Famous forts in India

Red Fort, Symbol of Indian Independence

Bright Red and Imposing Structure that stand intact till date, Old Delhi

Red Fort is situated in the capital city of Delhi, India. it is also known as Lal Quila and is one of the most magnificent monument during the Mughal era. It was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1639 AD on the banks of Yamuna River. In 2007, Red Fort has been recognized as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is the place from which the Prime Minister of India the people of nation on Independence Day.

The whole fort is made up of red sand stone, thus the name Red Fort. Sprawling over an area of two kms, it stands with a height of 18 meters. It has a hall of private audience, hall of public audience, a mosque, private palaces made up of marbles and beautiful gardens. The Hall of Private Audience is otherwise known as Diwan-I-Khas, where private meetings were arranged. Diwan-I-Am or the Hall of Public Audience is the place, where the emperor used to listen and resolve the disputes among the common people. A mixture of Persian, European and Indian architectural works can be seen here.

The Peacock Throne carried away by the Iranian Ruler Nadir Shah used to be the masterpiece of Red Fort. Lotus temple, Qutub Minar and India Gate are the nearest places of attraction of Red Fort. To reach Red Fort, New Delhi is the nearest airport and railway station. Another closest railhead is old Delhi. The capital city is also well connected by road to the nearby places. The best season to visit this place is during the month of October-March. Opens from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Closed on Mondays.

Fort William, Kolkata

The Fort that Flagged the Rise of British Rule in India

Fort William is located on the banks of Hooghly River, in Calcutta. Named after King William III of England, it was constructed by Lord Robert Clive in 1778 A.D during the periods of Bengal Presidency of British India. According to history, there were two Fort Williams in Calcutta. After the Battle of Plassey, the old fort was removed and the new fort was established on its place.

However, other than a fort, the new Fort William appears to be more than a little town. Sprawling over an area of 5kms, a fosse of 9 meter depth and 15 meter breadth surrounds the fort which can be flooded in emergency. The area around the fort is called Maidan which is spread 3 kms from North to South with a width of about 1 km. The fort is built with brick and mortar and is shaped like an irregular octagon. Chowringhee, Plassey Calcutta, Water gate St Georges and Treasury Gate are the major gateways of Fort William.

It has a telephone office, recreation club, canteen, cinema hall, restaurant and a swimming pool. There is also a museum with a vast collection of arms, swords, muskets and machine guns. A garrison of 10,000 men can be accommodated in this fort. Tourists can view the photographs of the Bangladesh Liberation War and the Burma Campaign. The fort is close to River Ganaga and the lush green surroundings provide the perfect atmosphere for the tourists visiting the fort. Utram Ghat on the bank of River Ganga is a nearest place of attraction. To visit Fort William, Calcutta is the closest airport and railway station. Road transport services can be accessible for journey by road. Winter season is the best time to take a trip to Fort William.

Amber Fort – Fort of Many Temples

The Amber fort is located at a distance of 11 kms from Jaipur, the capital city of the state of Rajasthan on the Delhi-Jaipur highway. Usually referred to as Amer fort, the construction was started by Maharaja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by his son Jai Singh I. The architecture of the fort reflects both the Mughal and Hindu culture carved with red sand stone and white marble. Historically, the fort used to be administrative headquarter and military bastion for the Rajput kings.

Being an astounding monument of Kachhawaha Rajput period, the fort is well known for its glittering appearance. The Amber fort has a palace named as Amber palace which depicts the delicate architectural work. The Seesha Mahal is decorated with painted scenes, precious stones and mirrors and is considered to be the integral part of the fort. Some of the major fort attractions are Old Amber Palace, Diwan-I-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Shila mata Temple, Ganesh Pol and Suhaag Mandir.

The Old Amber Palace was built during 13th century. Ancient amber temples and crumbling palaces can be seen here. Diwan-i-Am or the Hall of Public Audience was built by Mirza Raja Jai Singh. Diwan-I-Am used to be a place for public hearing. Diwan-i-Khas was used as a hall of private audience with excellent glass decorations and mural carvings on the walls. Shila mata Mandir was constructed by Raja Man Sigh in the year 1604. A black marble idol of the Goddess Kali is worshipped here. A beautiful garden or Charbagh lies in Ganesh Pol which is a beautiful place of Amber fort. Other attractions around Amber fort are Jagatsiromani Temple and Temple of Sanwalji.

All routes of transport are available to visit this place. Ideal time is throughout the year except Holi.

