Jaipur is one of the most popular destinations of India frequented by tourists from all over the world. Jaipur is well known for its architectural beauty, rich and vibrant history. One thing that goes synonymous with the city is its magnificent forts and palaces that have a great contribution in shaping the rich cultural heritage of the city and boost tourism from both the sectors national and international.
These ancient forts and monuments of Jaipur stand erect depicting tales of gallantry and romanticism of the legends and royals. Where magnificent monuments like City palace Gaitore, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Statue Circle, Jal Mahal, and Rambagh Palace, etc. are the most popular attractions of the city, the three oldest forts named Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, and Amer Fort is the most popular apart from others to hold a spectacular sight. Currently, some of these have been transformed into heritage hotels and some are still retained as private parties. So, we present to you a compiled and elaborative list of these resplendent forts in Jaipur and around it, which you should definitely visit while on a trip to the city.
If you’re exploring the artful heritage of Rajasthan, one thing which is surely not to be missed is the grandeur of Amber fort. Beautifully and powerfully fortified by stone walls and tastefully done up in a culmination of Mughal and Hindu styles of architecture, the fort was one of the mainstays of the Kachwahas of Amer. The inside of the palace is decked up with paintings and carvings, studded with precious stones and has beautiful stairways to speak of. Extremely popular for its rich history and grandeur, Amber Fort is one of the largest forts of the 16th century and is probably an iconic attraction of the town. As the city is wonderful during the autumn and winter months, the best time to visit any of these forts of Rajasthan is from September to March.
Top sites to enjoy inside the fort are a hall of public audience, hall of private audience, mirror palace, Sukh Niwas, Shila Devi temple, Mughal garden, courtyards and much more. Elephant ride to the fort is the iconic activity of this fort. If you are not into elephant rides, you can choose jeep rides as well.
Located in Aravali Hill approx. 6kms away from the city, the fort is an important architectural attraction in the city. One of the main activities of this fort is to get a panoramic view of the city from its roof terrace which is open for all the tourists. This fort was built as a protective wall for the Pink city alongside Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort. Later the fort was converted into a retreat spot.
Originally named as Sudarshangarh, the Nahargarh Fort holds a summer palace for the royal family, including 12 chambers for the Queens and at the helm, one for the King. There is also a wax museum at the entrance that has the life-like statues of famous personalities like Amitabh Bachchan and many others. Next to it is a Sheesh Mahal – a glass palace made with hand-cut glass, including even the floor of the palace which makes it distinguished from others. The view of the city lights of Jaipur at night from Nahargarh, and the great size of the city during the day, are some of the experiences you can’t miss out on.
Built by Jai Singh, situated on the promontory called the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the Aravalli range, the fort is similar in structural design to Amber fort. The ramparts around the Jaigarh Fort are beautiful and seemingly arid, yet frightfully formidable. The palace and fort were built by Sawai Jai Singh II, in an attempt to guard against enemy advances to his capital. The Amer, Jaigarh and Nahargarh Forts were almost a trifecta built to safeguard the city from attacks and invasions. The spectacular beauty and the panoramic view of the Jaigarh Fort is magnificent and worth watching if you’re around. One of the amazing facts of the fort is it has the world’s largest cannon on wheels displayed here called the Jaivana cannon.
The inside of the fort is adorned with courtrooms and halls with screened windows. The court has a triple-arched entrance “The Awani Darwaza”, an armory chamber for a display of swords, shields, guns and a mega 50 kilograms cannonball, a museum that exhibits some of the amazing things like photographs of the Royalty of Jaipur, stamps and many artifacts, which include a circular pack of cards. A spittoon of 15th-century vintage and also hand-drawn plan of the palaces are seen in the museum.
A world heritage site included in Hill Forts of Rajasthan, built by Rana Kumbha, a Mewar of Rajasthan, is the most important fort of Mewar after Chittorgarh Fort. Kumbhalgarh Fort is built under the mighty, watchful eye of the Aravali ranges, with seven ramparts and huge watchtowers. The total length of the walls of Kumbhalgarh is second only to the Great Wall of China, making it second to the list of the largest fortifications of the world. The magnum of the fort is to be seen during the evening time when the fort is lit up for some time. It is believed that the same is done since the time of the Maharana Kumbha used to burn massive lamps that consumed fifty kilograms of ghee and a hundred kilograms of cotton to provide light for the farmers who worked during the nights in the valley.
Another fascinating aspect of the complex is that it has a total of 360 temples within its walls. Lakhola Tank with a depth of 40ft is the most notable tank inside the fort.
The largest known fort in India, and hence one of the most important forts of Rajasthan, and now a World Heritage site. The Chittorgarh Fort stood witness to the invasion of Allauddin Khilji and his love for the Queen Padmini of Chittor, though most modern historians rejected the authenticity of this evidences. It stands as proof of Rajput cultures, values and the heroism displayed in the war against foreign dominance in Rajasthan.
