Ranthambhore Fort

One of the things that make Ranthambhore National Park so mesmerising is the backdrop of the majestic Ranthambhore Fort. So a visit to the fort is a must. As we entered the fort one evening, the sun was already down on the horizon, and we weren’t too sure of spending too much time inside. It looked just too ‘touristy’. Soon a local guide started following us, while we didn’t want him. After much negotiation, we agreed to let him ‘guide’ us through a tour of the fort. It turned out, as usual in such places, to be a good idea.

The Ranthambhore Fort has seen many ups and downs and our guide Lal Singh narrated them all, some fact, some legend. As we walked through the stone corridors, the large Pols (or doors), the narrow winding steps, the Badal Mahal, Hameer Palace etc, his stories enacted the scenes in our minds. We felt our blood boil at the back stabbing of Rana Hameer Singh, the heart saddened at the mass Jauhar of the fort women, we heard the footsteps of infantry, and the horses running up the stone steps.

From the Badal Mahal and the higher regions of the fort, we sat and soaked a commanding view of the Ranthambhore National Park and the Padam Talao. We imagined the tigers basking by the lake amidst the tall grass. We heard the Bulbuls sing, the Indian Robins chase flies in the bush. We wished we had come with more time.

Built around 944 AD at an altitude of 700 metres above the surrounding plains by the Nagil Jats, the fort was also known as Ranasthambha or Ranasthambhapura. There is a Buddhist Bharhut Stupa inside the fort. established around 3rd Century BC, by the Maurya King Ashoka. One of the pillars bears an inscription which reads:

Moragirihma Nāgilāyā bhikhuniya dānam thabho.

Meaning: ” Pillar-gift of the Nun Nagila of Moragiri.”

Moragiri mentioned here is a town in Satara district, Maharashtra. Thus Nagil clan was in existence during Ashoka’s period as followers of Buddhism. (From Wikipedia).

Over centuries the fort passed through the hands of many ruling dynasties. The majestic architecture and its history of the Ranthambhore Fort make it a must see in the small dusty town of Sawai Madhopur.

Guide Map of Ranthambhore Fort.
Guide Map of Ranthambhore Fort.
Ranthambhore Fort Steps and Chatri
The winding steps up the fort are designed very well to slow down an enemy assault.

Ranthambhore Fort details on pillar.
Beautiful pillar details.
Ranthambhore Fort
Another broken window – balcony.
These 90 degree turns at the gates are designed to slow down enemy assualts and notgive enough space to Elephants or ‘battering rams’ to break the fort doors.
Ranthambhore Fort
What was probably once a temple area.
Ranthambhore Fort
Beautiful tunnel corridors lead further into the fort.
Ranthambhore Fort
The winding ways around the fort and tall stone walls make such beautiful views.
Ranthambhore Fort
The Archaeological Survey Of India is undertaking a repair program for the damaged areas of the fort. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ranthambhore Fort
The magnificent fort overlooks one of the finest jungles we have : The Ranthambhore National Park.
Ranthambhore Fort
There are quiet a few water bodies inside the fort, though ill-mannered tourists have littered them badly.
Ranthambhore Fort Darvesh Dargah.
The Darvesh Dargah inside Ranthambhore Fort.
Ranthambhore Fort
The grand view of Padam Talao from Ranthambhore Fort.
Ranthambhore Fort
Beautiful shrubs inside the Ranthambhore Fort. You can spot many a bird here itself.
Pillar Chatri Ranthambhore Fort
Teh Pillar Chatri inside Ranthambhore Fort
Ranthambhore Fort
The Sukh Sagar Lake is another water body inside the Ranthambhore Fort. Unfortunately this too has been littered by tourists.
Ranthambhore Fort
One of the many living quarters inside the fort.
Ranthambhore Fort Digambar Jain Temple.
The Digambar Jain Temple inside Ranthambhore Fort.
An Indian Robin (Saxicloides fulicatus) inside the Ranthambhore Fort.
Grey langur Ranthambhore Fort
A Grey Langur (Semnopithecus entellus) sits commanding the fort and perhaps pondering over his reign.
Ranthambhore Fort Brown Rock Chat
A Brown Rock Chat (Cercomela fusca) waits for its insect meal.
Babbler Ranthambhore Fort
A Jungle Baller (Turdoides striata) gives an angry stare, typical of the species.

[box type=”success” width=”100%” ]How To Reach : Sawai Madhopur is the name of the town and it is well connected with trains. One can drive from Jaipur too (around 4 hours).

Where to Stay : Being a highly touristy town, there are plenty of options in Sawai Madhopur in various price brackets. You could choose the RTDC Heritage Hotel Jhoomar Baori or the very tastefully made Ranthambhore Bagh. If your budgets permit, you could also try the excellent Khem Vilas.

When to visit: Winters are the best time. Summers get woefully hot, and teh Ranthambore National Park is shut during the monsoons. October to March seems like a good time to visit.

Where to eat: There aren’t to omany places to eat in Sawai Madhopur. You would mostly be relying on your hotel for your meals, and all the ones we suggested have very good food.



7 thoughts on “Ranthambhore Fort”

  1. The fort looks amazing, very good clicks. I have once been to the fort while I was young, so I don’t remember much about it. These amazing pictures are very inspiring. I would love to visit the fort someday to capture this majestic view on my lenses.


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