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Hill Forts of Rajasthan


Hill Forts Of Rajasthan

The World Heritage committee, on 21 June 2013, decided to include six hill forts of Rajasthan in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, adding to the proud and international recognition to this Indian state. These forts are as follows:

Amber Fort

Amber Fort (also pronounced as Amer Fort) is situated in Amer, about 11 Kilometres from Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. Built on a high hill overlooking Maota Lake, it was constructed by Raja Man Singh in 1592 and was completed by Raja Jai Singh 1.

Displaying a pleasant fusion of the art work of Hindu and Mughal architecture, it is built of red sandstone and white marble. Interior walls of the fort is decorated with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings adding to its richness. The fort is divided into four sections. Suraj Pole is the main entry that leads to Jaleb Chowk, the main courtyard of the Palace. On climbing the staircase up the first level of courtyard, is the second courtyard consisting of ‘Diwan-e-Aam’ where the king used to listen to complaints and needs of the public. The third courtyard, entered by the Ganesh Pol, consists of private palaces of the Maharajas. Trippola Gate and Lion Gate are also a must-see inhere. The fourth courtyard includes the Zenana region which was dedicated to queens’ palace. Sheesh Mahal, whose walls and ceiling is carved with beautiful paintings and flowers made of pure glass, is the most beautiful part of Amber Palace. It also boasts the famous building of ‘Sukh Mahal’ where the kings used to spend time with their queens and concubines. One can also enjoy a royal elephant ride in the Fort.

Opening hours of Amber Fort is 8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Entry fee for Indians is INR 25 and for foreigners is INR 200.

Domestic flights connect Jaipur, which is just 11 km from Amer, to Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Varanasi, Aurangabad, Udaipur and Jaipur. Jaipur is also connected to all the major parts of country via trains. Excellent road networks also connect Jaipur to Delhi, Mumbai, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Deluxe buses, AC coaches and government buses are also available at comparatively cheap rates.

There are many hotels of all ranges providing required facilities to visitors to stay comfortably. Umaid Mahal, Anurag Villa, and Hotel Vimal Heritage are some of them.

Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer Fort is located in the heart of the city of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. Built in the 12th century with yellow sandstone, this monument looks like a ship in a sea of golden sands of the great Thar Desert from afar, giving it the name of Ship Fort and sonar kila as well. It is the second oldest existing fort of Rajasthan next to Chittorgarh Fort.

rt remains open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily throughout the year. For Indian Nationals, the entry ticket of Kumbhalgarh Fort is INR 10 and for foreign nationals it is INR 100 only.

It is best to have a single day tour to this place from Udaipur along with Ranakpur Jain Temple. This temple is 45 kilometers away from this Fort by road. Udaipur is well-connected to the major cities of India by road, rail and air transport.

There are few high-end heritage hotels or resorts in Kumbhalgarh area and they are very expensive. It is better to have a one-day trip to Kumbhalgarh from Udaipur and to return by evening.

Ranthambhore Fort

Standing atop a hill in Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan, is one of the structurally finest forts designed with security measures that make it an impregnable fort. It got its name from two adjoining hills – Rann and Thambhore. The fort covers the entire top of the Thambhore hill at the heart of the Ranthambhore National Park. The walls, which are about seven kilometers in length and cover a large area around the fort, are heavily built to protect it from any intruding army. It is surrounded by massive stone walls which are strengthened by towers and bastions. The four colossal gateways are strong enough not be broken even by herds of elephants. There are many buildings inside the fort including temples of Lord Shiva and Ganesh.

It is recommended to visit the fort in the months of October and March when the weather changes from monsoons to winters and from winters to summers. To worship Lord Ganesh, lots of local people visit the Ganesh Temple built inside the fort on Wednesday every week.

From the month of October to January, the fort remains open from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the morning and 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the evening while it opens from 6:30 to 10 a.m. and 2:30 to 6 p.m. the remaining months.

The entry fees for Indians in INR 25 while for foreigners it is INR 200.

The closest airport is in Jaipur, 150 kilometers away by road. The town lies on the main Delhi-Mumbai rail link road, so visitors from Delhi and Mumbai are advised to take a train, which is not only cheaper and faster but also much more comfortable.

Since the eastern part of the fort has the stream of Gupt Ganga flowing there, visitors are advised to stay in the western part of the fort. There are many lodges and resorts in Sawai Madhopur with prices ranging from US $ 5 to US $ 1,000 or more.

Gagron Fort

Located at about 12 kilometers from Jhalawar city in south-eastern part of Rajasthan, Gagron Fort is one of India’s forts that is both a ‘Jal-Durg’ and ‘Van-Durg’ i.e. a fort protected by water and forest respectively. It stands on a low hill at the junction of two rivers, the Kali Sindh and the Ahu, whose water protects it from three sides. The fourth side is covered by a canal. Its foundation was laid in the 7th century while it was completed in the 14th century. There is a Dargah of Sufi Saint Mittheshah outside the fort. The monastery of Saint Pipa Ji, who is one of the eight disciples of Guru Ramanand is also nearby. It is surrounded by forests and has behind it the Mukundarrah range of hills.

Other than its design and structure, this fort is distinguished by the bravery and chivalry of the then Rajput rulers. It remains open from 8:00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. throughout the year, with an entry fee of INR 70 for foreigners and free for Indians.

Gagron Fort is about 88 kilometers from Kota city. There is no rail connectivity for Jhalawar. The nearest airport is at Udaipur which is about 284 kms from Jhalawar. One can take auto rickshaws and taxis to reach Gagron fort from Jhalawar. It is a very small town and has only 3-4 decent hotels within the city.



Last Updated on : January 2, 2014