Gwalior Fort – The Invincible fort in the heart of India

Gwalior fort is regarded as the most invincible fort in the country situated in the State of Madhya Pradesh. The fort was Built by Raja Man Singh Tomar during the 15th century. It stands at a height of 100 meters with length of 2 miles and width of 200 meters. Sprawling over an area of 3 sq. kms, the walls of the fort rise to a height of 35 feet. Due to its fascinating beauty, the fort was once referred by the Mughal Emperor Babar as ‘The Pearl amongst the Fortresses in India’.

The fort was the major dominion of the Gwalior Scindias. Though numerous rulers tried to take control over it. In the British era, freedom fighters like Tantia Tope and Rani Laxmibai fought with the Britishers in this fort. Beautiful temples and palaces are the major attractions of Gwalior fort. There are three temples surrounded by the long walls. Of which Teli ka Mandir of 9th century is the main temple, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Other temples of religious importance are the 11th century Sas Bahu Ka Mandir and the Chhaturbhuja Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. A water tank called Suraj Kund, which water is believed to be a cure to deadly skin diseases. Karan Palace and Jehangir Mahal are the two important palaces of the fort. Man Singh Palace decorated with colorful tiles is the best palace among all. Statues of Jain Thirthankaras from the 8th and 15th centuries can be found in the Urbai Gate, on the South West entrance of the fort.

Gwalior fort is open all day long from 9 AM to 5 PM. By rail route, the closest railway station is Gwalior and the place is well connected to every part of Madhya Pradesh. The beat season to visit this fort is during winter season.

The Great Indian Forts (Durgs), Pride of the land and flag bearers of our Military Might

Indian is a country which has been ruled by a number of rulers and dynasties. The glorious legacies of those rulers marked some of the magnificent creations in this land, of which forts emerged out to be the cultural heritages of India. The forts of India reflect its rich cultural past and historical significance behind them. Some of the major Indian forts and palaces are seen in the state of Rajasthan. Most of the forts in this state are built in the names of kings and queens. The exquisite carving works and fine architectures of forts lure every tourist towards it. Some other popular forts are also situated in the state of Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Kangra Fort – The Oldest Fort in India

Hill Fort of Himachal, History roots in the Mahabharat

You may be wondering why I included this in my List. The builders of Kangra Fort hailed from the The Katoch Dynasty, that traces its roots in the Mahabharata. Apart from that this Fort is mentioned in the War Records of Alexander the Great too, hence making it the oldest recorded Fort of India. This fort has an Unique distiction of being ruled by great Hindu Kings, Muslim Invaders, Sikh Maharaja and Christian Rulers of British empire.

The Kangra fort is situated at a distance of 20 kms from Dharmasala, Kangra town, in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The fort lies along the Banganga and Manjhi streams and is filled with natural beauty. It is 5 kms away from the road bridge. Ruled by Kashmiris and Britishers, the fort was constructed by the royal families of Kangra.

Fusion of ancient and medieval architectures can be seen in Kangra fort. Old paintings, Temples, palaces, museums surrounded by its long walls and huge gates are the main attraction of this fort. The huge gates or ‘Darwaazas’ are quite famous. The most popular is the Ranjit Singh Darwaaza, which is 4 kms long in both sides. Other major gateways are Ahni Gate, Amiri Gate and Jahangiri Gate. But the best one is Darsshani Darwaaza,, which is oldest among all.

Laxmi Narayan Mandir and Shaitala Mandir are the Hindu temple attractions of Kangra fort. Ambika Devi Temple is also an interesting place to visit. There is a Jain temple which has a stone image of Adinath. Mirror Palace of Kangra fort with a watch tower on its upper level is a major exotic palace.

Besides, the Kangra Valley attracts a large number of tourists from every corner of the world. It is an important monument of Himachal Pradesh and is preserved by the Himachal Pradesh tourism department. Located among the green valleys of Himachal Pradesh this fort this fort is a major tourist destination in the state. Kangra is well connected to every major cities of the country via air, rail and road. You can visit this place during winter season.

Beautiful Rajput Fort of Mehrangarh

The Amber fort is located at a distance of 11 kms from Jaipur, the capital city of the state of Rajasthan on the Delhi-Jaipur highway. Usually referred as Amer fort, the construction was started by Maharaja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by his son Jai Singh I. The architecture of the fort reflects both the Mughal and Hindu culture carved with red sand stone and white marble.

Historically, the fort used to be an administrative headquarter and military bastions for the Rajput kings. Being an astounding monument of Kachhawaha Rajput period, the fort it well known for its glittering appearance. The amber fort has a palace named as amber palace which depicts the delicate architectural work. The Seesha Mahal is decorated with painting scenes, precious stones and mirrors and is considered to be the integral part of the fort. Some of the major fort attractions are Old Amber Palace, Diwan-I-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Shila mata Temple, Ganesh Pol and Suhaag Mandir.

