A land of royal grandeur and stately palaces, India is the land where forts and fortresses find a welcoming home. For travellers who want to have a taste of royalty,here are India's top 5 forts.

1. Red Fort, Delhi.

Royally known as the Quila-e-Mubarak, this Fort is a World Heritage Site announced by the UNESCO. A red sandstone structure, the Fort built by erstwhile Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan is a work in Islamic architecture. The Fort is a famous tourist attraction thanks to its prime location in the Indian Capital of Delhi.

2. Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh.


A Fort to fight for in royal opinion, the first Mughal Emperor in India captured its magnificence in his words: ‘the pearl in the necklace of the castles of Hind’. The Fort has housed Kings and Queens from several dynasties through ages. A prized possession, the Fort had seen many conquests. Built during the Scindia rule, the Fort is an excellent mix of Islamic and Hindu architectural styles. Intricate colour works adorn the interior and massive stately pillars hold the structure strong.

3. Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan.

One of the finest and most maintained Forts, the Jaisalmer Fort from the land of forts which is Rajasthan is a sight to devour. The Fort presents wonderful architecture that takes you back to the days of the Rajputana. A play of sunlight at dusk creates a golden hue on the structure and makes it appear a part of the That Desert. No wonder it earns a name of the Golden Fort.

4. Golconda Fort, Hyderabad.

A tourist hot spot of Southern India, the Golconda Fort just 11 km from Hyderabad is a work of art to behold. Built by the Kakatiya Dynasty originally, it underwent several reconstructions under the rule of Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah Wali. Standing tall till date, the Fort has a light and sound show in the evening to tell the tale of its royal days.

5. Chittorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh.

They say Chittorgarh is the pride of Rajasthan. Dating back to the days of the legendary Rajputana chivalry and valour, when pride was dearer than life, the Chittorgarh Fort bears testimony to many such sacrifices. The tale of Rani Padmini will a peek into the Rajputana heart full of self respect and courage. Marvelous mirror work make the Fort a must visit!

6. AMBER FORT

11 km away from Jaipur, in the town of Amer, on the Maoti lake, stands a specimen of architectural splendour and fluidity. A rare mix of Mughal and Rajput architecture, the Amber Fort is a place you should definitely visit. In red sandstone and marble, Raja Man Singh had built a work of art. The main attractions are the Sheesh Mahal made of glass, and the Diwan-i-am and Diwan-i-khas.

7. NAHARGARGH FORT

One of many temples and palaces dotted across the dusty Avaralli hills, Nahargargh Fort not only offers insight into the lives of the old Rajasthan royals, but it also has incredible vistas of the pink stone buildings of Jaipur. It was originally called Sudarshangarh Fort, but was later renamed to Nahargarh Fort which literally translated to "The Abode of Tigers". With some breathtaking views of the city, the Nahargarh Fort is known for its extended wall which connects it to Jaigarh Fort.Marvel at the architecture which is a mix of styles of Rajputs, Mughal and European. The charm of the fort is its unparalleled views.

8. Ranthambore Fort, Sawai Madhopur

He mighty powerful fort of Ranthambore has seen an immense number of attacks and conquests. The fort was the major barrier for the invaders because of the difficulty they faced to capture and the well-planned construction of the fort. The Ranthambore Fort is situated inside the Ranthambore National Park which was the hunting grounds for the Maharajas of the Jaipur dynasty. It is located in the town of Sawai Madhopur in Jaipur. It had been built in the mid 10th century, according to the Government of Rajasthan's Amber Development & Management Authority, during the rule of Sapaldaksha. Attractions to check out are Hammir’s Court, Badal Mahal, Dhula Mahal, Ganesha temple, Jogi Mahal, Shiva Temple, Ramlalji Temple and temple of Lord Sumatinath and Lord Sambhavanath. 

9. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort stands as one of the most important heritage sites of Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The foundation of the fort was laid way back in 1458 by Rathore ruler, Rao Jodha. The Citadel of the Sun was not once sieged. The fort remains invincible and inspires awe from all. There are numerous mysteries and scandals hidden.Seven gates have to be crossed to reach the fort. The gates still bear the marks of the various battles fought in the bygone era. Its second gate still stands witness to canon ball hits by attacking armies of Jaipur during wars. One of the gates is Jayapol, meaning victory. It was built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. Another gate, Fattehpol, again meaning victory, was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh as a celebration for defeating the Mughals. 

10. Taragarh Fort, Bundi

Constructed in the year 1354, the Taragarh Fort is one of the greatest forts in Bundi. It is also known as Star Fort. Positioned on a steep hill, the Taragarh Fort also offers a breathtaking view of the Kota. It looks best during the sunset as the city gets drenched in the fading light of the Sun. However, the main attraction for the tourists is the fort itself. As you enter the Taragarh Fort, the giant gateway will provide you a grand welcome. There are three gateways to enter the court and each of them has a distict name. The different names are Lakshmi Pol, Phuta Darwaza and Gagudi ki Phatak. The detailed carvings of elephants on the gate will give you an idea about what's in store inside. Though time have had its effect on the various features of the fort yet these features exhibit the grandeur of Rajput rule.

11. Mandawa Fort, Shekhawati

Founded in 18th Century by Nawal Singh, Mandawa Fort of Shekhawati is an impressive structure of heritage of Rajasthan. The exquisite artwork, architecture and the ambiance has been preserved beautifully and converted into a heritage hotel. The charm has been pleasantly treasured. The medieval themed rooms, balconies, the antique collection, the family portraits of the rulers and their belongings take you back in history.

The grand archways and the paintings of Lord Krishna and his cows are a visual treat. Wander through areas opened for tourists and you shall witness the impressive aura and architecture of the Royal state of Rajasthan.

Happy Royal Travelling!

Adiós until next time on InkMyTravel.

SREEJA GHOSH