Top 10 Forts in India
India is a country famous for its vast cultural and historical heritage. Tourists from all over the world come to India every year to see the ancient forts, palaces and monuments which tell the ancient tales of romance, chivalry, valor and court politics. These outstanding specimen of ancient architecture are worth a visit. There are innumerable forts in India but two forts in India are declared as UNESCO world heritage sites- the Agra fort and the Red fort.
Here are listed some of the most famous, historically important and beautifully designed forts of India:
Red Fort, Delhi
Red Fort in Delhi is one of the most important historical buildings in India. Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this magnificent red sandstone structure was built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in the 17th century AD. Earlier known as ‘Quila-e-Mubarak’, this fort took ten years to complete. There are public and private halls, mosque (Moti Masjid), gardens inside the fort and the holy river Yamuna runs alongside. Independence Day function is held every year at the Red fort where the Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag and addresses the nation.
Amer Fort, Jaipur
Jaipur is famous for its beautiful historical forts and palaces. The most visited and outstanding among these is the Amer Fort which is situated amidst the serene backdrop of Aravali Hills. There are two more forts in the vicinity,Jaigarh and Nahargarh which are situated a little higher than Amber fort.The beautiful Amer fort was built by Raja Man Singh I. The intricate carvings are worth looking in this grand fort. It is considered as one of the most beautiful forts of India in terms of architecture. A visit to Jaipur is incomplete without visiting Amer fort.
Agra Fort, Agra
Though Agra is most famous for Taj Mahal which is one of the Seven wonders of the world, but the red giant structure of Agra fort is definitely worth a visit. This UNESCO World Heritage site lies on the right bank of the river Yamuna. Different palaces inside this red citadel were built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Ironically Shah Jahan spent his last years imprisoned in this fort from where he could see Taj Mahal, the monument which he made to commemorate his love for his deceased wife Mumtaj Mahal.
Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan
Situated on the top of 'Trikuta Hill' 76 m above the town, this fort in Jaisalmer is visible from quite a distance. It is one of the largest forts in the world and is situated amidst the Great Thar Desert. This yellow sandstone fort is remarkable for simplicity in its decor and architecture. The best months to visit Jaisalmer are from November to March.
Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad
The famous Golconda fort located at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh was built by Karkatiya Dynasty and is known for its rich history and a majestic grand structure. Away from the hustle-bustle of the city,this fort stands proud atop a hill silently telling the tale of its days of royal glory.
Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
Built in the year 1589 AD, this well-preserved fort is situated in the center of Bikaner, Rajasthan. The fort is a massive structure with large art galleries, corridors and courtyards which have on display the rich history, culture and traditions of the city of Bikaner. It is one of the best maintained forts in the country.
Chittorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh
Stretched in a huge area in Chittorgarh in the state of Rajasthan,Chittorgarh Fort is the largest fort in India. This fort is a living evidence of the brave Maharan Pratap and the other Rajput rulers. It represents the era when brave Rajputs preferred to die in the battle than surrendering before the enemy. Several palaces, temples and public & private halls inside the fort attract thousands of visitors every year. The biggest Rajput festival called the “Jauhar Mela” is hosted in this fort every year to commemorate the gallantry of Rani Padmini who sacrificed her life by jumping into the flames of burning pyre to avoid being captured by the enemy. Hundreds of Rajput females followed suit and sacrificed their lives following their queen. Chittorgarh is a reminder of the great sacrifices made by the brave Rajputs for our motherland.
Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh
This well-maintained fort in Gawaliar, Madhya Pradesh has colorful artworks carved in its inner and outer walls and pillars.This massive and beautiful fort has also a postal stamp issued by Indian Postal Service in its honor. You can also enjoy the panoramic view of the old Gwalior from this fort.
Jhansi Fort, Jhansi
The king of Orcha, Bir Singh Ju Deo built this fort in the year 1613. This magnificent fort is situated on a rocky hill called Bangra in Jhansi, Madhya Pradesh. This famous fort lies witness to the life story of the brave queen of Jhansi, Rani Laxmi Bai who sacrificed her life at a young age while fighting against the Britishers.
Daulatabad Fort, Aurangabad
Standing on a conical hill about 200 meters high near the city of Aurangabad, this vintage fort overlooks beautiful views of green vegetation around. The summit can only be accessed by a narrow bridge and a long gallery, excavated in the rock, which has a very gradual upward slope. Though the fort is now a pale shadow of its former royal days but it's still worth a visit.
Other noteworthy forts in India
Besides these ten forts, there are many other forts in India which are remarkable for their architecture and historical importance. Each fort has its own story to tell. Some other noteworthy forts in India are
- Chandragiri Fort, Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
- Diu Fort (Daman and Diu)
- Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur (Rajasthan)
- Purana Quila, Delhi
- SriRangpatnam Fort, Mysore (Karnataka)
- Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur (Rajasthan)
- Kangra Fort, Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)
It is advisable to read about the history of the fort before visiting it. You can also hire local guides who can give you a guided tour of the fort while narrating the history of the fort and all the other interesting facts about the place.
A.R. Rahman - Maa Tujhe Salaam
© 2016 Shaloo Walia