India is not just a name of the country; instead it is land of great human civilization like Harappa and Indus valley civilization, which is believed to be 4000 years old. Be it Rig Vedic period, golden period under Gupta Empire, the rules of great warriors’ rajputs, invasion of Delhi Sultanate and moguls or rule of British raj, India has seen it all.
Undoubtedly, India is land of rich cultural heritage and history which can well experienced by visiting the living testimony of ancients eras in the forms of majestic forts and glorious palaces. Every forts of India depicts the unforgettable remarks of different rulers and their prospering history, who once ruled this incredible land. The forts of India starting from, Mehrangarh fort, Chittorgarh fort, Nahargarh fort of Rajasthan to Karnala fort, Junagarh fort, Kolaba fort, Ramnagar fort are true example of unique, finest, and beautiful artistic architecture, which reminiscent of the artistic and aesthetic brilliance people possessed back in those eras.
So, guys are you ready to travel back to those times? Let’s unfold the mysterious chapters of history embellished in these majestic forts of India.
Come along with me in the journey of digging out more about India and its unforgettable rich past. Here we go to explore the best forts of India.
1. Red Fort of Agra: Witness the masterpiece of Mughliyah Architecture
The Red Fort of Agra is the living manifestation of rich and prosperous Mughal era dates back to 14th century. Twisted and tangled artwork in Mughliyah style gives this fort a rich look. This alluring fort is generally referred as walled city, than as a fort, because its arena is wide spread over 94 acres.
This majestic fort of India has witness many historical events, you can actually feel that each stones of the fort is narrating some historical sagas. It was the same palace where great Emperor Babur seized the Kohinoor diamond after the victory in battle of Panipat. Moreover, Humayun, Akbar stayed there during their rule. This red stone fort is divided into three parts; the Khas Mahal, the Shish Mahal, and the octagonal tower of Muhammam Burj. Historians claim that Shah Jahan died in the alluring marble balcony of the Musamman Burj, looking at the Taj Mahal, when he was captured and imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb.
2. Mehrangarh fort of Jodhpur: Feel the grace of Rajputana
The Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur is one among the oldest and largest forts of India, which shows the unmatchable marvelous Rajputana Architecture. Built on over 400 meters high cliff called Bahuchiriya, the rich history of Mehrangarh dates back to 15th century. The architect of that time has given imposing look to this ancient fort, as it has very thick wall as boundaries.
This royal palace also called The Sun Fort’ is guarded by 7 gates. Each gate is built by each Maharaja’s for their victory. Starting from museum inside the fort which depicts the rich history of the ‘Rathores’ in the form of paintings, attires, arms, to the intricate carvings of temples, palaces and courtyard, everything around is so tempting that you can’t hold yourself for falling in love with the fort.
The Small part of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was shot in this fort.
3. The Jaisalmer fort of Jaisalmer – Visit the largest living fort of India.
The Golden fort, known as the “Sonar Quila” is one of the largest subsistence forts of India is the home to about 3000 people at present. The beautiful mountainous,a five-storied monument was built and designed in a traditional Rajasthani Style.
The Prosperous and lavish inheritance of the Jaisalmer fort was portrayed by Satyajit Ray in his novel “Shonar Kella”, later the movie” Sonar Kella” was also made on it. The architectural structure of the fort separates into three layers of walls. The outside layer is made up of solid yellow stone blocks.
4. The Maharajas Palace of Mysore– Glimpse of Royal history of Mysore
One of the famous forts of India, Maharaja Palace depicts the rich history of Wodeyar. The Royal history of Mysore dates back to the 14th century, ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty for almost 6 centuries (1399 to 1947).
The Wodeyar king constructed the famous Mysore palace in the 14th century, which was damaged due to the lightning strike in 1638. Further, it was re-constructed by Britishers in 1912.
The palace and its beautiful architecture is arguably the best example of Indo-Saracenic and the perfect combination of rich cultures of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles.
5. The City Palace of Udaipur– Existing testimony of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture
This royal place is located right in the heart of the city. Entrance to the place is done as you pass through the Hathi Pol, elephant gate. This is a massive palace and it may take you about 2 to 3 hours to take a complete round of the place. Keep your mouth closed as you witness the man made masterpiece with your naked eyes.
There are many cafes available in the palace serving great cuisine. Some of the best known cafes are Grasswood Cafe, Cafe Satori, CafeRA, Yummy Yoga, Udai Art Cafe, Espresso Love Cafe, Brewmen and Cafe Edelweiss. It is really worth visiting among the various forts of India.
6. The Red Fort of Delhi– Depicting Rich History of Mughals
One of the most popular forts of India, the Red fort of Delhi was built by ShahJahan on the banks of the river Yamuna, which narrates the many Historical sagas of Mughal era. Each and every part of this famous fort has its own significance and history. The major attractions inside the fort are Hammam “the royal bath” which was used by queens for bathing, Pearl Mosque built for prayers, Shahi Burj, Diwan-i-Am was used for hearing the complaints of people and Diwan-i-Khas was used for personal meetings between the rulers.
The Red fort of Delhi has also political significance in present times. On every in Independence Day ceremony, the Prime Minister of India addresses the people. Many people across the nation visit here to attend this phenomenal event.
7. Amber Fort of Rajasthan– Shows the perfect blend of Rajputana and Mughal Cultures
Located in the royal land of Rajasthan, the Amber fort is one of the most glorious forts of India, which is living remark of Rajputana and Mughal Cultures. Intricate stone carvings on the pure marble, red sandstone and eye pleasing designs has perfect blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture.
