India is known for its mighty forts of different historical periods and diverse architectural styles. These unique forts are now the symbol of a bygone era, a time when the Indian subcontinent used to be divided into several kingdoms, each ruled by Kings and Princes. Back in those days, these forts served as royal residences filled with magnificent palaces, temples and mosques and key buildings like the royal mint, treasury, etc. They have acted as defensive positions down the centuries before getting obsolete in the modern era.
Today, these forts are part of India’s rich historical and cultural treasures. Some of them are even featured in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. On your next visit to India, do visit some of these mighty forts:-
10 Must-Visit Forts of Incredible India!
1. Red Fort, Delhi
Delhi‘s Red Fort was constructed in the 17th Century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. This historic fort made of red sandstone served as the royal residence for the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for over 200 years. This historic Fort has witnessed several historical events in India like the First War of Independence. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage site is an important tourist landmark of India’s capital.
2. Agra Fort, Agra
Agra is more famous for its stunning landmark, the Taj Mahal! The beautiful white marble mausoleum of love is counted among the 7 wonders of the world. However, it’s not the only famous attraction in the city. The Agra Fort is an imposing walled city made of red sandstone and served as the royal residence of the Mughal emperors before the capital was shifted to Delhi. The fort houses several important imperial buildings and mosques and is among the UNESCO World Heritage sites of India.
3. Amer Fort, Jaipur
Majestic and regal, the Amer Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Indian city of Jaipur. Made from red sandstone and marble, the Amer fort has several beautiful palaces like the Sheesh Mahal (palace of mirrors), Jai Mandir, Sukh Niwas, etc. Just above the Amer Fort lies Jaigarh Fort, that offered protection to Amer Fort from invasions and raids. Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort are considered as part of one single complex and both are important tourist attractions of Jaipur.
4. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
The Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur looks imposing perched above a hill, surrounded by blue coloured houses. This majestic fort was constructed around 1459 and is among the most imposing forts of India. Today, Mehrangarh Fort is a well-stocked museum documenting the rich culture of the Rathod Rajput clans. The well-preserved palaces, ramparts, and imposing gates still inspire tourists and locals alike.
5. Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer
The Jaisalmer Fort is perhaps the world’s only living fort where the city’s one-fourth population continues to live within its gold sandstone buildings and ramparts. The Fort was constructed in 1155 AD and served as the capital of Jaisalmer. Perched atop the Trikuta Hill, it is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Rajasthan, India. Jaisalmer Fort has several Jain temples and palaces which are well preserved.
6. Gwalior Fort, Gwalior
The Gwalior Fort has a history that goes back to 6th century AD and is among the most photogenic forts of India. Perched atop a sandstone hill in Gwalior, the Fort has well-preserved rock-cut caves, Jain temples, 6 beautiful palaces and a museum. Every evening, a spectacular light and sound show recounts the several historic tales associated with the fort.
7. Chittorgarh Fort, Chittor
The Chittor Fort is one of the largest forts in India and is one of the key UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The fort used to be the capital of the Mewar region of Rajasthan and is known for several historic events like attacks and sieges, changing of rulers, and the ritual of mass self-immolation by women, also known as “Jauhar”. Inside the fort, there are several key monuments featuring Rajputana architectural styles, palaces, reservoir, and temples.
8. Kumbhalgarh Fort, Udaipur
The Kumbhalgarh Fort is located in the Mewar region of Rajasthan – one of the finest examples of hill forts of Rajasthan. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also known for its 38 km long fortified wall, making it the world’s second-longest continuous wall after the Great Wall of China. The fort has over 360 temples, well-preserved ramparts, mighty gates, and other historic monuments.
9. Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
The Junagarh Fort in Bikaner, Rajasthan was built 1571 to 1611 AD and served as the official royal residence of Bikaner Kingdom. Today, this well-preserved fort is a fine example of Rajasthan’s royal architecture. Inside the fort, there are several palaces, temples, majestic gates and a well-curated museum that displays several artefacts from the royal household.
10. Purana Qila, Delhi
One of the oldest forts in Delhi, the Purana Qila stands as the last symbol of “the sixth city of Delhi” also known as Shergarh. Constructed during the 16th century, the Purana Qila served as the royal residence of Sher Shah Suri, the ruler of Delhi at that time. Today, the fort has the ruins of some key historic buildings like the Sher Mandal which served as the library of Mughal Emperor Humayun, and Qila-i-Kuna Mosque, the best-preserved building inside the fort.