Amazing Historical Forts & Palaces in Rajasthan, India

Rajasthan is known for its royal ambiance and colorful history. Rajasthan is dotted with several tourist destinations that still hold a diorama of the medieval clamour. Architectural buildings, including forts, palaces, havelis and temples built by the Rajputs are major attractions of Rajasthan. Most of them converted into government edifices and heritage hotels & few have been retained as private residences of the royal family. This article will focus on the top historical forts and palaces that serve as a purpose for visiting Rajasthan.

Amer Fort and Palaces, Jaipur

Amer fort is one of the principal tourist destinations of the state of Rajasthan region especially for the people who are traveling to Jaipur. Many tourists visit this fort for enjoying elephant ride around the fort. It is located on the foot of the Aravalli range and overlooking the Maota Lake. This fort was built in 16th century using red sandstone and marble.

Amber Fort Jaipur

The architecture marvel of the palace can be observed by looking at its four level layout, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Aam, Sheesh Mahal and Sukh Niwas, with each of them having a courtyard. The Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of Private Audience was a special place where the king met and discussed important issues with respected dignitaries from his court and outside.

Best Time to Visit: October to February

Opening Hours: 8 AM to 5:30 PM Daily

Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur

Along with Amer Fort, this is one of the major Forts of Rajasthan, which is characterized by its stunning ramparts, edifices as well as rugged design. This Fort was built in 1726 by Jai Singh II to protect the Amer Fort, which lies on the foot of the Cheel Ka Teela. It is known for its canon called Jaivana, which was then the largest canon on wheels. This fort is highly fortified with thick walls of red sandstone and is spread over a layout plan with a length of 3 kilometres and a width of 1 kilometre.

Jaigarh Fort Jaipur

The fort is crafted with a complex network of subterranean passages and comprises the Laxmi Vilas, Lalit, Mandir, Vilas Mandir and Aram Mandir. Currently, it has an armoury and a museum and is known for being the Victory Fort of Jai Singh.

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 4:30 PM Daily

Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur

Overlooking the pink city of Jaipur, the Nahargarh Fort has its own significant place in history. It was built as a summer retreat by Sawai Raja Jai Singh II in the year 1734 and located on the Aravalli hills. It is one of that Forts of Rajasthan that is endowed with architectural beauty and provides panoramic views of the city. Throughout its history the fort never came into attacks and saw several treaties, especially between the Maharaja of Jaipur and the Marathas.

Nahargarh Fort Jaipur

Today it is one of the favourite tourist hangouts in the outskirts of Jaipur with the major attraction being the panoramic view of the Jaipur city and the step well. This fort is near to many tourist attractions like Hawa Mahal, Jaigarh Fort, Jal Mahal and others. Within the fort complex there is a museum that displays a huge collection of armours and paintings. It also maintains a small rooftop restaurant where you can chill out for long hours.

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM Daily

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

The name Hawa Mahal stands for the “Palace of Winds”, which very much justifies it perfectly created airy structure. It was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1798 and located in the heart of the city of Jaipur. It is one of the prominent historical landmarks in India that reveal a rich cultural and architectural heritage with a fusion of Rajasthani style of architecture and the Islamic Mughal architecture. It is an excellent work of red and pink sandstone.

Hawa Mahal Jaipur

The exterior of the palace is basically a five storey building, which looks similar to the honeycomb of the beehives because of its 953 small windows that are known as the Jharokhas, decorated with intricate latticework. Apart from this, the intricate structure of the palace also allows the royal family ladies to observe the everyday life in the street and watch the royal processions and festivities sitting behind the stone carved screens.

Best Time to Visit: October to March

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM Daily

City Palace, Jaipur

Jaipur City Palace is one of the central attractions of the city due to its magnanimous complex and the fact that it is still a royal residence. It was built in 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. This palace has an architectural style that mixes Indian and European style.

city palace jaipur

The most prominent and most visited structures in the complex are the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Mukut Mahal, Maharani’s Palace, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum. Today, part of the complex is open to the public as the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, popularly known as the City Palace Museum. Its treasures, which include miniature paintings, manuscripts, Mughal carpets, musical instruments, royal costumes and weaponry, provide a splendid introduction to Jaipur’s princely past, and it’s fascinating arts and crafts.

