India is a land that has been ruled by various kingdoms and dynasties. Most capitals and cities India were traditionally built inside the ramparts of a strategically located fort. While there are many forts that date back to the ancient era of the 4th century BC, most of the old forts have now either been abandoned or have become an important historical monument. The Forts in India due to their distinctive architecture are revered by tourists and attracts millions of visitors. Here are the top 5 historical forts that you must visit in India.
1. Red Fort, Delhi
Image Credits @ Deivis
The Massive fort is located in the national capital Delhi and is also considered as one of the revered historical monuments in India. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1648. Red fort is considered as the prime example of Mughal Style architecture and combines the various architectural styles of Persian, Turkish and Hindu Architecture. The various apartments in the fort are connected through a centrally running canal also known as the ‘Stream of Paradise’. The massive fort is built in red sandstone and spreads across an area of 254.67 acres of land. The brilliant architecture and the various artifacts the fort houses has made it a UNESCO world heritage and also the spot where the prime minister of India hoists the National Flag every year on 15th of august which is India’s Independence Day.
2. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Image Credits @ beech_design
Situated in Jodhpur, the capital of the Rathore Rajputs of Marwar, the fort is situated 122 meters above the city on the top of a hillock known as ‘Bhaurcheeria’ or the Mountain of Birds. The fort was built in the 15th century by the Rathore Ruler Rao Jodha who decided to move the capital of Marwar from Mandore to a strategically secure location of Jodhpur. The fort is exemplary of the fine craftsmanship and architectural prowess of the Rajputs and is considered to be one of the unconquered forts in India. The various apartments and galleries often leave the visitors awestruck and mesmerized. The fort also contains a museum where several historical artifacts, paintings, handicrafts, armor, weapons and firearms are displayed.
3. Agra Fort, Agra
Image Credits @ jackfrench
This fort is another UNESCO world heritage site in India. The fort is situated near the Yamuna River, the water from which was used to feed the moats around the citadel. It was originally built in the 11th century and was ruled by the Sikarwar Rajput clan. The fort as we see today was built by the Mughals as Agra was one of their capitals. The site was captured several times and was renovated on by various rulers; it was however, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who is credited for the fort’s current monolithic structure. It is built in red sandstone which is a trademark of the region. The fort contains various structures which were built to commemorate the various victories of the Mughal Rulers. The architecture of the fort is unparalleled and attracts a huge number of visitors.
4. Gwalior Fort, Gwalior
Image Credits @ iamrawat
The fort is popularly called the ‘Gibraltar of India’ and is one of the most structurally sound forts in India. The fort was built in the 8th century by the rulers of the Tomar Dynasty and is located in Gwalior. The site currently serves as an archeological museum and houses few of the most exquisite collections of historical paintings, handicrafts and artifacts from the various clans that ruled the fort from time to time. The fort complex contains several palaces, temples and water tanks. There are also 11 temples that are dedicated to Buddha and Jain. The fort is also one of the very well maintained historical forts in India. The fort is also famous for being the last stronghold of Rani Lakshmi Bai who achieved martyrdom fighting the British occupation of India.
5. Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad
Image Credits @ iamrawat
Fort is known for being the capital of the medieval kingdom of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty and is situated in Hyderabad the state capital of Andhra and the newly christened state of Telangana. The region is also known for its mines that has produced world famous gems like the Koh-I-Noor and The Hope Diamond. The fort is built on a granite hill that is 120 meters above the city. It was originally built by the Kakatiya between 945- 970 AD and flourished under the rule of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. The fort complex comprises of 4 forts that are interconnected and contain various palaces, temples, halls and gateways etc. The architectural style is unique as compared to the other hill forts found in India as it has traces of Persian, Turkic and Dravidian style of architecture with the majority of structures built in Turkic style.
Being a country with more than 4,000 years of ancient history, India has been blessed by various historical forts and monuments. The 5 forts mentioned above are examples of the finest architectural styles prevalent in India. A visit to these will definitely help you experience the vast history and experienence the times when the illustrious dynasties ruled the lands of India.
Rohit Agarwal is an avid travel blogger and a traveler who likes to experience and discover new cultures in India. He is also a blogger at Trans India Travels, a website that provides information about the various travel destinations in India.