The Chittaurgarh Fort is a living testimony to the bravery of the great Rajput
rulers who laid down their life fighting a superior enemy instead of leading
a life of submission. The fort is located on a hill that dominates the modern
township of Chittor. It is a fine example of the Rajput style of architecture.
The fort of Chittor is believed to have been the capital of the Gahlot and Sisodia
kings who ruled Mewar from the eighth to the sixteenth century AD.The fort is
named after Chittrangad Mauraya. The Sisodia ruler Ajay Pal (AD 1174-1177) improved
the fort wall built by the Gahlot king in the ninth century AD
The fort has witnessed three ferocious sieges and each time her defenders, demonstrating
true Rajputana pride, fought valiantly against the enemies. The magnificent
fort rises 150 m above the surrounding region and runs to an approximate length
of 3 km covering an area of 60 acres and peripheral length of 13 km.
Fort - The Legacy of the Past
Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India.
The fort has been a witness to the splendour of a bygone era. 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. To enter the Mehrangarh
fort, seven gates have to be crossed.
Some of these gates still bear marks of many a siege that this fort has withstood.
Its very hard to imagine how any invader even thought of conquering this fort,
which at places has 17 feet thick and 68 feet high walls.
The Mehrangarh Fort encloses many palaces, which are known for their intricate
carvings and sprawling courtyards. Moti Mahal or the Pearl Palace has a delicately
carved stone screen and treasures the Sringar Chowki, royal throne of Jodhpur.
Umaid Villas displays the Rajput miniature paintings and Ajit Villas exhibits
musical instruments and the royal costumes. Both these villas are joined by
a beautiful mirror room.
Amber Fort in Rajasthan built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh, is one of the finest
examples of Rajput architecture. Perched high on a barren ridge, it commands
extensive views over a deep narrow valley and the wider plains beyond.
The building was finally completed in the early18th century when the threat
of Mughal domination was receding. Amber was once, the capital of the Mina tribes,
believed to be the original inhabitants of this region.
Located up on the hills that surround Jaipur, the fort, sprawled along the Maotha
Lake, boasts of a massive complex gateways, courts, stairways and pillared pavilions,
and palaces that recall the glory and wealth, of Amber's association with the
Mughals. This complex was built by Raja Man Singh, Mirza Raja Jai Singh and
Sawai Jai Singh, over a period of about two centuries.
The front courtyard of the complex, is adorned with the magnificent, pillared
hall of the Diwan - i - Am, and the two - tiered painted gateway Ganesh Pol.
The palace of mirrors, Sheesh Mahal, is of special interest. It has walls inlaid
with exquisite mirrors. The Jas Mandir, perched on the upper floor, is a superb
amalgam of Mughal and Rajput style of architecture, as is evident from the exquisitely
carved Jali screens, and fine mirror and stucco work.
Nahargarh or the Tiger fort is the first of the three forts built by the kings
of Jaipur. Built mainly in 1734 by Jai Singh II, it lies 6 km north west of
city Palace and provides some stunning views of Jaipur down below to the Man
Sagar Lake. The imposing fort harbors many legends and three kings have added
their stamp at different times to the structures within the fort. In the midst
of this lake, is a palatial duck blind, which was used for shooting parties
by the erstwhile royal family. A royal retreat for the Maharanis, it was also
used as a personal treasury for many years.
This 250 -year old marble Palace Hotel sits like a vision in Lake Pichola. The
interior public rooms are elegant. If you want regal surroundings, opt for a
suite; All other rooms have contemporary decor, Most rooms offer lake views,
though some have the views of the Lily Pond or the Courtyard. Don`t miss a ride
on Gangaur Boat, a wooden barge where you can take meals.
City Palace - Udaipur
As the hub of Udaipur the City Palace stands majestically on the hill guarded
by crenellated fort walls. A riot of arches, domes, turrets, crenellations and
chattris crown the steep fortress. In contrast to its rugged exterior, the inside
presents a delicate and feminine world of beauty with lavish use of marble,
mirror work, frescoes, wall paintings, a profusion of colored glass, fluted
columns, inlay work, silver doors, fountains and gardens.
A series of courtyards, jharokhas, chattris, terraces, corridors, stairways,
over planning pavilions and hanging gardens form an astonishing and harmonious
Prakash Palace, Chittaurgarh
Inside the historical Chittaurgarh Fort, one big portion of Fateh Prakash Palace
was converted into a museum in the year 1968.
It has a great collection of sculptures. Among the important ones are Ganpati
(8th-9th century) from Pangarh : lndra and lain Ambica statues from Rashmi village
of post medieval period.
Gajner Palace, Bikaner
Gajner Palace has often been described as 'an incomparable jewel in the Thar
desert'. Built by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner, the palace stands on the
embankment of the lake. The palace was used by the Maharaja for grand shoots
and lavish entertainment. Royalty, both Indians as well as international, Viceroys
and other dignitaries have been entertained at this grand palace. A beautiful
courtyard opens into a garden, scented with Jasmine and lush with bougainvillea
and where 14 rooms provide some of the accommodation. A walk into the grounds
beyond reveals tree gnarland with age, a honeymoon lodge perched on a hillock
amidst breathtaking tranquility. A grass tennis court and marble swimming pool
(now being renovated).
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Maharaja Umaid Singhji who built this palace was fascinated with western lifestyles
so he marshalled the services of a well-known Edwardian architect, Henry Vaughan
Lanchester, a creditable equal of Edward Lutyens (architect of New Delhi) to
construct a three hundred and forty seven roomed Umaid Palace. This was to become
India last of the great palaces and the biggest private residence in the world.
Spectacular Central Rotunda, the cupola rises to a hundred and five feet high;
the Throne Room with its exquisite Ramayana murals; an elegant wood-panelled
library, and even a private museum; an indoor swimming pool, a Billiards Room,
tennis courts and unique marble squash courts makes Umaid Bhawan Palace is unabashedly
the most magnificent.