Rajasthan Forts - Mehrangarh, Jaisalmer, Chittorgarh, Jaipur and Kumbhalgarh

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The Duttas of Howrah, Kolkata had grown up on Satyajit Ray’s film ‘Sonar Kella’. They now set out on their own adventure to explore the grand forts in the deserts of Rajasthan.

 

Forts of Rajasthan
Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort   - This enormous sandstone fort towers over this city strategically placed on the land route of the medieval traders. Around is the 'blue city' with bustling bazaars, homes, schools, shops and temples.


Highlights:

  • Ramparts which are 24 m thick and 40 m high; gates or pols such as the main Jai Pol and the Suraj Pol, which is the entrance to the museum.
  • Shringar Chowk with its ornately carved white marble coronation throne.
  • Phool Mahal - the extravagant celebration hall of the rajas, done up in gold work..
  • Sileh Khana - the armoury with the royal weapons.
  • Moti Mahal - The king's private hall that has colourful stain glass windows.
  • Takhat Mahal - the private quarters of the king with a richly carved ceiling and painted walls.

Jaisalmer
This magnificent golden fort made of yellow sandstone, towers over the vast Thar Desert from a hill top. It was built as far back as 1156. There is a bustling life inside till today, with houses, temples and shops within the rampart walls.

Highlights:
  • Dussehra Chowk - the central courtyard around which the palaces stand  - this is where the festivals and parades took place
  • Rani Mahal - this was the quarters of the queen and her ladies
  • Royal Quarters - a seven-story maze of rooms, halls and balconies, connected by passages and staircases.
  • Sarvottam Vilas - a palace decorated with brilliant glass and mosaic work
  • Moti Mahal - Another palace done up with wall paintings and ornately carved doors and windows
  • Jain Temples - At the far end of the complex are the awesome Jain Temples built in the 15th and 16th century by rich Marwari traders.
Chittorgarh
Reasonably close to Udaipur, you can combine a palaces and fort experience at these two destinations. The legends of Chittorgarh pull at your heartstrings - how the beautiful Rani Padmini committed jauhar (self-immolation) along with thousands of women to save their honour; and the saintly Meerabai who worshipped Krishna at the her temple here, which still stands for you to see.

Highlights:
  • Rana Kumbha's Palace - this vast sprawling ruin is one of the earliest Rajput palaces with ornate jharokas (balconies), private chambers, halls and courtyards.
  • Kumbha Shyam Temple and Meerabai Temple - The fist temple is a large Vishnu temple, and next to it in a corner is Meera's simple little temple where her bhajans are still sung.
  • Vijay Stambh - this is the famous victory tower that stands out in the Chittor landscape - you climb to the top.
  • Padmini Palace - this is where Alauddin Khilji saw Padmini's reflection in a mirror and later ransacked Chittor.

Kumbhalgarh

If you want a very unique fort experience make the effort of driving to this remote 15th century fortress in the Aravalli Hills. This was the pride of the Mewar Kings (who also built Chittorgarh) and they believed it could not be defeated. It is the birthplace of Rana Pratap, who bravely fought the armies of Emperor Akbar.

  • Ramparts - these are a wonderful sight as you drive past them up to the fort. They are so wide that six horsemen could ride in a row on them.
  • Smaller fort complex - the main buildings are within the walls of this complex - you can see Rana Pratap's mother's mansion, and several other ruined halls and palaces.
  • Badal Mahal - this is a relatively new palace built in the 19th century - although the furniture has all been taken away, the paintings on the walls are in good condition.

Other Experiences
 
Rajasthan Palaces
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Wildlife
 
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How to Reach - Rajasthan Destinations
Shekhawati     Phalodi     Barmer    
Jalore     Kota     Dungarpur    
Pushkar     Dundlod     Rajsamand    
Gajner     Pokaran     Ranthambore    
Bhandarej     Dholpur     Karauli    
Useful Links for Rajasthan
Articles and Blogs
Explore Rajasthan - Rajasthan is considered to be the land of monuments because the desert land of Rajasthan is dotted with many timeless and spectacular forts & palaces.
Travel Essay: Dreaming of Rajasthan - Travel Essay on a trip to Rajasthan: Driving directions, Road condition, Amber Palace, Hawa Mahal, Culture etc.,
Official Websites
Rajasthan Tourism - Rajasthan Tourism Government portal - Official website of Dept. of Tourism, covers Places of Interest in Rajasthan, Forts in Rajasthan and Transportation in Rajasthan.
Government of Rajasthan - Rajasthan Government portal covering diverse topics including health, tourism, culture, climate, Tenders and e-Governance.
Other Useful Links
Pushkar Camel Fair - Pushkar Camel Fair is a Livestock fair in India. The Pushkar fair features thousands of people, camels and horses. Buyers and sellers come to negotiate deals over their prized animals.
Palace on Wheels Train - The possibility of traveling in royal splendor of a bygone era has become a reality with the introduction of Palace on Wheels.
 
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