on its walls.
The fort also stores some of the most fascinating historical objects like the royal palanquins and also displays the heritage of the Rathores in the form of intriguing and exquisite art works, paintings, costumes, designs and decorations.

Fascinating stories revolve around the legend that narrates that laying of the foundation of the fort. It is said that the hill, on which the fort was built, was inhabited by Chiria Nathji, the lord of the birds. When forced to leave the hill side, the lord cursed the then Rathore ruler Rao Jodha that the monument would always suffer from lack of adequate amount of water. But the ruler tried to appease Chiria Nathji, and was successful in doing so.
The fort plays host to many mind-boggling attractions like the Sheesh Mahal, the Phool Mahal, the Takhat Vilas, the Daulat Khana, armoury gallery and many more.

The allure of the fort is so powerful that it compelled Hollywood director Christopher Nolan to film certain scenes of his ambitious project ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ using the charismatic beauty of the fort in the backdrop.
Well, now you know for sure that Mehrangarh fort is a bold-italic word in your list of places to visit in Rajasthan. So don’t miss out on this magnificent landmark that in itself,treasures entire Rajasthan.

Lohagarh Fort

Lohagarh Fort

‘Lohagarh’ the literal translation of which means “Iron Fort” is located in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan. The 17th century was a tumultuous time in Indian history with the British slogging their guts out to expand their dominance on the whole of India, need was felt by the then king of Bharatpur, Maharaja Surajmal to put in place a structure which will repel any untoward attack on the security of his land.This exigency of safety was met with the construction of the Lohagarh Fort.

The Lohagarh Fort is in every way as strong as the Maharaja intended it to be. This fort, according to the historians, has witnessed and successfully dodged the onslaught of the British, not once or twice or thrice but four times. Finally, the British had to give in and never dared to launch another attack on this land as they became aware that to fire their way past this structure of strength was a Herculean task. Such is the strength and magnificence of the Lohagarh Fort.

The Jats lived their life by a very simple creed. The functionality and purpose of the structures they built were more dear to them than any superficial outward appearance (something quite not in line with the Mughals, don`t you think?). As such they rarely indulged in ostentations display of architectural dexterity, and the same goes with the Lohagarh Fort. This however does not mean that the Lohagarh Fort has very little to offer. While it is true that from the outside it is an impregnable structure of strength. But on the inside expect to find palaces (of which, the Mahal Khas, Kamara palace and the palace of Badan Singh, need special mention), towers that bear testimony of their victory over the mighty Mughals and the British (Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj come to mind), museums capturing the lives and times of the then kings, art galleries, parks and of course, temples.

So, if you want to run your fingers through the soul of the Lohagarh Fort and feel the cool of its structure, we invite you to put the Lohagarh Fort on your ‘To visit’ List. See you there!

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Try to pick up any random excerpt or vignette about Rajasthan, which does not speak of the valor and bravery of its magnanimous kings. Next to impossible!! And why shouldn’t they? This land is proud to have blessed humanity with such benevolent, gargantuan and invincible kings who have transformed their period of regime into a golden era. Regality perfumes the air of Rajasthan, and valor runs in the veins of every person born on this great soil. And when comes the question of the blend of all such qualities which go into making an invincible warrior,a benevolent king and a fierce patriot, the land of Rajasthan unanimously presents one name, ‘Maharana Pratap’. And here we are with legacy, his birthplace-Kumbhalgarh.

It might sound like a cliche, but the fact still remains that Kumbhalgarh Fort is one of the most magnificent forts of Rajasthan, earning repute all throughout the globe as the one of the World Heritage sites.

Erected in the Mewar province of Rajsamand district of Rajasthan in the 15th century, the perimeter wall of the fort extends to almost 36 kms. The fort is well over 1100 metres above the sea level. The fort houses seven gates and over 360 temples, of which 300 are Jain temples and the rest are Hindu temples. The fort was built by Rana Kumbha, the then ruler of Mewar and expanded in the 19th century. The fort truly remained impregnable to attacks, except in 1535 when it succumbed to the forces of Mughal emperor Akbar, owing to shortage of drinking water. If you thought that these facts were amazing enough, the list is not over yet- the wall of the Kumbhalgarh fort is the second largest in Asia (pretty obvious as to which is the largest one). Also, it is believed that Maharana Kumbha burnt huge lamps that consumed fifty kilograms of ghee and hundred kilograms of cotton to facilitate for the lighting condition which would help the poor farmers who worked in their farms in the valley during the night.

