India hasn’t become the largest democracy in the world overnight – in fact, the long & rich history has played an important role in shaping the country. A major part of India’s indisputable history comes from its age-old heritage, to which its forts make a huge contribution.
Marked with victories, defeats, festivals, arts, and crafts, carvings and valor – these forts stand strong even today, portraying the stories of the golden days from the past. Of course, the Princely State of Rajasthan is known to have some of the most magnificent forts in the country, but these are not just confined to one state.
During your volunteering trip, make sure not to miss out these 7 best forts in India:
1. Red Fort
A landmark in the history of Independent India, the Red Fort in the capital city of New Delhi, is one of the gorgeous Indian architectures that has helped in putting the country on the world map. Built in the year 1648 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, this red stone fort remained the residence for the Mughal royal family for over 200 years.
Marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Prime Minister of India delivers the Independence Day speech from the ramparts of this fort, after hoisting the national flag at its front gate. Every year, millions of visitors explore the Red Fort and the Meena Bazaar inside the fort would be the perfect place for those who wish to pick up some fancy souvenirs!
2. Amer Fort
Located at a short distance of 11 km from the capital city of Jaipur, Rajasthan, Amer Fort is one of the famous tourist attraction spots. Built in the year 1592 by Maharaja Maan Singh, the fort gives a unique look of Mughal and Rajput architectural brilliance with its marble and red sandstone carvings.
The fort is also a palace, and you can stroll in the vast courtyards here or experience unmatched opulence in the Diwan-i-Khas. You could also visit the intriguing Sheesh Mahal which is made entirely from mirrors inside the palace.
3. Kumbhalgarh Fort
China has the longest wall in the world – we all know that. But, do you know where the second longest wall of the world is located?
Yes! India it is. The Kumbhalgarh fort, located in the royal state of Rajasthan is known for its 38 km long wall, for which the fort is often termed as the “Great Wall of India”, built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century between AD 1443 and 1458.
Declared the UNESCO world heritage site in 2013, the magnificent fort is situated in the middle of a forest which has been turned into a wildlife sanctuary. Plan a weekend trip to Udaipur, and explore the Kumbhalgarh Fort.
4. Mehrangarh Fort
In the heart of the bright and beautiful ‘blue city’ of Jodhpur, lies this massive fort formed out of hill rocks. Built in the year 1460, the fort is one of the most magnificent forts in the country which is managed and administered by the royal family of Jodhpur, even today.
The Mehrangarh Fort is located at a height of 120 meters from the surface atop a hill and was carved out of rocks. You can also try out ziplining within the fort complex, to get a spectacular aerial view.
Quick Fact – It’s also interesting to know that a small part of the movie – ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was shot in this fort.
5. Jaisalmer Fort
Popularly known as the “Golden Fort of India”, the Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest fortifications in the world. Standing boldly at the façade of the great Thar Desert, this fort is considered to be one of the oldest in the country. Built in the year 1156 CE, this one is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is believed to be one of the very few “living forts” in the world, as nearly one-fourth of the old city’s population still resides within the fort. Exploring the fort at night would be a spooky adventure – go for it if you have the guts!
6. Agra Fort
The present-day architecture of this fort was completed during the Mughal Rule, in the 16th century. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi. Located close to the world famous Taj Mahal, Agra Fort has witnessed some of Indian history’s most famous battles; including the famous battles of Panipat.
The fort is spread over a huge area with a lot of sections and halls built inside its periphery. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, today attracts a lot of tourists, every single year.
7. Kangra Fort
Considered to be the oldest and first ever forts built in India, the Kangra Fort is surrounded by the hills, at Kangra Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The Fort is marked with a lot of temples and lobbies inside its premises and is surrounded by the snow-capped Himalayan Peaks on the outsides.
It is said that this fort was mentioned in the Alexander the Great’s war records, dating back to the 4th century BC. The fort is located at a short distance of about 20 km from the peaceful town of Dharamsala. If you are volunteering in Palampur, they exploring the Kangra Fort would be a perfect plan for your Saturday outing!
Now that you know which forts to add to your checklist, plan your India trip soon! Drop us a mail at [email protected] to know more about our amazing programs!