10 Must-See Forts and Palaces in Rajasthan
Rajasthan takes pride in being home to many spectacular historic forts and royal palaces. The state is known for its regal lifestyle and vibrant history, ripe with stories of courage, valiance, and chivalry. Rajasthan is stunningly dotted with countless tourist attractions that still behold a diorama of the medieval clamor. This is a popular Indian state which has been a part of foreign travellers bucket lists each time when they plan their India Tour Package. Its enormous buildings consist of many grand forts, palaces, Havelis, and temples, those built by the Rajputs and Jats. Most of these imposing structures date back to the medieval era, of which few have now been converted into government edifices and heritage properties.
Top 10 Forts and Palaces of Rajasthan
1. Amber Fort and Palaces, Jaipur
Lying at the foot of Aravalli Hills in the northern region, Amber Fort and Palace overlook the scenic Maota Lake. It is widely famed for its artistic craftsmanship laid on a four-level layout. It is one of the best places to visit in Jaipur and is a fine example of red sandstone and marble work. The mighty fort was built in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh I and holds a rich blend of Hindu elements, including gates and cobbled paths with Sheela Mata Temple.
2. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Standing in the heart of the Pink City of Jaipur, the Hawa Mahal is one of the prominent historical landmarks in India that reveals a rich culture and architectural heritage. It shows a wonderful fusion of Rajasthani and the Islamic style of architecture. The mighty palace of winds was built in the 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, highlighting the fine work of red and pink sandstone. Its flamboyant architecture looks stunning with its 953 small carved windows.
3. Jal Mahal, Jaipur
Located in the midst of the Man Sagar Lake, Jal Mahal is another beautiful example of exquisite Rajasthani and Islamic style of architecture. The water palace was built in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber. It is a five-storied red sandstone structure with some beautiful chhatris, intricately adorned rooms, hallways, wall paintings, and Rajasthani art. This is one of the major tourist attractions of the Jaipur sightseeing tour.
4. Chittorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh
The largest fort in India built on the hilltop, Chittorgarh Fort sprawls over an area of around 700 acres of land. The erstwhile capital of the Mewar kings, the magnificent fortress, will always be remembered for the courageous sacrifice performed by Rani Padmini to thwart the Mughal king Alauddin Khilji. This sacrifice is still remembered by the people. Majestic Chittorgarh Fort stands at the helm of Chhatri Rajput pride and holds its presence in the glorious past of the bygone era.
5. Kumbhalgarh Fort, Udaipur
One of the five Hill Forts of Rajasthan that were declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, also includes Kumbhalgarh Fort. Located in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, Kumbhalgarh Fort lies around 82 kilometers away from Udaipur City and often serves as a weekend getaway destination. It has the second largest wall after the great wall of China which stretches to around 38 kilometers. It lies on the foothills of the Aravalli ranges and is surrounded by 13 hill peaks of the ranges.
6. Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer
Built-in the middle of the 12th century by Rawal Jaisal, the massive fortification of Jaisalmer overlooks the city with pride and honor. The impressive architecture of this fort contains yellow sandstone work which makes it known as Sonar Qila which is rimmed with 3 layers of walls and maintains 99 bastions, two major cannon points, and several architectural structures. It is the only lively fort in India where you will notice people living within the complex.
7. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Amongst the most important historical sites in India, Mehrangarh Fort has witnessed several battles against Bikaner and Jaipur armies. The imposing fort was laid atop a hill, founded by the Rathore ruler Rao Jodha with the help of Rao Nara in 1459. It was extended later by Jaswant Singh, who ruled between 1638 and 78. Witness the impressive architecture within the fort complex like Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Sileh Khana, Daulat Khana, etc.
8. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
The opulent Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur is one of the largest royal residences built in the early 20th century by Maharana Umaid Singh. It took approximately 15 years to complete the construction work. Today, it comprises 347 rooms and a part of it was developed as a museum and heritage hotel maintained by the Taj Group of Hotels, resorts, and palaces. Some part of the palace is occupied by the royal family of Jodhpur and hosts a gallery showcasing the most exotic automobiles owned by the maharajas.
9. City Palace, Udaipur
Standing as an outstanding example of an elegant architectural work with a rich blend of Mughal, European, Rajasthani, and Chinese styles of architecture. The City Palace in Udaipur is regarded as one of the beautiful royal palaces of Rajasthan. It is a palatial complex built in the mid of the 16th century by Maharana Udai Singh, who shifted his capital from Chittor. There are many small palaces, gateways, balconies, towers, gardens, cupolas, and more to admire on a Udaipur tour package.
10. Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner
One of the elegant palatial edifices in Bikaner, Lalgarh Palace was built between 1902 and 1926, highlighting the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. It lies a few kilometers away from Junagarh Fort and is crafted with several wings. Currently, it is the residence of the royal family and others converted into a museum. The palace offers a wonderful experience to explore the history, royalty, and architecture of the bygone era.
Final Words –
While concluding this article, I suggest booting up a heritage tour of Rajasthan with Trip Plan India. To give you the best royal retreat, we have designed some of the best Rajasthan Tour Packages for you. So, take a gist of it and enjoy a safe and comfortable drive through these opulent forts and palaces of the state.