Forts are the legacy that stands as a reminiscence and a significant symbol for our vast culture. India has a wide variety of it among which it contains notable forts, resembling the idols and their history as well as significance about a specific place at which the fort resides.
Red Fort, Delhi
- Its initial name was “Qila-e-Mubarak“. This name interprets as “The Blessed Fort“. According to experts Shah Jahan built this fort when he decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi.
- It took ten long years by Ustad Hamid and Ustad Ahmed – the pioneering architects during the time who began the construction in 1638 and completed it a decade later.
- The Kohinoor Diamond Was Part of the Red Fort Furniture. The Kohinoor diamond was a portion of the royal throne of Shah Jahan – located in the Diwani-i-Khas.
- The Appearance of the Red Fort is Octagonal.
- Red Fort, also called Lal Qalʿah, also spelled LalKila or Lal Quila, Mughal fort in Old Delhi, India. It was constructed by Shah Jahān in the mid-17th century and remained a major tourist attraction. The fort was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007.
- Among the most famous structures of the complex are the Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-i-Am), which has 60 red sandstone pillars supporting a flat roof, and the Hall of Private Audience (Diwan-i-Khas), which is smaller, with a pavilion of white marble.
- An earlier RedFort had been built in Old Delhi in the 11th century by the Tomara king Anangapala. The Quṭb Mosque now stands on the site.
- It assisted as the capital of the Mughals until 1857.
- The Last Mughal Emperor Was Adjudicated in His Own Home. He was tried by the British for treason in his own home – the Red Fort. The Trial was held in Diwan-i-Khas surrounded by the British court when they found the emperor guilty because of which he was stripped off his title. Later he was on exile to Rangoon (now called Myanmar).
Agra Fort, Agra
- Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage place located in Agra, India. The fort is also known as Lal Quila, Fort Rouge, and Red Fort of Agra.
- It is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more precisely defined as a walled palatial city.
- Agra Fort was built by Akbar in Red Sandstone when he was thorough with the consolidation of his power after accession to power in 1654, Agra Fort worked both as a military strategic point as well as the royal residence.
- Ever since Babur defeated and killed Ibrahin Lodi at Panipat in 1526, Agra played an important centre of the Mughal Empire. It was in a ruined condition, and Akbar decided to make it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558.
- Akbar had rebuilt it with red sandstone. Architects laid the foundation and used bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Some 14,44,000 builders worked on it for eight years, completing it in 1573.
- At the end of his life, his son, Aurangzeb, in the fort, a punishment that might not seem so harsh, considering the luxury of the fort, imprisoned Shah Jahan. Rumors spread that Shah Jahan died in MuasammanBurj, a tower with a marble balcony with an excellent view of the Taj Mahal.
- The fort contains splendid palaces both in red sandstone and white marble built by two generations of prolific builders Akbar and later Jehangir and Shahjahan. Of the nearly 500 Akbari buildings built in the Bengal and Gujarati traditions, only a few have survived, arrayed in a band on the riverfront.
Some of the magnificent structures that deserve mention are:
- Sheesh, Mahal – Meaning ‘Glass Palace‘ it was the royal dressing room adorned by tiny mirror-like glass-mosaic decorations on the walls.
- The Diwan-i-Am – was used for communications ground between the public and the aristocracy and once housed the Peacock Throne.
- Diwan-i-Khas – A hall of private audience, it was used to welcome kings and dignitaries.
- The AnguriBagh – It houses 85 square, geometrically arranged lush gardens.
- Khas Mahal – It was an immaculate white marble palace.
- Mina Masjid – Meaning ‘Heavenly Mosque’ is a tiny mosque closed to the public.
- Nagina Masjid – Meaning ‘Gem Mosque’ it was designed exclusively for the ladies of the court.
- MusammanBurj – A large, octagonal tower with a balcony facing the Taj Mahal.
Amer Fort, Jaipur
- The Amer Fort is one of the most visited tourist places in Jaipur, Rajasthan state of India. It positions in Amber town, which is 11 km away from Jaipur. It was built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh, and then Raja Jai Singh renovated it later. It constitutes red sandstone and marbles.