It is also famous as a water fort due to its collection of water bodies in the forms of a total of 84 lakes, wells (kunds) and stepwells (baoris) out of which only 22 exist today. One of the most remarkable movies of the Indian industry Padmavat based on this fort starring Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor.
A quaint little town in the district of Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, lined with old forts, some of them dating back to a hundred years, Mandawa is known for one of its famous fort, The Mandawa Fort. Built by Thakur naval Singh in the midst of Aravalli Hills in Rajasthan, the fort is a symbol of the town’s royal heritage. In recent times, it has been converted into a heritage hotel by the royalty of Mandawa and is now run as a hotel by Rajasthan Tourism Department.
It is one of the best specimens of Rajasthan art and architecture. Beautiful frescoes depicting Lord Krishna with his cows adorn the walls of this enchanting establishment. You can choose to stay here during your trip to the heritage town and live the life of a royal for a few days.
Laxmangarh is a popular tourist destination in Rajasthan. It is home to the grand Laxmangarh fort and small mansions with frescos and deities on walls. Originally built by Rao Raja of Sikar, Laxman Singh on the hill and built a whole town on his name.
There are many mansions in Laxmangarh, namely the Sawant Ram Chokhani Haveli, Bansidhar Rathi Haveli, Sanganeria Haveli, mirijamal kayala Haveli, Char Chowk Haveli, and Kedia Haveli. There are numerous temples in the town, namely The Radhi Murlimanohar temple, constructed in 1845, which is popular for beautiful sculptures of deities on the wall.
Built by Bhagwant Das for his younger son Madho Singh I, it is located on the border of the Sariska Reserve in the Aravali range of hills in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. The fort is actually made up of the ruins of the King’s palace and is also known as one of the most haunted places in India, and perhaps the greatest unsolved mystery for which different legends and folklores can be found by unveiling that era of history. There is no doubt in the fact that anything associated with the supernatural attracts a huge amount of attention and the deserted city of Bhangarh cashes in on that very idea. Curious travelers come in order to experience cheap thrills and while some go back disappointed, others simply cannot have enough of the suspense associated with the story of the Bhangarh Fort.
Entering through the main gate of the completely ruined fort city, one can find temples, palaces, and Havelis. In addition, there are four more points of entry to the fort – the Lahori Gate, the Ajmeri Gate, the Phulbari Gate, and the Delhi Gate. However, various Hindu temples can be seen at the entrance of the main gate such as Hanuman Temple, Gopinath Temple, Someshwar Temple, Keshav Rai Temple, Mangla Devi Temple, Ganesh Temple, and Navin Temple. If you happen to be one of those inquisitive travelers, it is imperative for you to visit this place and find out for yourself.
The 14th century Hill Fort Kesroli is one of the oldest heritage sites in India where one can stay. Sited atop the rare, dark hornstone breccia rocks, it commands splendid agrarian views from its ramparts. Kesroli makes an ideal base to visit the neighboring palaces, museums, natural sites and sanctuaries of Alwar and Sariska.
The origins of the seven turreted Hill Fort Kesroli are traced back to over seven centuries. It is believed to have been built by the Yaduvanshi Rajputs, who claim descent to Lord Krishna but converted to Islam in the mid 14th century. The restoration process started in 1995 and our resort in Kesroli was opened to guests in 1998. Its interior gardens both in the Mardana and the Zenana quarters are refreshing and intimate, framing the tent of the sky above.
Originally an old haveli or a large residential complex, located inside Achrol village belongs to the Achrol Thikana family, who were actually the relatives of Kachhawa rulers of Jaipur. Hidden away from the busy Jaipur-Delhi Highway, the village also houses some more old Havelis, but it is all in all a very small village.
The fort in itself was used for military and strategic purposes, while the haveli was used as a residential quarter. The fort has a wide panoramic view, and beautiful, unique architecture.
Taragarh Fort or Star Fort is a structure in the city of Ajmer in the Indian state of Rajasthan. There are three gateways to the fort known as Lakshmi Pol, Phuta Darwaza, and Gagudi ki Phatak. Most parts of these gateways are now in ruins. During its heyday, Taragarh Fort was renowned for its tunnels crisscrossing the entire hillside. However, these tunnels are now inaccessible.
Described by Rudyard Kipling as ‘the work of goblins rather than of men’, since it almost seems to grow out of the hillside it stands on, the Bundi Palace was constructed inside the periphery of the Taragarh Fort during the reign of Rao Raja Ratan Singh Hada of the Hada Chauhan Rajput Dynasty who reigned from 1607 to 1631.
In the fort are water reservoirs. These reservoirs were built to store water and supply the residents during times of crisis.
Built for one or the other reason, these forts forms an intrinsic part of the state and the city. So whenever you plan a next trip to the city, do visit some of the forts to view the royalty of the state. Even we would be happy to guide with our guided tours to the city that heads to certain above destinations.
You may also plan a visit to some of the other places of the Royal city and can enjoy our Street Food Tour as well to have a mesmerizing experience of a lifetime.