Best Time to Visit: October to March

Opening Hours: 9:30 AM to 5 PM

Jal Mahal, Jaipur

The Jal Mahal Palace located in the middle of the beautiful Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city & considered as an absolute beauty constructed in the Rajput and Mughal style architecture. The palace and the lake around it were renovated and enlarged in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II.

Jal Mahal Jaipur

The Jal Mahal is a five storied red sandstone structure with some beautiful chhatrie, intricately decorated rooms, hallways and wall paintings detailing the complex Rajasthani art. The terrace of palace has a beautiful garden along with having semi octagonal towers with elegant cupola located at each of the four corners of the palace. The area surrounding the Jal Mahal holds a large biosphere with the Aravalli range encircling and layered with tropical forest that is a home to varied species of flora and fauna. Tourists visiting the Jal Mahal can take a boat ride in the Man Sagar Lake. The boats here are crafted in typical Rajasthani style.

Lohagarh Fort, Bharatpur

Lohagarh Fort is situated at Bharatpur in Rajasthan. It was constructed by Bharatpur Jat ruler Maharaja Suraj Mal in 18th century. The Lohagarh Fort is one of the strongest ever built in Indian history and known as Iron Fort. It has two gates; Ashtdhaatu (eight-metalled) to the north and Chowburja (four-pillared) to the south.

Lohagarh Fort Bharatpur

Monuments in the fort include are Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas. Moti Mahal and towers like Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj were constructed within the walls of the fort for celebrating the victories over Mughals and British army.

Deeg Palace, Bharatpur

Deeg Palace is a palace 32 km from Bharatpur in Rajasthan built in 1772 by the Jat rulers as a luxurious summer resort. It is crafted with many princely slated rooms, carved gates and windows having stone slabs, ornate beams and marble jalis.

Deeg Palace Bharatpur

It also houses a monsoon pavilion known as Keshav Bhawan, is a single-storeyed baradari placed on an octagonal base. It stands next to the Rup Sagar tank. An arcade runs around the interior of the pavilion over a canal with hundreds of fountains. The Deeg Palace is another beautiful architectural specimen that reflects the typical Mughal style of architecture. It is one of the must visit places in Bharatpur, Rajasthan.

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM except on Fridays

Ranthambore Fort, Sawai Madhopur

Ranthambore Fort lies within the Ranthambore National Park, near the town of Sawai Madhopur, the park being the former hunting grounds of the Maharajahs. Currently, it is one of the prime attractions for wildlife lovers and who take up safari inside the sanctuary in Rajasthan. According to Government of Rajasthan’s it is likely that the construction started in the mid-10th century during the reign of Sapaldaksha and continued a few centuries after that.

Ranthambore Fort Sawai Madhopur

The fort complex still sits with several architectural structures including palaces and temples of which the Jogi Mahal, Ganesha Temple, Shiva Temple, Ramlalji Temple and also a Jain temple of Lord Sumatinath and Lord Sambhavanath. The history of the fort is written on a wall inside the fort. This fort has cobbled paths, large walls and ramparts, ditches as well as strong ramifications.

Best Time to Visit: November to May

Opening Hours: 6 AM to 6 PM

Junagarh Fort, Bikaner

Junagarh Fort situated in Bikaner was built by Raja Rai Singh in 16th century. The fort was originally called Chintamani and was renamed Junagarh or “Old Fort” in the early 20th century. It is one those few forts that have not been built on a hilltop. This fort has been attacked several times but it was not taken by a foreign ruler except for a single day.

Junagarh Fort Bikaner

The buildings of this fort are an example of composite culture and feature intermix of Persian and Rajasthan architectural styles. Inside the fort, you can find palaces, temples, balconies, kiosks, courtyards, museum and others. The highlights of the fort are Chandra Mahal, decorated beautifully with mirrors, paintings and carved marble panels, the Phool Mahal, the Karan Mahal and the multi-storeyed Anup Mahal, which was once used as the governance chambers for the rulers.

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Opening Hours: 10 AM to 4:30 PM

Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer

jaisalmer fort entrance

Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest fortifications in the world. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan. The fort is built by the Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal on the top of the Trikuta Hill in 12th century. It was also known as the Sonar Quila or Golden Fort for its gleaming golden sandstone walls and buildings. Major attractive here include popular Jain Temples, Laxminath temple, its four stunning gateways as well as the Raj Mahal or the Royal Palace.