- This fort is constituents of both Hindu and Muslim architecture. The fort consists of many places such as Diwan-i-Aam, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Mahal, Shila Devi temple, Ganesh Pole etc.
- It is also registered in UNESCO World Heritage site. The elephant ride is famous, and through this ride, tourists reach at the ridge in the entrance courtyard and feel the royal welcome to the Amer Fort. The nearby tourist attraction to the Amer Fort is Jaigarh, Aravali Hills and Vijay Garh.
- The famous courtyard of the amber fort is as following:
- Hall of Public Audience: It is also known as Diwan-e-Aam. It is a large hall that stands from the support of two rows of the ornamented pillars, and it is open on three sides. The king sits here to listen to the queries and complaints of the people, and they also meet guests here. This hall is also famous for its glasswork.
- SukhMandir: Sukh-Mandir is also known as Sukh Niwas is also a big hall made of sandalwood and ivory. It is situated right side and opposite to the Diwan-e-Aam. It is the place where Kings and queen used to repose.
- Sheesh Mahal: Sheesh Mahal is also known as Mirror Palace, which is the most beautiful part of the fort. This place is carved with beautiful flowers and also done glass paintings here. It is made for the queens to sleep under the stars because they are not allowed to sleep in the open air. This place resolved this problem. It looks like thousands of stars glittering in the ceiling.
- KesarKyaari: This is a Mughal garden which has the splendid beauty that differs from a simple garden. It is the part of Maote Lake, and it is in the front of the fort. It was created in the star shape, and there were many saffron flowers planted in the garden. Now, there are beautiful flowers planted here, because at this time saffron plant can not thrive because of the climate conditions.
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
- The fort positions in Jodhpur.
- It is one of the most massive forts in India. Rao Jodha built the fort in around 1459. The fort is situated four hundred and ten feet above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls.
- There are several palaces inside the boundary of the fort known for their beautiful carvings and beautiful courtyards.
- Mehrangarh fort’s earlier name was Mihirgarh which is made of two words; “Mihir” which means sun deity and “Garh” means fort. Sun deity is said to be the chief deity of the Rathore dynasty.
- There are various Mehrangarh fort facts that make it a pride of Jodhpur. The fort is not only historically significant but also has architectural importance.
- The fort is massive, enclosed with thick walls, and sprawled over a large area. The Mehrangarh fort is situated 410 ft. above the ground level. Within the fort, there are several other palaces built to serve different purposes, and there are many beautiful carvings inside these palaces.
- This Jodhpur ka Kila spreads over 5 kilometers above the hilltop, and one can have a full view of the city from the fort.
Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer
- Jaisalmer’s fort was only a small fort when it was built in 1156 AD, and future kings slowly and slowly made it.
- Jaisalmer was once half-defeated. The “half Jauhar” of the prophecy occurred in the 16th century when Amir Ali, an Afghan chieftain, obtained RawalLunakaran’s permission to let his wives visit the queens of Jaisalmer. Instead of an entourage of palanquins containing women, they were full of armed warriors, which took the guards of the fort by surprise.
- When it seemed to the Rawal that he was fighting a losing battle, he slaughtered his womenfolk with his own hands as there was insufficient time to arrange a funeral pyre. Tragically immediately after the deed was done, reinforcements arrived, sparing the men from the Jauhar and Amir Ali was defeated and blown up by a cannonball. Hence, it is called half Jauhar or Sako.
- 20% of tourists voted Jaisalmer as the face of India next to Agra’s Taj Mahal (with 36% votes).
- Jaisalmer makes an image of a sandy place, but at some time Jaisalmeris had their farms of Mangoes, dates, and many other fruits and vegetables.
- The pollution rate and Crime Rate is near 0.
- Jaisalmer has hot summers too and cold winters too.
Gwalior Fort, Gwalior
- The most amazing fact about Gwalior fort is its defensive structure.
- The fort, popularly called “the Gibraltar of India“.
- The fort was built in the 8th century, and up to British rule, the fort was under the possession of different kings.
- It was used as a prison during the rule of Mughals. The fort was a political prison for royal people.
