Rajasthan is one of the few states in India that possess plenty of forgotten and unforgotten era of cultural heritage. For what has remained of the once vast Kingdom is still breathtaking. Located in the Northwest India in the Aravallis Mountain Ranges, one of the oldest in the world in the Vast Thar Desert, Rajasthan is truly remarkable. It’s the stuff movies of the medieval period can be made of. Where Kings ruled, fought their competition, forced marriages for alliance and even embraced death when faced with adversary so powerful, leading to commit mass suicide.
Today in modern times Rajasthan paints a quite a different picture, literally. Jaipur is Pink, Jodhpur is Blue, Udaipur is White and Jaisalmer is Golden. The whole of Rajasthan has had a significant change in the last century. Still the Forts, Monuments, Palaces stand galore and attract tourists, domestic and international in huge numbers. The attraction of Rajasthan never seems to fade away as the place is always exuberant and offers a wide range holiday packages. There are fairs and traditional festivals, camel safaris, horse riding on the dunes, tiger safari at Ranthambore, Palace on wheels- the most exotic train journey, jeep safari, night safari, hot air ballooning, Pushkar camel fare and the Jaipur Literature Festival just to name a few. Not to forget the trips to the Forts/ Palaces.
Some of the Famous Palaces / Forts of Rajasthan
All the Forts below come under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
1. Chittor Fort
Infused with rich history, this Fort was constructed in the 7th Century. It contains several of the most important chapters in the chronicles of the lives of its Rulers. This Fort was fought over, besieged, and again fought over between the Mughals, the Rajputs and the Turks. It is one of the largest Forts in India sprawling over an area of 691.9Acres. There are a total of 7 gates guarding the Fort till date. There are almost 22 water-bodies inside this gigantic Fort, which was used as a means of water supply to the soldiers during battles. It is said to have as many as 84 water-bodies in the past. Today, it is one of the major tourist attraction centers with its rich history and architecture. Thousands of tourists from world over marvel at the Fort. If in Rajasthan, this Fort should be in your Rajasthan Holiday Package.
Distance from the nearest Airport : 70Kms
Distance from the nearest Railway station : 2Kms
2. Kumbalgarh Fort
The Birthplace of Maharana Pratap of Mewar, Kumbalgarh Fort is of great significance in the pages of the Rajasthan’s history. This Fort was built by Maharana Kumbha perched on the Aravallis. It was the time of the Mughal King Akbar who wanted a path into Gujarat via Mewar and wanted the King of Mewar to become an in disposable ally, this was the time when Maharana Pratap was crowned the new King. The New King was not going to be subjected, and the battle of Haldighati was fought. 3000 Rajputs against 10000 Mughals was a battle of odds, yet Maharana Pratap survived and in process making him the most daring of the Rajputs who openly refused the Mughal Sultanate. Today the Kumbalgarh Fort stands as a hope of defiance against a mighty invader. The vibes of valor and strength can be felt while walking through the corridors of the Fort. This fort is a must on your tour of Rajasthan.
Distance from the nearest Airport : 66Kms
Distance from the nearest Railway station : 36Kms
3. Ranthambore Fort
Ranthambore Fort has seen its fare share of history, passing from on ruler to another and captured and recaptured under the Chauhans and the Mujhals until it finally passed on to the Maharajas of Jaipur, the Kachwaha who used it as a hunting ground till India became Independent from the British Rule. The Ranthambore Fort now lies within the confines of the Ranthambore National Park. It now houses the wildlife sanctuary along with ancient Temples of Ganesha, Lord Shiva Lord Ramlalaji and the Jain Lords, Sumatinath and Sambhavanath.
Distance from the nearest Airport : 160Kms
Distance from the nearest Railway station : 11Kms
4. Jaisalmer Fort
Imagine a city residing inside a Fort, It definitely should be in your holidays in Rajasthan Tour Package to witness such a scene. The fort stands tall surrounded by the great Thar Desert on the Trikuta Hill. It was only in the end of the 17th Century that the people residing inside the Fort finally settled on the outskirts of the Fort as the population began to grow. Most of the history of the Rajputs of Rajasthan is scarred with battles and bloodshed. The Fort was built in the 12th century by Rawal Jaisal. First the Turks attacked it led by Alauddin Khalji and later the Mughals and furthermore by the Britishers. It wasn’t until the year 1762 that it was left alone due to its distant location. Today Jaisalmer Fort stands and tells the tale of the reminiscent time of that part of defiant history.
Distance from the nearest Airport : 275Kms
Distance from the nearest Railway station : 2Kms
5. Amber Fort
One of the very few Forts that stayed away from any morbid history. Made of red sandstone and marble infusing both Mughal and Rajput architecture, it indeed is a marvel to visit on a holiday tour of Rajasthan. Built in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh, part of the Kachwaha Clan and an Army General in the Mughal Army.
The Fort houses many spectacular sights such as the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), the Jai Mandir, Sukh Niwas (Especially made to make the palace artificially cooler), Diwan-e-Aam(Hall of Public Audience), Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audience). A top a hillock, with reflections on the Maoti Lake, Amber Fort is truly remarkable and is just 11Kms from the city of Jaipur.
Distance from the nearest Airport : 24Kms
Distance from the nearest Railway station : 12.6Kms
6. Gogron Fort
As if out of a fantasy film, this Fort is spectacular in its setting. It is surrounded by water on all sides as a means of protection against invaders or attacks. It is “Jal Durg” personification combination of water and hill. Built by Raja Bijaldev in 1195 A.D. of the Parmara Empire. The tomb of Sufi Saint Pipa Baba is also laid to rest here which draws devotees from all over. A burial chamber of another Sufi Saint, Mitthe Shah is laid to rest just outside the Fort which converts into a colorful fare during the Holy Muslim month of Moharram. Not many people will tell you about this gem of a place, so it should be on your tour of Rajasthan.
Distance from the nearest Airport : 240Kms
Distance from the nearest Railway station : 25Kms
Six Hill forts of Rajasthan, namely, Amer/Amber Fort, Chittor Fort, Gagron Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Kumbhalgarh and Ranthambore Fort were included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list during the 37th meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Phnom Penh during June 2013. They were recognized as a serial cultural property and examples of Rajput Military Hill Architecture.