10 Must Visit Forts in India
By virtue of being a colonial state and the land of Rajas and Maharajas in the past, India is home to some of the most fascinating forts in the World. If you are a history buff, and love to explore the past or have a keen eye for ancient architecture, visiting the forts in India will delight you.
These forts are a testament to India’s glorious history. While most of the forts stand strong as ever, some of them are in a ruined state yet they are well preserved and act as a reminder of the valour, and sacrifice. So, with any further ado, let us look at some of the best forts in India that everyone must visit.
Known as the Gibraltar of India, the Gwalior fort exudes an air of grandeur from every corner. It is one of the most magnificent monuments in India and a must-see for all. The imposing structure has a very fascinating history attached to it that dates back to more than 500 years.
Over the years, the fort had been subject to many siege attempts by different rulers. However, the fort owes its prominence to Raja Man Singh Tomar, who crafted one of the fort’s main highlights, the Man Mandir Palace. The outer walls of the palace are adorned by rows of yellow ducks and blue mosaic tiles, which is a sight to behold.
While you are here, don’t forget to enjoy watching the sound and light show, which is held in the fort’s amphitheatre in the open air.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Red Fort is the testimony to the might of the mighty Mughals in India and their architectural brilliance. It is one of the best forts in India and an important monument in Indian history.
Since 1947 when India attained independence from the British, every year, the Prime Minister of India has hoisted the Tricolour at the Red Fort as a mark of respect and gratitude and honour the sacrifices of the people who laid their lives during the freedom struggle.
The aesthetic beauty and the architectural style of this stunning fort is sure to leave you gasping in awe! One of the most popular forts in Rajasthan, it attracts several tourists all year around. The entire structure is made of red stone and the walls feature some of the most intricate carvings that depict the Mughal art and their brilliant craftsmanship. Some of the must-see things inside the fort are the Deewan-e-Khaas, the Sukh Niwas, Sheesh Mahal, and the Deewan-e-Aam.
While you are visiting Jaipur and exploring its beautiful palaces and forts, you can make your trip more fun and memorable by booking your stay at the Jaipur resort offered by Club Mahindra in Rajasthan. The magnificent resort is an ode to the culture and heritage of Rajasthan and the warm hospitality will make you feel like the royals.
Golconda Fort, Telangana
Located in the land of the Nizam, Golconda is one of the top 10 forts in India. The fort, which is in ruins, testify the glorious past of the rulers of Hyderabad. One of the major highlights of the fort is a certain point near the Fateh Darwaza. It is said that if you clap near this point the echo can be heard about one kilometre away.
There are many stables, temples and halls in the fort all which make an excellent backdrop for photography. Also, while you are here don’t miss the fun light show that is conducted many times every day.
Jhansi Fort, Uttar Pradesh
Once the home of one of the greatest warrior queens of India, Rani Jhansi, this fort stands tall as a testament to the glorious history of Jhansi. Some of the best places to visit inside the fort are the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Rani Jhansi Garden, and the Bijli Toup.
Jaigarh Fort, Rajasthan
Perched on the hills at about 500 ft above sea level, this fort houses the world’s largest cannon on the wheels known as ‘Jaivana Cannon’. You get a beautiful panoramic view of the majestic Aravalli Hills and the Amer Fort from this fort.
One of the noteworthy things of this fort is the placement of the windows; you can get a complete exterior view from inside but no one can see anything from the outside. It only shows the remarkable architecture of that era.
Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan
The biggest fort in India, the Chittorgarh Fort, is also one of India's most popular tourist attractions. People from all over India, especially history lovers, come here to know more about the Rajput rulers, their heroism on the battlefield, and the sacrifices of the Mewar citizens. The fort, located near the Berach river is spread over an area of 700 acres.
One of the important places in the fort is the cremation ground where thousands of Rajput women immolated themselves to death as they refused to surrender when the fort was taken over by the rival armies.
Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh
Built by one of the greatest Mughal Emperors, Emperor Akbar, the fort is a UNESCO world Heritage Site. It was the grand fort of the Mughals in India from where four generations of the Mughal kings ruled India.
It was taken over by the British in 1803 and it was also the place of battle during the first uprising of India against the British in 1857, which threatened the existence of the British East India Company in India. Later when the British left the Indian shores completely in 1947, they handed over the fort to the Indian government and today the Indian Army uses most of it.
Junagarh Fort, Rajasthan
Although it is one of the lesser-known forts in Rajasthan, it is equally magnificent and opulent as any other forts in India. Unlike other forts in India, the Junagarh fort is not located at a vantage point; it is located in the heart of Bikaner and the city grew around it.
Built by the sixth ruler of Bikaner, Raja Rai Singh, the fort was initially called Chintamani. The fort was later renamed as Junagarh (Old Fort) in the 20th century when the royal family of Bikaner moved to the Lalgarh Palace. However, the family continues to maintain and have opened it for the public.
Kangra Fort, Himachal Pradesh
If you are interested in ancient Indian architecture, then you must definitely visit the Kangra Fort. Located between Banganga and Manjhi rivers, Kangra Fort has the distinction of being the largest fort in the Himalayas, and one of the largest forts in India.
Standing atop the fort, you get a magnificent view of the hilly landscape, the courtyards and temples below. There is Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch Museum near the fort, which is also worth visiting.
If you are visiting the Kangra Fort in Himachal, you can also explore other parts of the beautiful state like Dharamshala, which is only about 19 kms from the fort. Upon your arrival in Dharamshala, you can check-in at Dharamshala Resort hosted by Club Mahindra, one of the most beautiful places to stay in the region. It would be a perfect base for all your Himachal adventures.
So, now that you are aware of the best forts in India, which one are you most excited about? Pack your bags and head to one of these magnificent monuments to revel in its beauty, architecture and rich history.