Encompassing stories of valour, love and sacrifice, the walled forts of Rajasthan have buried many stories deep down their core. While they stand as silent spectators witnessing winds of change, visiting them often makes one feel that they share their resplendent past in feeble and silent tones. A few of these hill forts, that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites too, are:
This largest and grandest fort of India stands majestically on a hill top in Chittor singing the saga of innumerable sieges and heroism. Despite being attacked thrice, it continues echoing victory slogans as Rajputs here refused to bow down to enemies and preferred death over surrender. Three jauhars were reported here after three sieges. In the year 1303, around 15,000 women dressed in their wedding attire performed jauhar while singing hymns, when Khilji, Delhi sultan, attacked Chittor. Queen Padmavati led this jauhar after which men smeared their women’s ashes on their foreheads and fought till death. Next, in 1535, Gujarat’s Sultan Bahadur Shahattacked the fort; while in 1567, Mughal Emperor Akbar sieged Chittorgarh. Jauhar was reported after these two seiges as well.
Amer Fort in Jaipur bespeaks the royal tales of erstwhile era when kings and queens walked on the mighty terrain of this fort. The majestic elephant rides to the fort makes you revisit the pristine past.The fort is a perfect blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture housing an extensive palace complex with a pristine structure carved exquisitely with pale yellow and pink sandstone. Don’t miss The Amber Sound & Light Show in the complex near Maota Lake.
This fort in Udaipur remains unconquered till date. It shares the credit of being the birth place of legendary Maharana Pratap. The fort is also known for its great wall which remains second largest in the world after the Great Wall of China. A total of 13 mountain peaks shield the fort with 7 huge gates guarding it.
Best time to visit : October to March
About the Author
Archana has been a freelance writer for in-flight magazines such as Vistara, Go-Getter and Rail Bandhu. She has also written for Trans India Holidays (TIH), a national award winner company.
She worked as an editor in a leading travel media house for seven years. Archana has also worked with esteemed groups such as Free Press and Network 18.