The Old Amber Palace was built during 13th century. Ancient amber temples and crumbling palaces can be seen here. Diwan-i-Am or the Hall of Public Audience was built by Mirza Raja Jai Singh. Diwan-I-Am used to be a place for public hearing. Diwan-i-Khas was used as a hall of private audience with excellent glass decorations and mural carvings on the walls. Shila mata Mandir was constructed by Raja Man Sigh in the year 1604. A black marble idol of the Goddess Kali is worshipped here. A beautiful garden or Charbagh lies in Ganesh Pol which is a beautiful place of Amber fort. Other attractions around Amber fort are Jagatsiromani Temple and Temple of Sanwalji. All routes of transport are available to visit this place. Ideal time is throughout the year except Holi.

The Diamond Fort of Golkunda

whose rulers were known for administration and patronage of art rather than military might

The Golconda fort lies at a distance of around 11 kms from Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh. In Telugu language, the fort is referred as ‘Shepherd’s Hill’ or ‘Golla Konda’. Situated due west of Hyderabad with a height of 120 meters, the Golconda fort was built during 13th century by the Kakatiya Dynasty. The outstanding architecture of the fort makes it the most magnificent fortress in India.

According to history, Golconda used to be a famous market for diamond including the ‘Kohinoor’ during the Qutub Sahi Dynasty. In its epic battle with Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, the fort was destroyed leaving only the present ruining parts. The unique architecture, the exotic designs with an amazing ventilation system is the high points of Golconda fort. There are four distinct forts and a 10km long outer wall with 87 semicircular bastions. On its North-Eastern side, there is a rough pentagon popularly known as Naya Quila. ‘Fateh Darwaza’, the lowest bastions of Golconda is a larger tract covered with bazaars, temples, mosques, soldiers, mansions of nobles, barracks etc.

The main attraction within the fort is ‘Bala Hissar’, which is the highest point of the fort. It has palaces, water supply system and a canon called ‘Rahban’ canon, which was built by Aurangzeb on the Pethla Burj. The tombs are carved with precious stones and surrounded by beautiful gardens. The ‘Kala Mandir’ and the ‘Durbar Hall’ are also located within the fort. The ‘Durbar Hall’ is believed to be the secret underground tunnel of the fort. Another specialty of this place is the echoing entrance hall. They say the guards in the entrance hall could notify the people on the top of the fort (king’s palace) by clapping which echoed all the way to the top of the hill using some marvel technology of that time.

One beautiful thing associated with Golcunda is its famous love story of Qutub Sahi Prince and the local village girl. The fort sings the saga of love and art apart from its rich proud military might. I have visited this place twice and admire every bit of this fort.

A famous sound and light show is now organized in the fort by the Andhra Pradesh tourism to depict the glorified history of Golconda. To reach this place, the nearest airport and railhead is Hyderabad. The road transport services are available from the main city to other parts of the state. You can visit the place anytime in a year.

Most Powerful Marine Fort – MURUD JANJIRA

one of the few naval support forts in India

This fort is located in Murud village in Raigad district at a distance of 60 kms away from Alibaug, in the State of Maharashtra. Janjira is a corruption of Arabic word ‘Jazira’, which literally means ‘An Island’. Situated on the top of a hillock, it is one of the strongest marine forts in the country. This 300-year old oval shaped fort is believed to be constructed by the Ahmednagar rulers under the supervision of Malik Amber, a regent, during 15th century period. It is said that this fort was originally built with wood by the Murud fishermen to protect their villages from the pirates, but later was destroyed by Ahmednagar Ruler Nizamshah to build a stone fort here. Palaces, quarters, mosque, a big fresh water tank, all can be found in Janjira fort. Murud village is famous for its coconut and betel palms, beautiful beach and casuarinas. Kashid and Nandgaon beaches are the most popular ones. The famous Ganapati temple is located in Nandgaon where an annual fair is held in February every year. The Nawab Palaces and the Janjira Caves are also among other interesting places of Janjira fort. There are a number of towers, turrets and canons within the fort. Kalal Bangadi, Chavari and Landa Kasam are some of the popular canons left in Janjira and two sweet water lakes also exist inside the fort. Some of the parts of the Janjira fort are destroyed and only ruins are being viewed today. Still the fine architectures of this fort is worth enjoying. Mumbai is the nearest airport and railhead to reach the fort. Besides, bus transport services are always available throughout the state. This place can be best visited during winter season.