Forts and Palaces of Rajasthan: Part II
This is 2nd post in List that contains Forts & Palaces of Rajasthan of Districts Dausa, Dholpur, Dungarpur, Hanumangar, Jaipur, Jalore, Jhalawar, & Jodhpur
Dausa Fort was constructed on Devgiri Hill, probably first by Badgurjars and subsequently by Kachawahas when they made Dausa as their first capital.
Madhorajpura Fort, Dausa
Sawai Madho Singh-I after defeating marathas, established the township of Madhorajpura and constructed the fort. According to historians, this fort was used as the headquarters by the Swathi, during the fight between Marathas and Swathi Pratap Singh.
Khawaraoji is famous for residence of the then rular Raoji and natural beauty. It is situated at about 25 Kms from the district headquarter towards Sikrai. Though, it has typical way to reach this place, the fort like residence is converted into the Khawaraoji Heritage Hotel. Surrounded by hills at the three sides, and having Amol Ghati nearby with natural beauty, this place has worth to visit by tourists.
Shergarh Fort, Dholpur
Located on Banks of river Chambal, Shergarh fort is, said to be first constructed by Raja Maldev during Kushan Period. In 1540, Shershah reconstructed the fort and named it Shergarh.
Juna Mahal, Dungarpur
Juna Mahal (Old Palace) is a 13th century, seven-storeyed edifice. It is built on a high platform constructed from Pareva stone and its rugged exterior gives it a resemblance of a citadel. It has been elaborately planned with fortified walls, watchtowers, narrow doorways and corridors to delay the enemy for as long as possible. What lies inside is a complete contrast to the exterior. Visitors will be spellbound by the beautiful murals, miniature paintings and delicate glass and mirror work that adorn the interiors.
Udai Bilas Palace, Dungarpur
The Udai Bilas Palace has been named after MaharawalUdai Singh II. Its striking design follows classic Rajput architectural style and boasts of detailed designs in its balconies, arches and windows. A beautiful wing built of the local bluish grey stone called Pareva overlooks the lake. The palace is segregated into Raniwas, Udai Bilas and Krishna Prakash, also known as Ek Thambiya Mahal. The EkThambiyaMahal is a veritable marvel of Rajput architecture featuring intricate sculptured pillars and panels, ornate balconies, balustrades, bracketed windows, arches and frieze of marble carvings. Today, Udai Bilas Palace functions as a heritage hotel.
Badal Mahal, Dungarpur
The Badal Mahal, built using Pareva stone, is another splendid palace of Dungarpur. Located on the banks of GaibSagar Lake, it is renowned for its elaborate design and a fusion of the architectural styles of the Rajputs and the Mughals. The monument comprises two stages, three domes and a veranda. Each dome sports a carved half ripe lotus while the largest dome sports three.
Bhatner Fort, Hanumangarh
The Bhatner Fort, otherwise known as the Hanumangarh Fort, is located on somewhat elevated land with gigantic barricades along the banks of the River Gaggar in the centre of Hanumangarh. In 295 AD, Bhupat, son of Jailsamer’s King Bhatti built this strong fort. Since then, rulers like Timur, Ghaznavis, PrtihviRaj Chauhan, Akbar, Qutub-ud-din-Aybak and Rathores had captured this fort. The strength of this fort has been mentioned in the autobiography written by Timur called “Tuzuk- e- Timuri.” Even Mughal Emperor Akbar described this fortification in his book “Ain- I- Akbari”.
It has many towering gates surrounding the fort and many big rounded bastions that stand at intervals. There are three statues, which bear inscriptions, and an ancient building called “Jain Pasara” is situated inside the fort. There is also a tomb inside this fort, where Sher Khan is kept. Sher Khan was the nephew of Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din-Balban (1266 – 1290) as well as the Governor of the Fort.
Amber Fort, Jaipur
Amer Fort is the complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples, which were built by Raja Man Singh, Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Sawai Jai Singh over a period of about two centuries. It is made of red sandstone and white marble and incorporates both Rajput and Mughal architecture.
The palace complex rises from the placid waters of the Mootha lake, which contains Mohan Bari or Kesar Kyari in the center.
Jaipur City Palace, Jaipur
Jaipur City Palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. he palace is a beautiful blend of Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture. The previous royal family continues to reside in one section of the palace. Located within the walls of the City Palace, Chandra Mahal is a seven-storeyed tower. However, the ground and first floors have now been given over for the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum.
