As far as wildlife is concerned, the Indian peninsula is a continent in itself where the sheer diversity of the wildlife astounds you with more than 350 species of mammals and 1200 avifauna species in the country.
The people want to do only one thing in the cities during the summers – they want to get away from it. They want a cool getaway in India itself where they can have some respite from the scorching heat of the plains.
Rajasthan historical forts are majestic in their splendor and are a symbol of the days of glory of the erstwhile rulers of Rajasthan. Almost all the forts of Rajasthan are on the heritage list and these Rajasthan heritage forts are truly a sight for sore eyes. They tower over the surrounding countryside in their magnificence which is awe inspiring for the visitors.
39 km from Kota, lies the stately Taragarh Fort, that was the height of Rajput opulence in it’s hey days. This massive Rajasthan fort was built in 1354, and is only accessible by a steep road that leads to a gigantic gateway. There are huge water reservoirs within the fort precincts that have been carved out of solid rock.
One of the most interesting features of the Taragarh fort is the Bhim Burj, one of the largest fort battlements in the world; a huge cannon is mounted atop the battlement and legend has it that, in the days gone by, it was one of biggest cannons in the region. Visitors will get a bird’s eye view on the surrounding countryside and the city of Kota from the ramparts of the fort.
The Chittorgarh Fort is one of the most famous of all Rajasthan historical forts. It is a testimonial to the endeavor, bravery, and chivalry of the Rajput rulers who ruled this region a few centuries ago. As are all forts, even this Rajasthan heritage fort, is located on a hill overlooking the modern township of Chittor.
The Chittorgarh Fort was the capital of the Gahlot and Sisodia kings who ruled the region of Mewar between the 8th and 16th century AD. No other Rajasthan heritage fort has seen as many fierce sieges as has the Chittorgarh Fort. It rises 150 m above the region surrounding it, covering an area of 60 acres, with a length of 3 km and a periphery that measures 13 km in length. With these measurements you can get a fair idea as to the massive size of the fort.
Two of the more famous sights within the fort are the two towers known as Vijay Stambh (Tower of Victory) and the Kirti Stambh (The Tower of Fame). The fort also has numerous palaces, temples, and reservoirs, within its walls, that were built between the 9th and 17th centuries AD.
Other places of interest inside the Chittorgarh fort are the Rana Kumbha Palace, Gaumukh reservoir, Sammidheshwara Temple, the palace of Queen Padmini, Bhimtal Tank, Meera Temple, Kumbha Shyam Temple, and the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.
Amber Fort is one of the 3 Rajasthan heritage forts that are located at a small distance from the City of Jaipur. Before Jaipur, Amber used to be the capital of the Kachhwaha Maharajas, and the majesticAmber Fort illustrates this fact with aplomb. The construction of this Rajasthan fort began during the reign of Man Singh I in the year 1592, but it was brought to completion by his descendant Jai Singh I.
The Amber Fort is a structure built from red sandstone and white marble, and this gives this Rajasthan historical fort its majestic appeal, which is doubly accentuated with the idyllic Maotha Lake in the foreground. Tourists who want to visit this fort can either approach it by using a car or if they are adventurous enough, then can ride on the backs of elephants that walk the ramparts that were specially created for them, all the way up to the Amber Fort.
Jaigarh Fort or the 'Victory Fort' is situated amidst thorn-scrub hills that go a long way in giving an unwelcome air to the forbidden fort. This is one of the three famous forts of Jaipur and was built to strengthen the defenses of Amber.
The main gate of the Jaigarh Fort is called the Dungar Darwaza and if you look down at the City of Jaipur from here, you will see a truly breathtaking sight. This Rajasthan Fort is also famous for the 'Jaivana', which is reportedly the largest cannon-on-wheels in the world.
The Jaigarh Fort is also famous for its water channels that were a part of the rain water harvesting system of the fort. It also has 3 large underground tanks and the largest of these could store almost 60, 00,000 gallons of water!
A part of the Jaigarh Fort has also been converted into a museum which has a display of the varied armory and weapons, old photographs, and many other possessions of the royal family who once lived in this Rajasthan heritage fort.
Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur
The Nahargarh Fort was built in 1734 by Sawai Raja Jai Singh. He built it to bolster the defense of Amer, and thus also defend his capital Jaipur. Also known as the Tiger fort, many of the older parts of this fort are in ruins, but this tragedy is made up by its newer additions that are as captivating to the eye as they would have been when they were first built
The Nahargarh Fort forms an awesome trinity alongside the two other forts of Jaipur and offers panoramic views of Jaipur City as well as the Man Sagar Lake. If you want a glimpse into the glorious past of Rajasthan then you must make your way to the Nahargarh Fort.
The Mehrangarh fort, in Jodhpur is one of the largest Rajasthan historical forts, and is situated almost 400 feet above the city. Its thick walls enclose several palaces, and courtyards that have a mesmerizing effect on the visitors.
Some of the places to visit inside the Mehrangarh fort is the Temple of Chamunda Mata, the Moti Mahal palace, the Sheesh Mahal, the Phool Mahal, Takhat Vilas, Daulat khana, Armory amongst others.
Most of the regal rooms of the Mehrangarh Fort have now been converted into a museum to allow visitors to gain an understanding about the life and times of the rulers of Jodhpur.
Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
This is an important Rajasthan heritage fort that is situated in Bikaner. The Junagarh Fort is one of the most imposing forts in India and a fine example of Rajput architecture. 37 palaces are to be found within the confines of this fort, which are interspersed with intricate pavilions and beautiful temples. The round towers and massive ramparts of the Junagarh Fort give a forbidding look to the fort, and also give it an air of impenetrability.
The main entrance to the fort is called the Suraj Pol or the Gate of the Sun, and once you enter the fort you will be absolutely amazed looking at the structures that are inside the fort. Some of the places of interest within the fort are the Moon Palace, the Phool Mahal or Flower Palace, and the Karan Mahal.
The Golden Fort, Jaisalmer
Perhaps no other Rajasthan historical fort has been as feted and celebrated for its beauty as has been the Golden Fort, Jaisalmer. This majestic fort was built way back in 1156 AD by Rawal Jaisal, a Bhati Rajput ruler. This Rajasthan fort rises proudly amongst the golden sand dunes that stretch all round it. It is perched atop the Trikuta Hill, and history states that the Golden Fort, Jaisalmer has been the scene of countless bloody battles.
Made of yellow sandstone, the fort shimmers when the sun rays fall on its massive walls, giving one a feeling that it’s made of gold. The color of the fort integrates seamlessly with the rolling expanse of the desert that surrounds it. The defensive ability of the Golden Fort, Jaisalmer can be gauged from the fact that it has 3 layers of thick walls. The 99 bastions of the fort have proved themselves in all sieges and are now a symbol of Rajput pride and courage.
An interesting fact about this Rajasthan heritage fort is that it is the world’s only living fort. Almost a quarter of the population of Jaisalmer lives within the walls of the fort! Some of the important places of interest within the fort are the Raj Mahal (Royal Palace), the Jain Temples, the exquisite Merchant Havelis, Laxminath Temple, and the four massive gateways.