Such is the glory and magnificence of the Kumbhalgarh fort. If reading about the fort gives you Goosebumps, then imagine the excitement, the thrill that will come racing down your spine when you stand right in front of this bastion of unparalleled strength.

Junagarh Fort

Junagarh Fort

The Junagarh Fort is located in the Bikaner district of Rajasthan. This majestic structure is the real world manifestation of the desire and expertise of the sixth ruler of Bikaner, Raja Rai Singh Ji. The 16th century of the Indian history saw the rise to invincibility of the mighty Mughals under the reign of sagacious Akbar and his successor Jahangir. Raja Rai Singh was fully aware of the fact that locking horns with the mighty Mughals in any sort of battle would be nothing short of tomfoolery on his part and as such happily accepted Mughal supremacy. This however does not mean that Raja Rai Singh had, as the hackneyed phrase has it, ‘a cowardly bone in his being’. This he proved by showing his dexterity in the many battles he fought and winning half the Mewar Kingdom.This wooed the Mughal emperors to such an extent that they gave him the lands of Gujarat and Burhanpur as a gift to appreciate his service to the Mughals. With the large amount of revenue amassed from these lands, Raja Rai Singh was now in a position to conceive the construction of a fort, every bit as magnificent as he wanted it to be. The result was the Junagarh Fort.

Raja Rai Sing was an avid traveler. He travelled far and wide and displayed serious affinity for art and architecture. All the knowledge garnered from these travels were meticulously implemented in the construction of the Junagarh Fort. The obsessive attention to details shown by the Raja, springs out and meets your eye the moment you begin to appreciate its aesthetic appeal. Inside the Junagarh Fort expect to find temples, a legion of palaces (Karan Mahal, Phool Mahal,Chandra Mahal and Badal Mahal need special mention), gardens and of course a museum (the Junagarh Fort museum) exhibiting a plethora of priceless collections.

So, if you want to feel the intricate carvings against your fingers on this grand structure or appreciate and applaud the work of Raja Rai Singh Ji, we suggest you do it in person and as such we invite you to include the Junagarh Fort on your ‘To Visit’ list. Happy Travelling!

Jalore Fort

Jalore Fort

“Let the sky be torn, the earth turned upside down, let the iron armor be cut to pieces, body fighting alone, but Jalore would not surrender.”

A few lines, but they could not have presented a more prudent and evocative description of this epitome of unfailing strength. Earning repute worldwide as the ‘Sonagir’ or the ‘Golden Mount’, the fort is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Rajasthan.

The fort dates back its origin to somewhere between the 8th and 10th centuries. Perched at the top of a steep-sloped hill, the fort, stationed 1200 feet above the city, is surrounded by impregnable walls which makes it one of the best fortified bastions. The fort has four entrances, but it is approachable only from one side, that too after a long ascent. The Hindu architecture finds predominance in the structural design of the fort.

The fort houses in its domain numerous fascinating attractions that are sure to lure the tourists. The vibrant palace or Mahal, which once used to be the center of attraction of the fort, is now in a dilapidated state. However, the other attractions more than make-up for it. The Fort Mosques, flaunting their Gujarati style of architecture, the Jain temples, the Hindu temples-all add up to the flavor of visiting Jalore fort.

The essence of visiting Jalore fort is not one which can be enjoyed vicariously. So experience the vigour and joy first-hand and drench yourself in the colours of Rajasthan at this destination, this symbol of magnanimity, this epitome of strength.

Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer Fort

Sometimes I wonder, what do people actually try to convey when they quote, “Live life, king size”. Though it is prudent that the lives of kings were adorned with magnanimity, and a gargantuan way of living in grandeur, yet I found it hard it believe that how could they possibly exhibit such a bravura of valor and regality. The light of cognizance dawned upon me on my visit to the Jaisalmer Fort.

Displaying a plethora of enticing architecture, the Jaisalmer Fort attires itself in a habiliment of deceptive camouflage, presenting a honey gold look just after sunset, that blends itself perfectly in the golden desert sand of Rajasthan. Built in 1156 A.D by Rao Jaisal, from whom the fort derives its name, Jaisalmer fort, which has bolstered the city from many invasions, still stands strong on the Trikuta hill.

The fort, popular among the local inhabitants as the ‘Sonar Quila’, has been a hub for trading activities as well as mighty warfare. Ala-ud-din Khilji launched a massive attack on the fort as early as in the 13th century, and the fort was under the regime of the Khiljis for more than nine long years. This was a period when whole of India and the world were blessed to witness the valor of the Rajput queens, when they sacrificed their lives for the pride of their dynasty and kingdom, rather than falling a prey to the Khiljis.