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
The Palace of Wind or Hawa Mahal was constructed in 1799 by the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh. The five-storied structure is made of pink sandstone and has 356 intricately carved jharokhas (windows). It was designed for the women of the royal family to sit in privacy while observing life on the street.
Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur
The northern frontier of Jaipur is fortified by Nahargarh Fort. Situated on a rough crest of the Aravalli range, the fort, which literally means ‘abode of the tigers’, was built in 1734 by Jai Singh to further defend Amber. Later, in 1868, the fort was extended to its present size.Much of the original structures are now in ruins, but the lovely building added by sawai Ram Singh II and Sawai Madho Singh II still survive.
Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur
It is one of the few military structures of the medieval India preserved almost intact containing palaces, gardens, open and covered reservoirs, a granary, an armoury, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and a giant mounted cannon-the Jai Ban – the largest in the country. Jaigarh Fort was built by Sawai Jai Singh II sometime in the early 18th century amidst the arid, rocky and thorn-scrub covered hills.
Jal Mahal, Jaipur
Jal Mahal is a tiny palace located in the middle of small Man Sagar lake.
Also called as Golden Fort or “Sonar Kila”, it is a world heritage site. It was built in 1156 AD by Rawal Jaisal and stands on Trikuta Hill ( the tripple peaked hill ) among an undulating sea of sand. The fort is built in Sandstone, protected by high walls, approachable through four successive gates, the Akhaiy Pol, the Ganesh Pol, the Suraj Pol and the Hawa Pol.
Jalore Fort is one of the nine castles of the Maru’, under the Paramaras in the 10th century. It has been known through history as the Sonagir or the ‘golden mount’. The precise year of its construction is not known however it is believed to be built between the 8th and 10th centuries. Jalore fort is located atop a steep and perpendicular hill 336m high, fortified with a wall and bastions with cannon mounted upon them. The fort has four gigantic gates and is approachable only from one side, after a two-mile long serpentine ascent.
Gagron Fort, Jhalawar
Gagron Fort is an example of ‘Jal Durg’, or Water Fort surrounded by waters of Ahu, Kali and Sindh rivers on three sides. It is included in the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The foundation of this impregnable, magnificent fort was laid in the 7th century. Outside the fort is a Durgah of Sufi Saint Mitheshah, where a fair is held every year during the islamic month of Moharram. Nearby is a monastery of Saint Pipa, a contemporary of Saint Kabir.
Situated in the centre of the town, the Jhalawar fort or Garh Palace, was built by Maharaj Rana Madan Singh and his successors added beautiful paintings inside the rooms. The Zenana Khas or the ‘Women’s Palace’ has some excellent frescoes on both, walls and mirrors and they are prime examples of the Hadoti school of art.
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest forts in India. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrates a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures. The fort is known for its exquisite latticed windows, carved panels, intricately decorated windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal and Sheesh Mahal.
Moti Mahal, Jodhpur
Moti Mahal, as the name suggests, is the Pearl Hall where the royal families held their audience. The hall is known to have glass windows and five nooks that enabled the queens to listen to the proceedings taking place in the Sringar Chowki, The Royal Throne of Jodhpur.
Phool Mahal, Jodhpur
Going by the name, the Phool Mahal or Flower Hall is the most exorbitant of all the halls in the palace. This beautiful chamber is said to be the pleasure dome for the Maharajas. The gold used for constructing the Mahal came from Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Khejarla Fort, Jodhpur
Located 85 kilometres from the main city, the 400-year old Khejarla Fort is situated in a rural setting. The stunning red sandstone monument, now a hotel, is an example of Rajput architecture. Visitors will be mesmerized by the fort’s picturesque settings, latticework friezes and intricate Jharokas.
Ummaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Umaid Bhawan Palace was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1929 to counter a famine which had hit the state at the time. It was also known as the Chittar Palace while being constructed thanks to the use of stones drawn from the Chittar hill. The palace was designed by HV Lanchester, a renowned British architect, and was completed in 16 years. Built with sandstone and marble, the architecture of the palace is described as a blend of lndo-Saracenic, Classical Revival and Western Art Deco styles. It is recognised as one of the largest private homes in the world and also one of the more spectacular buildings. It is the only palace built in the 20th century.
Sardar Samand Palace, Jodhpur
Built on the banks of the Sardar Samand Lake by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1933, the Sardar Samand Lake Palace is a spectacular hunting lodge. It remains the royal family’s favourate retreat and houses a vast collection of African trophies and original watercolour paintings.
Images credit: Wikipedia Commons