Rajasthan is a treasure of history and heritage. The stories of the valor of the Princely clans of the region are legends. These valiant rulers have been long gone but their legacy still lives. The Forts, Palaces, Mahals and Temples are reminiscences of the glories of the rulers. The forts built by these ruling clans are magnificent specimens of military strategy, splendid beauty and historical value. The sheer brilliance of the marvelous monuments will inspire awe within you. Every ruler clan of Rajputana, be it Rajputs, Jats, Gurjars, or others has made their contribution. Every fort of Rajputana has a unique charisma.

Check out the top 14 forts in Rajasthan

1. Amber Fort, Jaipur

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Amber Fort lies in the town of Amer, 11 kms from Jaipur. Located on the hillock facing the Maoti Lake, the architectural splendor dates back to 16th Century. The marvel was built by Raja Man Singh of the Kachwaha clan. The Raja was the trusted army general of Mughal Empire and one of the Navratans of Emperor Akbar. Built of red sandstone and marble, Amber Fort is inspired from Rajput and Mughal architectures.

The spectacular attractions of the Fort are the beautiful Sheesh Mahal made purely of glass and the Diwan-I-Am and Diwan-I-Khas, ornate halls with impressive artwork. The Sukh Niwas, the Sheela Mata Temple and Kyaris are other delights. To make the experience cherished, do not miss the Light and Sound Show at sunset.

Distance from Railway Station: 12.6 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 24 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Amer City Heritage Hotel, Umaid Mahal, Taj Rambagh Palace

[Read more about heritage hotels in Jaipur.]

2. Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur

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The ‘Victory Fort of Rajasthan’, Jaigarh Fort of Jaipur is a beauty to marvel at. Perched on a hill top which gives it the name of Cheel ka Qila, the fort was built to guard for the old city of Amber and Jaipur. Built in the 18th Century by Maharaja Jai Singh, this marvelous structure has withstood the adversities of time. The fort has residential palaces, temples, gardens, and various structures.

One of the largest weaponry of Rajput leaders used to exist here. Till date, Jaivana, the world’ largest cannon on wheels is kept here. The museum and armory are open for public to see the art of warfare of the Rajputs. The breathtaking view from the fort deserves to be seen as sundown.

Distance from Railway Station: 13.8 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 25 Kms. Approx.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: The Raj Palace Grand Heritage Hotel, ITC Rajputana, Jaipur, Nali Bagh Palace

3. Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur

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Nestled at the edge of Aravalli hills, Nahargarh Fort provides spectacular views of the panorama of Pink City Jaipur. Built mainly in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur, the fort has gone extensive renovations and development. The extended walls connect it to Jaigarh Fort. The fort has a leisure place, the Madhavendra Bhavan. There are temples, gardens and other structures of interest.

Marvel at the architecture which is a mix of styles of Rajputs, Mughal and European. The charm of the fort is its unparalleled views. Spend some time exploring and capturing snaps of the city below. Do take the trek form the base to the top, the views will compensate for any hassles you face.

Distance from Railway Station: 19.5 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 29 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Hotel Jaipur Heritage, The Raj Palace Grand Heritage Hotel, Mandawa Haveli Jaipur, etc.

4. Ranthambore Fort, Sawai Madhopur

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Ranthambore Fort is housed in the wildlife sanctuary of the same name in Sawai Madhopur. Built in the 10th century by Nagil Jats, these are the oldest remnants of the royalty of Rajasthan. Built on two hills, the fort is mainly in ruins. Witnessing attacks of Mughals, British and ravages of time, few structures remain standing.

Attractions to check out are Hammir’s Court, Badal Mahal, Dhula Mahal, Ganesha temple, Jogi Mahal, Shiva Temple, Ramlalji Temple and temple of Lord Sumatinath and Lord Sambhavanath. The roar of the Royal Bengal Tigers and the call of wild animals can be frequently heard. The calls are reminders that the fort is their territory.

Adventure is the allure of the fort. Now it is a free sanctuary of animals which was previously hunting grounds of the Royalty.

Distance from Railway Station: 11 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 160 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Nahargarh Ranthambhore, Ranthambore Forest Resort, Nahar Haveli, etc.

[Check out list of heritage hotels in Sawai Madhopur.]

5. Chittorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh

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One of the oldest forts in Rajasthan, Chittorgarh Fort is the origin of many stories of valor, courage and sacrifice. The impregnable fortress is one of the most significant places to learn the history of Rajasthan. The 7th century fort is the land of Meera Bai who drank poison than leave the love of her Lord Krishna, and, Rani Padmini and Karnavati who protected honor by jumping into the fire of Jauhar and the heroics of Gora Badal and Panna Dhai.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the breathing grounds of the romantic tales of Rajasthan. Sieged numerous times in various periods of history, a lot of stories lies within its boundaries. Check out the beautiful attractions of Rana Kumbha Mahal, Ratan Singh’s Palace, Badal Mahal, Rani Padmini’s Palace, Kanwar Pade Ka Mahal, etc. The Vijay Stambha and Kirti Stambha and several cenotaphs stand as memorials.

The temples of Kalikamata Temple, Adbuthnath Temple, Kumbha Shyam Temple, etc are worshipped by Hindus and Jains and still draw crowds. The seven gates of Chittorgarh deserves attention as they have lots of history associated with it.

Distance from Railway Station: 2 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 70 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Devi Garh by lebua, Bhainsrorgarh Fort Hotel, Sardargarh Heritage Hotel, etc.

[Have a look at Heritage Hotels in Chittorgarh.]

6. Kumbhalgarh Fort in Kubhalgarh

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The vast history of Kumbhalgarh Fort makes it a very important place to visit. Built during 15th century by Maharana Rana Kumbha atop the Aravali Mountains, the height of the fort is almost 1915 metres above sea level. The fortifications of the fort go up to 36 kms and is the longest after the “Great Wall of China”.

The seven gates of the 12 km long fort open up horizons of attractions. Almost three hundred and sixty things are there to check out. Explore the marvelous mansions, crumbling shrines, temples, wells known as ‘baoris’, and lush green parks. Do not miss the impressive ‘Badal Mahal’ and the Shiva Temple. The fortress has numerous stories to share. Walk through the remnants of a valiant era.

Distance from Railway Station: 36 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 66 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Fateh Prakash Palace, Deogarh Mahal, Hotel Fateh Garh – A Heritage Renaissance Resort, etc.

[Would you like to plan your trip with heritage hotels in Kumbhalgarh?]

7. Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer

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Jaisalmer Fort is the second oldest fort of Rajasthan. The massive fortification atop the Trikuta hill overlooked the sand dunes of Thar Desert. The spectacular beauty was built way back in 12th Century by Rawal Jaisal. The yellow sandstone structure is the color of warm honey and is also called Sonar Quila. Within the walls of the forts there are houses, markets, restaurants, temples and every aspect of a chaotic urban town. The UNESCO heritage site has precious attractions to check out.

The walls of the fort are 3 tiered and maintain 99 bastions and two major cannon points for safety. The Royal Palace, The Shree Nath Palace, Vyas Haveli, Museums, temples of both Hindu and Jain faiths are attractions to visit.

Distance from Railway Station: 2 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 275 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Hotel Lalgarh Fort & Palace, Garh Jaisal, Nachana Haveli, etc.

8. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

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Mehrangarh Fort stands as one of the most important heritage sites of Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The foundation of the fort was laid way back in 1458 by Rathore ruler, Rao Jodha. The Citadel of the Sun was not once sieged. The fort remains invincible and inspires awe from all. There are numerous mysteries and scandals hidden.

What does not hide is its architectural splendor. Check out the exquisite palaces of Moti Mahal, Sheesha Mahal, Phool Mahal, Daulat Khana and Sileh Khana. The fort itself is a museum where the lifestyle of the Rathore clan and even Mughals is preserved. From weaponry, palanquins, cradles, musical instruments, furniture to the clothes of the era get an insight of the glorious era.

Distance from Railway Station: 2.5 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 6.2 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Chandelao Garh, Hotel Madho Vilas Jodhpur, Ajit Bhawan, etc.

[Read more about heritage hotels in Jodhpur.]

9. Junagarh Fort, Bikaner

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The beautiful icon of Bikaner in Rajasthan, the Junagarh fort draws visitors from all over the world. The foundations were laid long back in 1571 A.D. by Maharaja Rao Bika, one of the Rathore clans but the fort has been modified by its various rulers. The architectural styles, designs and artwork are the combination of Mughal and Rajput styles, which make it one of the top 14 forts in Rajasthan.

The attractions to check out are the Phool Mahal, the Karan Mahal, the Anup Mahal, the Chandra Mahal and the massive gates of the fort. Explore the beautiful architecture of the ramparts. Bikaner is also famous for its marvelous Jain temples and Junagarh Fort preserves various such beauties.