Jaisalmer witnessed yet another breach in its territory when the Mughal emperor Humayun invaded the fort somewhere in the year 1541. Jaisalmer fort was a flourishing trading centre, until the British established Bombay( now Mumbai) as their premier hub for trading. We can assess the enormity of the Jaisalmer fort from this fascinating revelation that at some point of time in history, the entire population of Jaisalmer lived inside the fort.

The fort treasures some of the most ingenious engineering in its domain, specially the Ghut Nali , a unique drainage system that expels the rain water from the fort through tunnels in all directions.

Seldom it is possible that those who visit the Jaisalmer Fort don’t ornate its vibrant beauty in the craft of their creativity. One of India’s( and even one of the world’s) greatest directors ever, Satyajit Ray was awestruck at the magnificence of the Jaisalmer Fort, which he dexterously carved down in his detective novel, ‘Sonar Kella’, and later produced an iconic movie based on the same.

Even a brevity in the description of Jaisalmer fort would cross the length of many articles penned down with a detailed account, still not sufficient enough to paint the true picture of its vivacious enchantment.

We believe that the aura and divinity that is embodied in the form of Jaisalmer fort, will definitely entice you upon visiting this epitome of strength, grandeur and magnanimity.

Jaigarh Fort

Jaigarh Fort

Jaigarh Fort is located in the Amer town of Rajasthan, a place about 6.7 miles from the pink city, Jaipur. The Jaigarh fort is built, not very far from the Amber Fort and this is not without purpose. The primary objective of building the Jaigarh Fort was the protection of Amber Fort and as such no back breaking efforts were made to make it a masterpiece. Built on the same architectural style as the Amber Fort, the Jaigarh Fort is a structure of strength, heavily fortified with thick walls of red sandstones. The fort was built by Jai singh 2nd in 1726 and therefore bears his name (no wonder!).

The Jaigarh Fort looks down on the Amber Fort from a height of about 400m and unfolds before your eyes breathtakingly beautiful views of the Aravalli hills. A tall watch tower constructed in the center of the fort on an elevated ground offers magnificent view of the surrounding landscape. The architectural style of the fort is deeply influenced by the Persian style with conspicuous hints of the Indian style of architecture exuding a rare-air Indo-Persian style of work. Inside the fort expect to find temples, of which the Ram Harihar temple and Kal Bhairav temple need special mention. A centre of artillery production of the Rajputs, the Jaigarh Fort is now place of the ‘Jaivana’, the then largest cannon on wheels.

The Jaigarh Fort is in close proximity of the Amber Fort and the Aravalli hills which means that paying a visit to the Jaigarh Fort will also take you to the magnificent Amber Fort and breathtakingly picturesque Aravalli hills. So if beauty and a ‘never-before’ travel experience is what you are craving for, we invite you to definitely put Jaigarh Fort on your ‘To Visit’ list this vacation. You won’t be disappointed !

Chittorgarh Fort

Chittorgarh Fort

The Chittorgarh Fort is located in the Chittorgarh district of Rajasthan. One of the most famous historic places in India, Chittorgarh’s name is synonymous with true heroism and sacrifice. This place bore witness to the egregious vagaries of war, time and time again, the most worth-mentioning of attacks being the one by Alauddin Khilji in 1303 AD. History has it that when Alauddin Khilji heard of the pristine beauty of the then Queen of Chittorgarh, Rani Padmini, he could not contain himself. He decided that he will stop at nothing and leave no stone unturned to have her by his side. However Rani Padmini had other plans. Her chastity was dearer to her than her life. Without any second thoughts, Rani Padmini along with the other women of the court committed ‘Jouhar’, the suicidal act of burning oneself in a pyre of fire. This anecdote from history speaks volumes about the indomitable will and courage of the Rajputs. And on this great Indian land, standing proudly is the famous Chittorgarh Fort.

One of the most famous forts in Rajasthan, the Chittorgarh Fort looks down from a 180 meter high hillock and comfortably sweeps around a massive 700 acres of land. This might give you a rough idea as to how gigantic this fort is. Considered to be the largest of all Rajput forts, the Chittorgarh Fort is the blazing symbol of Rajput pride. Ranked as one of the most spectacular forts in India, the roads leading to the fort are somewhat steep and quite enervating. But does this prevent historians and travelers from making a visit to this fort and appreciating the magnificence of this grand structure? The answer is a resounding NO. With the tally of the number of tourists visiting this place increasing every year, the Chittorgarh Fort is, without an iota of doubt, one of the most celebrated forts in India. Inside the fort, expect to find water bodies (which has declined from 84 to 22), palaces (Rana Kumbha’s palace and Padmini’s Palace need special mention) and a number of temples.

