Hill Forts of Rajasthan

May 07, 2014

India is home to many tourist sites, but few can compare to the diversity you will find at the Hill Forts of Rajasthan. If you want to get value for your money, you are well advised try this destination.

The Hill forts of Rajasthan are home to six majestic forts. These forts are to be found in:

  • Chittorgarh – This fort is strongly associated with Rajput history and folk lore. Furthermore, the sheer number and variety of architectural remains ranging from the 8th to the 16th centuries mark it as an exceptional fort. Few Indian Forts can compare to the grandeur you will find in Chittorgarh.
  • Kumbhalgarh – This fort was built as a single process, except for the Palace of the Fateh Singh. This is the reason for its architectural coherence that is not found in the other forts. The forts architectural design is credited to the author, architect and theorist known as Mandan. He worked in the court of Rana Kumbha in Chittorgarh.
  • Ranthambore – This fort is situated in the forest and is a classic example of a hill fort in the forest. It still has the remains of the palace of Hammir which are easily the oldest surviving structures of an Indian Palace.
  • Jhalawar
  • Jaipur
  • Jaisalmer – This is a great example of a desert fort. It contains an extensive township with a series of Jain Temples. It is a classic example of blending of sacred and secular buildings. Today, the fort is still occupied.

You would be interested to know that some of these forts extend over a circumference of 20 kilometers and are thus a peculiar testimony to the power assumed by the Rajput princely states that thrived in the region between the 8th to 18th centuries.

Within the forts, you will find palaces, major urban centers, trading centers, temples that predate the fortifications and other buildings. The elaborate courtly culture was conducive for learning, arts and music. Some temples, sacred buildings, and urban centers have survived to this day

The architects of the forts used the defensive natural landscape that was offered by rivers hills, dense forests and deserts to ward off the enemies. Besides the stone walls, the natural barriers made it difficult for the enemies to cross over into the Rajput territories. The forts also feature extensive water harvesting systems that are still in use today.

The forts were very important for the survival of the Rajput dynasty in that they offered an ideal setting for the mercantile activities. They were the center of production and distribution of commodities used within the region and beyond. Although some of the fortifications predate the Rajput era, most came up during the Rajput reign.