Ranthambore National Park derived its name from the fort, standing at the center of the park. The fort was named Ranthambore after the two hills – Thanbhor (on which the fort is located) and Ran which is situated at the back of the fort.
According to history, many wars were fought to get the possession of the fort because it was considered as a prominent fort to get control of central India. The fort was difficult to conquer because of its location and structure. The fort resisted the harmful attacks of Kutub-ud-din in 1209, Allaudin Khilji in 1301, Feroz Tughlaq in 1325 and Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in 1530. The fort was most successfully ruled by Rao Hammir, in the 11th century.
The fort was conquered by the Mughals in 1528. The fort was then transformed into a prison fortress in the 17th century. The prisoners were thrown down from the fort walls after being stuffed with opium. A traveler of 17th century, Francois Bernier mentioned the execution in his book "Travels in the Mughal Empire, 1656-68".
In the late 19th century, the Mughals gifted this Fort to the Maharaja of Jaipur. Since then, the fort remained with the royal family and they used the surrounding forest areas for hunting.
The huge fort has the walls with 7 km of circumference. The interior area of the fort is 4.5 sq. km. It remains open to the visitors from morning to evening. To reach the fort at the hill top one has to climb the stairs leading from the bottom. The 20-minutes climb to the height of 700 feet is worth the effort.
To get a panoramic view of Ranthambore National Park from the fort carry your binoculars with you. You can also get the view of tigers below from the fort. In winters, leopards can be seen basking in the sun on the walls.
Pilgrims from across the world visit this fort as it has many temples located in its surroundings. The temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha is the most famous among the temples there.