Before putting a final full stop to this piece of writing on the Chittorgarh Fort, we feel it’s our obligation to let you know that the Chittorgarh Fort and the city of Chittorgarh organizes the most famous annual Rajput festival, the ‘Jauhar mela’ with the objective of celebrating the courage and remembering the sacrifice of the brave Rajputs of the yesteryears. We invite you to definitely include Chittorgarh Fort on your ‘To Visit’. Go, Get inspired!

Bhangarh Fort

Bhangarh Fort

Situated in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, the Bhangarh fort, they say, is not for the faint-hearted people. Rated as the most haunted place in the whole of India this fort demands some nerve on your part to make a visit to this place. A legion of myths and stories hang in the air here, the credibility of which has a double question mark (??) after it. There is only one way to know the truth of this place and that is by visiting this place in person.
The roads leading to the Bhangarh fort are surrounded by mountains which are undoubtedly by picturesque but perilous at the same time given the fact that the roads are somewhat narrow and very few people pass you by on the road. Once in the vicinity of the Bhangarh fort, you will reach a point where you will be greeted by the following instruction by the Government of India, engraved in a somewhat cheap tin and wood hoarding (such hoardings being ubiquitous in all parts of India):


“No vehicles are permitted to enter the fort beyond this point. Park your vehicles outside. Failure to comply with this instruction can have serious legal consequences.”

So, after having parked your vehicle outside and advancing some distance you will be greeted by yet another hoarding engraved on which this time are statutory warnings, the most conspicuous of which is:


(Scary, is it?). This warning does give you a feel (however faint) that something is horribly amiss here and the fact that a number of tourists complain of the air here being heavy with something peculiar leading to a strange feeling in their gut, does not help. However, if you do succeed to keep the negative emotion and thoughts of fear inspired by this place at Bay, you will come vis-a-vis with surreal beauty of the Bhangarh fort.

The entrance of the Bhangarh Fort sports a map which guides tourists around the place. The fort beautifully unfolds before your eyes and greets you with a plethora of things: an ancient market called the Jauhari Bazaar, ruins, Havelis, gardens and a number of temples. Besides all these, in particular, one umbrella-like structure on the hill, stands out. Popularly known as the `Chattri` it is believed to offer magnificent views of the fort.

So, if there is not, as the hackneyed phrase has it, a cowardly bone in your body and you embrace danger and adventure like an old chummy, we invite you to put the Bhangarh Fort on your `To visit` list. And as to whether this place is haunted or not, we leave that to your discerning powers. Go figure!

Amber Fort

Amber Fort

Amber Fort is located in the town of Amer, a place about 6.7 miles from the Pink city, Jaipur. Owing to its location in Amer, the Amber Fort is also known by the name of Amer Fort. According to historians the first work on the Amber Fort began as early as the 10th century but was completed only in the year 1592 by Raja Man Singh, giving the Amber Fort its present form. This grand fort is perched atop a hill, and if the historian is to be believed, the fort has never been conquered by anybody.

The exterior of the Amber Fort is a bit misleading. In Amber Fort, the full force of the adage, `Do not judge a book by its cover` can be realized. While the exterior of this fort is somewhat rough and jagged, its interior is spellbinding. Inside the Fort, expect to find beautiful palaces and breathtakingly wonderful gardens. The `Diwan-i-Aam` and the `Diwan-i-Khas` patterned after similar halls in Mughal palaces demand special mention. The Dewan-i-Aam was the court where the king listened to the plights of his subjects and met his officials. The king celebrated the various festivals of the land and special occasions like celebration following a victory in battle or the birthday of the king were celebrated in the Diwan-i-Aam. Diwan-i-Khas, on the other hand, had the presence of only special and important people like envoys from other states or the kings themselves.

Any piece of writing on the Amber fort is incomplete without a special treatment of the famous Shish Mahal. A spectacular piece of architecture, the Shish Mahal never ceases to remind us the artistic genius of the then architects and the love for the uncommon of the then kings. Light a candle inside the Shish Mahal and its ceiling glows like a sky full of stars. The mirrors in the Shish Mahal are so dexterously placed that the reflections are multiplied a thousand over exuding a surreal view on the ceiling above.

Amber Fort is one of the most visited forts in India and surely it is not without reason. The enchanting confluence of decorative features found in the Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture can arrest your senses and not let them go for a long-long time. The best time to visit this fort is from October to February. So, make sure the Amber For is on your `To Visit` list the next time you are planning your vacation.