- For instance, Akbar’s cousin was held in the fort as a prisoner and was executed there. Many of Aurangzeb’s brothers and nephews were also executed in the fort.
- The fort underwent many changes in its interior and exterior from time to time as the rulers changed.
- The fort combines many different architectural styles including the Dravidian style along with the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain architecture. Apart from the Man Mandir and Gurjari Mahal, constructions in the Gwalior Fort notable for their sculpted work and architecture include TelikaMandir, The Elephant Gate (Hathi Pol gate), the Saas-bahu temple, Karn Mahal, and VikramMaha.
- Mughal emperor Babur (1483-1531) described Gwalior fort as, “The pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind”.
- A Tamarind Tree stands inside the fort complex, which is said to be planted by Tansen, the great musician of his time. There is a common rumour of misbelieve that eating the leaves of this tree can sweeten one’s voice like that of Tansen. It is also said that Tansen ate the leaves of the tree to gain his sweet voice.
Chittorgarh Fort, Chittor
- Chittorgarh Fort is known to be the most massive fort of India. It extends an area of 3km in length and a peripheral length of 13km, summing up to 700 acres of land.
- There are seven gates to Chittorgarh Fort. They are Ram Pol, Lakshman Pol, Padal Pol, Ganesh Pol, Jorla Pol, Bhairon Pol, and Hanuman Pol. To reach the fort, you have to cross all these gates, and enter through the main entrance known as Surya Pol or Sun Gate.
- The Chittor Fort or Chittorgarh is one of the most massive forts in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The fort was the capital of Mewar and positions at the present-day town of Chittor. It sprawls over 180m in height spread over an area of 280ft above the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River.
- This massive fort complex is roughly shaped like a fish when viewed at a bird’s eye view.
- There are more than 100 Ponds or Water reservoirs inside the fort. All these reservoirs are built in such a way that the water level remains up throughout the year.
Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan
- Built-in the 15th century in Rajsamand district in Rajasthan, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site included in Hill Forts of Rajasthan. It was built by Rana Kumbha who was the Rana of Mewar.
- The fort is also well known as it is the birthplace of MahaRanaPratap. This mighty fort is well built around 3600 ft tall and 38 km long making it the second-largest wall of the World.
- During the kingship of Rana Kumbha, the kingdom of Mewar extended from Ranthambore to Gwalior. Within this extension, RanaKumbha has designed 84 forts present in his dominion, out of which Kumbhalgarh is the largest and ecstatic.
- It situates in the ranges of Aravalli Hills.
- Thirteen elevated mountain peaks surround it, the fort is constructed on the topmost ridges around 1,914 meters above sea level.
- It was built by Rana Kumbha who was the Rana of Mewar. The fort is also well known as it is the birthplace of MahaRanaPratap. This mighty fort is well built around 3600 ft tall and 38 km long making it the second-largest wall of the World.
- During the kingship of Rana Kumbha, the kingdom of Mewar extended from Ranthambore to Gwalior. Within this extension, Rana Kumbha is said to have designed all of the 84 forts present in his dominion, out of which Kumbhalgarh is the largest and ecstatic.
Purana Quila, Delhi
- In 1534 the old city ramparts of Dinpanah, initially built by Humayun was destroyed, and there came the first citadel of Shergarh.
- Sher Shah also built the first fort in Shergarg, now known as the Purana Quila or the Old fort.
- This also stands in the ancient site of Indraprastha, proved by facts of the presence of a KuntiMandir the fort. In support of this, until 1913, a village called Indrapat existed within the fort walls.
- Though initially started by Sher Shah, it was not completed by him.
- According to historical records dating 1540 AD, this fort was either repaired by Islam Shah, the son of Sher Shah, or Humayun as the records state.
- Even the Mauryan period has archaeological remains discovered from the site and belongs to the Northern Black Polished Ware–a fine hardened earthen pottery with a glossy surface, punch-marked coins and animal terracotta figurines are got.
- The same NBPW continues till the Sunga period, and then red earthenware in the Kushan period.
- Pieces of evidence of the Gupta period reveals the presence of a gold marked punch coin with the image of an archer and King Vikrama on the backward side. The same place housed the Purana Quila.