Distance from Railway Station: 2 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 251 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Hotel Bhairon Vilas, Hotel Jaswant Bhawan, Maharaja Ganga Mahal, etc.

10. Taragarh Fort, Bundi

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Taragarh Fort in Bundi is one of the magnificent forts in Rajasthan. The fort overlooking the city of Bundi has sadly been ravaged by time but its charm does not fade. Built in 1354 A.D., the fort remains as glorious remnants of the Chauhan dynasty. The breathtaking views are delightful. The gateway to the fort is decked with stone statues of elephants.

There are mainly 3 entries named Lakshmi Pol, Gagudi ki Phatak and Phuta Darwaza. Taragarh fort also houses an excellent network of tunnels which were saviors in times of need. The huge properly planned water reservoirs must be visited. The beautiful Rani Mahal was designed with murals, artwork and lattice artworks inspire awe. The Bhim Burj and Garbha Gunjan, the huge field cannons are few of the popular attractions.

Distance from Railway Station: 34 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 240 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Hotel Bundi Haveli, Pratapgarh Haveli, The Hadoti Palace, etc.

[Check out the list of heritage hotels in Bundi.]

11. Gagron Fort, Gagron

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One of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the hill fort of Rajasthan is a beauty. The Gagron Fort is a beautiful site of archaeological importance. This structure is the epitome of a “Jal Durg” as it is surrounded by water on all sides. Built for protection from armies, in 1195 A.D by King Bijaldev of the Parmara Empire, the fort draws visitors and devotes from all over. Here also lies the tomb of a Sufi saint, Pipa Baba. The glory of the fort has been faded with time but its charm still lives. The Rajputana glory lives in these structures forgotten in the chapters of history.

Distance from Railway Station: 25 kms.

Distance from Airport: 240 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Dwarika Hotel, RTDC Hotel Gavdi Talab, Hadoti Circuit. etc.

12. Alwar Fort, Alwar

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The fort guarding the city of Alwar is one of the magnificent structures of Rajasthan. No concrete proof or accounts can state as who built this impressive structure but the fort has been owned and passed by many rulers. It is safe to say Alwar Fort was built before the era of Mughal Empire and has been witness to a lot of history. The marvelous Fort stretches across 5 kilometers at a height of 305 feet above the city with 15 large and 51 small towers for observation. Wander within the structure being impressed by artwork of craftsmen of the era.

Distance from Railway Station: 11Kms.

Distance from Airport: 112 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Hill Fort-Kesroli, The Dadhikar Fort, Neemrana Fort Palace, etc.

[Read more about heritage hotels in Alwar.]

13. Lohagarh Fort, Bharatpur

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As the name Lohagarh suggests, the Iron Fort has proven its name. The only fort of India to have never bowed to the attacks of Mughals and British, Bharatpur houses a legend. Founded by the Jat ruler Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1732, the fort is built on calm and serene surroundings on a manmade island. The attractive allure of the fort can be credited to the beautiful palaces of Kishori Mahal, Kothi Khas and Mahal Khas.

The victory towers, Fateh Burj and Jawahar Burj tower are icons of victory over Mughals and British. The gates of the Fort, Asthadhtau and Lohiya Gate deserve mention too. The fort houses the State Archeological Museum which preserves weaponry and armors, Arabic and Sanskrit manuscripts, paintings and relics of the lifestyle of the Jat rulers.

Distance from Railway Station: 2 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 54 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Mahal Khas Palace, Laxmi Niwas Palace, Chandra Mahal Haveli, etc.

14. Mandawa Fort, Shekhawati

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Founded in 18th Century by Nawal Singh, Mandawa Fort of Shekhawati is an impressive structure of heritage of Rajasthan. The exquisite artwork, architecture and the ambiance has been preserved beautifully and converted into a heritage hotel. The charm has been pleasantly treasured. The medieval themed rooms, balconies, the antique collection, the family portraits of the rulers and their belongings take you back in history.

The grand archways and the paintings of Lord Krishna and his cows are a visual treat. Wander through areas opened for tourists and you shall witness the impressive aura and architecture of the Royal state of Rajasthan.

[Infographic: Castle Mandawa Heritage Hotel.]

Distance from Railway Station: 32 Kms.

Distance from Airport: 167 Kms.

Heritage Hotels Nearby: Mahansar Fort Heritage Hotel, THE Desert Resort, etc.

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