This alluring fort was built by Raja Man Singh which includes Palace of mirrors (Sheesh Mahal) with the walls fully decorated with mirrors, Jas Mandir having blend of Mughal & Rajput architecture, Dil-e-Aaram garden depicting traditional Mughal style architecture and Maota Lake in the front of the lake which adds cherry to the cake.
The best thing about this fort you can ride on elephant’s back like a king to reach here.
8. Gwalior fort of Madhya Madhya Pradesh – Perfect example of Dravidian style architecture
The rich history of Gwalior fort dates back to the 15th century, which was built by Raja Man Singh Tomar. It is among the most beautiful forts of India which depicts the unmatchable Dravidian style architecture. This alluring fort of Gwalior is one of the famous heritage monuments of India which consist three temples, water tanks & six palaces.
The fort of Gwalior is the living witness of many historical events of Mughal era. It is the same fort where the most merciless Mughal ruler Aurangazeb was imprisoned and murdered by his brother Murad. There is Juhar Kund inside the fort where many women committed suicide by jumping in well of fire after the rulers of Gwalior was defeated by Mughals.
The major places to visit in Gwalior fort are Jahangir Mahal, Shah Jahan mahal , Karan Place & Gujri mahal.
9. City Palace of Jaipur– Amalgamation of Mughal, Rajputana and European styles
One of the most renowned forts of India, the City Palace of Jaipur is a beautiful amalgamation the Mughal, Rajputana and European styles architecture. The history of this palace dates back to 18th century to 20th century, which was initiated by Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber and further many new things were added into the palace by subsequent rulers of the city. The museum in the palace premises has a display of magnificent collection of armory and weapons through ages. You will really feel the royal vibes inside the palace. The culture of hospitality of Jaipur dates back to the ancient times, which you still feel while your tour to Jaipur.
10. Hawa Mahal of Jaipur: One of the most advanced architectural Marvels
The Hawa Mahal is considered as one of the most advanced architectural Forts of India. It has been designed in a way that the person inside of the palace cannot be seen from outside, but the queens and princesses of the royal household can see the city outside, the colorful bazars and fairs without being detected from anybody outside.
The name of this beautiful fort is based on the hundred installed windows, which makes its premises very breezy. It has been designed with the help of exquisitely designed stained glass windows, carved corridors and staircases, which captivates the tourist visiting Jaipur.
11. Chittorgarh Fort and Padmini Palace of Rajasthan: Explore the bygone era of Sisodias Warriors
If we talk about forts of India, the Chittorgarh Fort is most popular and biggest fort of India, which covers the area of 2.8 kms and 400 acres. It is also among UNESCO World Heritage Site. You need whole day to explore and understand the enigma of this fort.
The pillars, water bodies, palaces and temples are living remarks of many famous historical events. Inside the fort, there are two distinct pillars, the Kirti Stambh and the Vijay Stambh. These intricate artworks on the pillars is just jaw dropping, you can’t stop yourself admiring it thousand times. You will find twenty water bodies, nineteen temples and 4 palace complexes and memorials inside the fort.
This is the same palace where Rani Padmini initiated Jauhar.
12. Warangal Fort of Andhra Pradesh: Visit the land of thousand pillar temple
When we talk about the forts of India which are now ruins, the Warangal Fort is first name which comes in our mind. Despite being ruined, the remains inside the forts like gateways, shrines and tablets narrate the bygone stories of Kakatiya lineage of south India and their rise and downfall.
The major attraction inside the forts is the thousand pillar temple which has smaller sculptures carved from an unidentified black stone. The temple premises are rarely accessible to the general public, so check if the temple premises are opened before visiting.
13. Umaid Bhavan Palace of Jodhpur: Experience the essence of Royalty
If you have desire to spend few days of your life as a king, then you are at the right place. One of the most popular living forts of India, the Umaid Bhavan in Jodhpur is truly a paradise. It is privately owned heritage residences offer ridiculously royal feeling, which you will cherish all your life. The palace premises are divided in three parts- hotel chain run by the Taj group, the private residential complex of the royal family and the museum.
The best thing about this place is the vintage car collection of the royal family, on display here. It is really amazing!!
14. Sindhudurg Fort of Maharashtra: Experience the thrill of scuba-diving and snorkelling
Sindhudurg Fort is one of the most adventurous forts of India, which is located in the Malvan town of Sindhudurg District of Konan District. It is just 500 Kms south of Mumbai; you can board a bus or private taxi to reach here.
The great Maratha Warrior Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj built this fort which has daunting size. The tourist visits this place to enjoy scuba-diving and snorkeling.
15. Cooch Behar Palace of West Bengal: Buckingham Palace of India
The Cooch Behar Palace also referred as Victor Jubilee Palace is famous for its elegance, grandeur and magnificent architecture. The beautiful design, majestic yet subtle color combination, Corinthian columns and the arcaded verandahs makes it place among most loved visiting forts of India. You can see the perfect blend of Indo-western architecture; it looks exactly as Buckingham Palace with the contrast of Bengal culture.
If the rich history of India interests you and you want to experience gallantry, royalty and exuberance from close, then these magnificent forts of India will definitely leave a mark on your mind for all the time to come! Each one of them has their own story to tell!!
Plan your vacation to explore these massive forts of India takes you back in the glorious time of Maharajas and Emperors of India, where each bastion, window, porch, courtyard and even the outer wall narrates some historic tales and many epic love sagas. Here are the top 15 most popular forts of India which lets you to witness the man made masterpiece with your naked eyes.
If you want more information about Historical events, Palaces, forts and of India; leave your question on the comment box. Stay tuned lot more yet to come!!