- The wall and gates were built in the reign of Humayun while the buildings within, namely, the mosque and Sher Mandal, are the work of Sher Shah. Humayun reconstructed Indraprastha and renamed it as Dinpanah. Sher Shah strengthened the citadel of Dinpanah and renamed it as Shergarh.
- Salim Shah also took steps to improve the citadel. Just as FiruzTughluq had despoiled the older cities of Siri and Jahanpanah to build his new city of Firuzabad, similarly Sher Shah obtained his building materials for his new town from the ruins of Firuzabad.
- However, among all the existing forts which stand even today, the Purana Quila is the oldest.
- Archaeological excavations that were carried by B BLal in 1954-55 and then in 1963-74 prove the presence of painted Grey wares which dates back to 1000BC, hence establishing the existence of Indraprastha in the present site.
- The fort was not considered to be of much luck to any age, Humayun who started the fort lost it to Sher Shah, who died before its construction.
- Again took back the fort only to die the next year.
- Later Mughal rulers like Akbar and Shahjahan abandoned the site to Agra and Shahjahanabad respectively.
- After them, Islam Shah abandoned the fort making Hemu the charge of it.
- Hemu had his Rajyabhishek or Coronation at PuranaQuila on 7 October 1556, declared ‘Hindu Raj’ in North India, and was bestowed the title of Vikramaditya. Hemu, who later lost his life at the Second battle of Panipat in Nov. 1556, subsequently had his torso hung outside this fort to create terror among Hindus.
- There are three gates of the Purana Quila–and they depict elegance synthesis of the Hindu Mughal and the Afghan architecture. The pointed arches harmonize with the Hindu chattris while Hindu brackets support Hindu pavilion.
- The Northern gate, known as the Tallaqi Darwaza or the Forbidden gate (for reasons unknown), represents a solar orb crudely. It has to panels depicting a man engaged in the mortal combat with a lion in half relief.
- The Southern gate also has similar panels with elephants instead. This is also known as the Humayun gate, for reasons either the Humayun’s tomb was visible from the entrance or Humayunhimseld had constructed it.
- The only gate which is in use even now is the west gate, also known as the Bara Darwaza or the Big gate.
- These three gates are a hybrid of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Made of red sandstone, the roofs are made of lime mortar with coloured tiles.
- Entering from the south gate, you’ll see a small octagonal red sandstone tower on your right. Known as ‘Sher Mandal’, it was later used by Humayun as his library and observatory.
- Some Mughal historical documents designate that it was while descending the stairs of this tower one day in 1556 that he slipped, and received injuries from which he later died. Rumours exist that after his death, the Mughals, considering the fort to be cursed one, vacated the structure and built their capital in a new fort, now known as Lal Quila, to defend Delhi from foreign invasions.
- Apart from the gates, there’s the Masjid known as QuilaKuhna Masjid – a Great Architectural Grandeur Made from White Marble and Bright Red sandstone.
- The historic PuranaQuila, which stood as the witness to Delhi’s transportation—periods of anarchy, rise and fall of empires, the ascendancy of mighty rulers, –the legendary past are brought to life.
- The PuranaQila fort complex has several attractions that make for an exciting visit. These include:
- Qila-i-Kuna Mosque, a single-domed mosque built by Sher Shah Suri.
- Sher Mandal, an octagonal double-storied tower that served as Humayun’s library and observatory.
- PuranaQila Museum
- The three magnificent entrance gateways.
- KairulManzil, a mosque constructed by Akbar’s foster mother (outlying monument, about 550 m).
- Sher Shah Suri Gate or LalDarpwaza, the southern entrance to Shergarh (outlying monument, about 350 m)
- Today, PuranaQila has lost much of its original grandeur.
Though the exterior of the fort still exudes an elegant look, many of the internal structures have lost out to the trails of time, nature, and man. Only a few of the internal systems have managed to remain intact. But that hasn’t deemed the popularity of the fort in any way. The fort remains a big draw among the most popular tourist places in Delhi. The light and sound show held here in the evenings is also a significant draw for visitors.