Best Time to Visit: October to March

Opening Hours: 24hours

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort located in Jodhpur is one of the largest forts in India. The fort was built in 15th century and situated 400 feet above the city and is enclosed by magnificent thick walls. Inside its boundaries there are several palaces known for their intricate carvings and expansive courtyards. This fort has seven gates which are known for their own unique historical significance.

Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur

The museum in the Mehrangarh fort is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan. In this museum collection of jewels, palanquins, arms, costumes and other belongings of royal family are kept. Other important elements in this fort are Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Sheesha Mahal (Mirror Palace), Sileh Khana, and Daulat Khana and others.

Best Time to Visit: October to March

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

The Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur is one of the world’s largest residences and was built in the early 20th century by Maharana Umaid Singh. The palace was initially known as the Chittar Palace as it was located on the Chittar Hill, the highest point in Jodhpur.

umaid-bhawan-palace

The palace is counted as one of the world’s largest private residences and has 347 rooms. It also has a gallery that features the most exotic collection of automobiles owned by the royal family. The architectural style is considered as vogue Beaux Arts style and also known as Indo-Deco style.

Today, this Palace is divided into three functional parts – the residence of the royal family, a luxury Taj Palace Hotel, and a Museum focusing on the 20th century history of the Jodhpur Royal Family.

Best Time to Visit: January to December

Opening Hours: 24 hours

Chittorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh

Chittorgarh fort is located in Chittorgarh Rajasthan and was constructed by the Mauryans during the 7th century and derives its name after the Mauryan ruler, Chitrangada Mori. It is a glorious fort that stands on the peak of a hill and covers about 700 acres of land. This fort has seen many battles and stands as a reminder of braveness and chivalry of Rajput. The Fort has witnessed three bloody sieges and ‘jauhars‘ first led by Rani Padmini wife of Rana Rattan Singh who was killed in the battle in 1303, and later by Rani Karnavati in 1537.

Chittorgarh fort

The fort that once boasted of 84 water bodies has only 22 of them now. These water bodies are fed by natural catchment and rainfall, and have a combined storage of 4 billion litres. Important attractions in this fort are The Vijay Stambha (Tower of Victory), Kirti Stambha (Tower of Fame), Rana Kumbha Palace, Fateh Prakash Palace, Gaumukh Reservoir, Padmini’s Palace, Meera temple, Kalika Mata Temple and many others.

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Opening Hours: 9:45 AM to 5:15 PM

Kumbhalgarh Fort near Udaipur

Kumbhalgarh Fort is a Mewar fortress on the westerly range of Aravalli Hills, in the Rajsamand District of Rajasthan. This fort is a world heritage site and second largest fort in Rajasthan and second longest wall after the Great Wall of China. Built on a hilltop 1100 m above sea level during the course of the 15th century by Rana Kumbha and enlarged through the 19th century and this is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great king and warrior of Mewar.

Kumbhalgarh fort

There are several palaces and more than 360 temples within the fort, 300 ancient Jain and the rest Hindu. Badal Mahal (birth place of Maharana Pratap) holds a strong place in the history of Rajasthan.  The sand dunes of the Thar Desert can be seen from the fort walls.

Best Time to Visit: October to February

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM

City Palace, Udaipur

The City Palace of Udaipur was built in a flamboyant style and is considered the largest of its type in Rajasthan. Built in 1559 by Maharaja Udai Singh on a hilltop that gives a panoramic view of the city and its surrounding including several historic monuments such as Lake Palace , Jag Mandir, Jagdish Temple, Monsoon Palace and the Neemach Mata temple.

City Palace Udaipur

The City Palace of Udaipur broadens along the eastern banks of Lake Pichola. In 1983 James bond film Octopussy was shot here in the Lake Palace and the Monsoon Palace.

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Opening Hours: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Lake Palace, Udaipur

Lake Palace (formerly known as Jag Niwas) is a luxury hotel, which has 83 rooms and suites featuring white marble walls. The Lake Palace is located on the island of Jag Niwas in Lake Pichola, Udaipur. It was built between 1743 and 1746 under the direction of the Maharana Jagat Singh II of Udaipur. It has been voted as the most romantic luxury hotel in India and in the world due to its scenic location with the Aravalli mountains range.

Lake Palace udaipur

Today it is one of the major tourist attractions in Udaipur and plays a significant role in the tourism and hospitality industry in India. In 1971, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces took over management of the hotel and added another 75 rooms offering a royal touch, restaurants, recreational centers, pools and business centers. Book Now!

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