Ranthambore Fort is a famous historic monument located inside the Ranthambore National Park of Sawai Madhopur. This is the ruins of 10th century colossal citadel, which was built by Chauhan Rajput clan. The land covering the fort and the national park was under the control of Rajputs, who built this fort on top of a small hillock, Thambhore Hill. The fort is surrounded by pavilions, lakes, ponds, and a verdant jungle.
History of Ranthambore Fort
There are many legends surrounding this fort and yet there is no concrete details to when this fort was built. According to literature and inscriptions, the fort has been standing since the 10th century. This fort is assumed to be built for many decades together. Locals consider this fort as one impregnable structure. But, it was attacked by Sultan Alauddin Khilji in 13th century. Although the invaders were defeated, the fort’s wall gave up in the attack. In 16th century, Mughals raided the fort and after a month-long siege, the Rajputs gave up the fort.
The fort stayed in the hands of Mughals until mid of 18th century, when Maratha rulers tried raiding the fort. They fortified the villages surrounding the fort and named them Sawai Madhopur, after the Jaipur king Sawai Madho Singh. After 24 months, the Mughals surrendered the fort to the Jaipur king. Even during British ruler, the fort was under the control of Jaipur State.
Architecture of Ranthambore Fort
This fort stands on top of 700 foot hillock. It is covered with stone walls, turrets, and bastions. This envelope stretches for 2.5 miles. Although the structure is in ruins, you can find cenotaphs, palaces, temples, tanks, and pavilions scattered in the courtyard. This is one of the finest examples of forest fort architecture. The Hammir Palace of this fort is one of the ancient surviving palaces.
Tourist attractions of Ranthambore Fort
1. Hammir Kachaheri
Hammir Kachaheri is a large chamber found on a pedestal. The central chamber of this structure is 19.5x11.9 m wide and it has one more chamber on each side. The pillars of this structure are arranged in rows. These pillars are placed in such a manner that it divides the entire chamber into fifteen sections. In front of the chamber, you will find toranas supported by rows of pillars. This structure is built with lime mortar and rubble stones.
2. Hammir Palace
This palace was built by Hammir Singh. The palace’s east wing has three storeys and the rest of the palace has one level. The ground floor of this palace is connected via small doors. The verandah of these chambers has plain pillars. On the eastern side, you can find balconies of each chamber. Lime plaster, stone rubble, and lime mortar are used for building this structure.
3. Battis Khamba Chhatri
This is a structure with several domes. This three story structure has a square terrace. The roof of this structure is held by 32 pillars (khamba). You can find the pillars in two rows.
4. Vakha Pol
This is one of the seven gates of the fort. This is the east-facing gate made out of ashlar masonry. You can find inscription on copper plate on this gate. This inscription says that the gate was built by Jaipur king, SawaiJagat Singh.
5. Hathi Pol
This gate faces southeast and it is enclosed by natural rock formation. Right over the gate, there is a small guard room.
6. Ganesh Pol
This is the south facing gate. This gate is famous for the brackets that support the gate’s beam.
7. Andheri Pol
This is the north facing gate. This gate has balconies on every side.
8. Delhi Pol
This gate faces northwest and has numerous guard cells.
This is the south facing gate. This gate has two storeys and balconies. There are battlements made with brick masonry on top of this gate.
10. Suraj Pol
This is the smallest one of all and it faces the east side.
11. Ganesh Temple
This is the most popular attraction of the fort. Devotees write letters to the deity and a local postman delivers these letters to this temple. This is an important pilgrimage site of this region.
12. Badal Mahal
The Badal Mahal is a large hall with 84 pillars. This hall was used by King Hammir Singh to conduct meetings.
From the fort, you can spot numerous birds including eagle and vultures. This is one of the best places to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the park.
Nearby Places from Ranthambore Fort
- Kachida Valley
- Ranthambore national park
- Surwal Lake
- Malik Talao – picnic spot
- Raj Bagh ruins
- Jogi Mahal
Visiting timings of Ranthambore Fort
The fort does not have visiting timings. It is open throughout the day. However, the park is open from 6 am to 6 pm only. Safari is allowed between 6:30 am and 10:30 am, and 2 pm and 6:30 pm. Safari is the only option to reach the fort.
Entry fee of Ranthambore Fort
The fort does not have an entry fee. However, to reach the fort, you need to enter the national park, which has an entry fee.
For Indians – INR 974 per head
For foreigners – INR 1714 per head
Best time to visit Ranthambore Fort
The prime tourism season is from October to February. This is the winter time and you can spot numerous animals with ease. This is also the right time to enjoy birdwatching as you can find many migratory birds near the fort. This is also the pleasing time of the year to enjoy exploring the park. The safari in this park is allowed only between October and June.
How to Reach Ranthambore Fort?
The closest airport to the fort is Sanganer airport of Jaipur. This airport is around 180 km away from the fort. From the airport, you can find buses and cabs to the park entrance. From the entrance, you ought to travel in jeep to the fort. If you are travelling via train, the closest railway station to the fort is Sawai Madhopur railway station.
You can find cabs and buses to the park entrance from the railway station. You can also find buses and cars from surrounding regions to Ranthambore.
Any vehicle you use for safari will reach up to the entrance of the fort. From there, there are roughly 200 steps to climb to reach the fort.