Ranthambore Fort, Entry Timings, Fees (Ticket), History, Guide, Traveller Tips, Interesting Facts, Attractions, How to Reach Ranthambore Fort, Best time to Visit Ranthambore Fort.
About Ranthambore Fort
Ranthambore Fort in Sawai Madhopur is one of the most popular forts in Rajasthan. Recently it has been inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site under the category “Hill Forts of Rajasthan.” Ranthambore Fort dates back to 944 A.D when it was built by the Chauhan warriors. This fort is located on the top of a rocky outcrop. It is in the midst of the forest. This fort is not only popular for its historical significance.
The religious significance of the fort is also a great attraction for devotees. The presence of a number of temples and mosques in the Ranthambore Fort in Sawai Madhopur India attracts a large number of devotees as well. Along with various temples and lakes, Ranthambore fort is one of the top things to do for tourists and visitors who come to enjoy the wildlife at Ranthambore National Park.
The 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.
The beautiful ruins of the fort have an aesthetic appeal that can attract the vision and minds of all the people who lay their eyes on the masterpiece. The fort is considered an epitome of power due to its history of defending the Rajput Empire against the attacks of foreign invaders. The fort is now a tourist attraction and appeals too many historians and many common people who wish to seek more knowledge and experience the architecture and history of the place.
Ranthambhore name came from the two hills, Rann and Thambor which are in close proximately of each other. Fort lies on an isolated the Thambhore hill and 481 metres (1578 ft.) above sea level and Rann is adjoining the hill of Thambhore which covers some breathtaking views and the entire top of a hill at the heart of the Park. It has become part of the UNESCO’s World heritage Site under hill forest series of Rajasthan.
The Ranthambhore fort is believed to have been built during the 8th century by the Chauhans ruler, though the exact ruler during whose reign the fort was initiated is difficult to name. Ranthambhore came into existence after Prithvi Raj Chouhan who was last Hindu king of Delhi,Prithvi Raj Chouhan’s descendents came to Ranthambhore and made this place their capital, but the actual fame of Ranthambore came when most known ruler of this period Raja Hammir Dev was crowned in 1283 A.D.The fort was attacked by a number of big powers at different point of time in history.Prominent among these were Qutub-ud-din (1209), Allaudin Khilji (1301), Feroz Tughlaq (1325) and Bahadur Shah of Gujarat (1530).Finally, the fort was captured by the Mughals who earlier used it as a staying place and then later as a prison fortress.In the 19th century, the fort was given back to the Maharaja of Jaipur and it remained with them till the time India gained independence in the year 1947.
The Ranthambore Fort spreads over an area of 7 kilometers in circumference and includes an area of nearly 4 square kilometers. The fort had many buildings inside of which only a few have survived the ravages of wars and time. Among the remaining ruins, the two pavilions, Badal Mahal , Dullah Mahal, 32 Pillared Chhatri and Hammirs court give an idea of the old grandeur.The Fort also has many cenotaphs, mosques,temples, barracks, step-well and gates. All around the fort you can see many old ruins with remnant of walls are mute testimony of past.For water supply there are two rain fed reservoirs in the fort. The fort is surrounded by massive stonewalls which are strengthened by towers and bastions. The entire stone for masonry work has been mined from fort area itself and the mines were later turned into ponds for water storage.
The Ganesha Temple is major attraction of the fort, Thousands of people come here from every corner of the country,and seek blessings from the Lord for happiness and prosperity. A good day to visit the fort is Wednesday, the day of the Lord Ganesh, when a lot of local people visit the Ganesh temple.One interesting aspect is the mail that is sent to Lord Ganesha consisting mainly of wedding invitations. These letters are delivered daily by the local postman. The Fort is good place for bird watching. There are large numbers of birds, Langurs, the odd small cat and elusive Fishing cat use the area.
The oldest settlement in the area near Sawai Madhopur was around the Ranthambhore fort. The exact origin of the Ranthambore fort is still disputed but it is generally accepted that there was a settlement at the site of the Fort, as far back as the 8th century A.D. It is widely believed that the construction of the Ranthambhore Fort was started during the reign of the Chauhan rajput King Sapaldaksha in 944 AD. Another theory stipulates that King Jayant, also a Chauhan rajput, built the Ranthambore Fort during 1110 AD. It is most likely that the construction of the fort commenced during the mid 10th Century A.D. and continued for a few centuries after that.
Since, the Ranthambhore Fort controlled the trade routes between North India and Central India, it was highly coveted by the rulers of North India. The Ranthambore Fort had its golden moments during the reign of the king Rao Hammir, the last ruler of the Chauhan dynasty (1282 – 1301 AD). During 1300 AD, Ala-ud-din Khilji, the ruler of Delhi sent his army to capture the Fort. After three unsuccessful attempts, his army finally conquered the Ranthambhore Fort in 1301 and ended the reign of the Chauhans. In the next three centuries the Ranthambore Fort changed hands a number of times, till Akbar, the great Mughal emperor, finally took over the Fort and dissolved the State of Ranthambore in 1558. The fort stayed in the possession of the Mughal rulers till the mid 18th century.
During the mid 18th century, the Maratha rulers of Western India were gradually increasing their influence in this region. In order to check the growing influence of the Marathas, Sawai Madho Singh, the ruler of Jaipur state, unsuccessfully, requested the Mughal emperor to hand over the Ranthambhore fort to him. In 1763, Sawai Madho Singh fortified the nearby village of Sherpur and renamed it Sawai Madhopur. This town, which is now commonly known as the “Sawai Madhopur City”, lies in a narrow valley between two parallel hills, at the South Western edge of the Ranthambhore National Park. Two years later, the Mughals handed over the fort to the Jaipur state.
During the end of the British Raj, Sawai Man Singh, the last ruler of Jaipur state, got a railway link constructed between Jaipur and Sawai Madhopur. A railway station was built about 4 kilometers away from the Sawai Madhopur town. Gradually, a small settlement came up around the railway station. This twin of Sawai Madhopur, known as “Man Town”, has now outgrown the older “City”.
Pols – Very typical of Rajasthan architecture, the Ranthambore Fort also has several pols or gates. The Hathi Pol (elephant gate), Bada Darwaza (big gate), Mor Dwara (peacock gate) Ganesh Pol (hindu elephant god gate), Suraj Pol (sun gate) and Navlakha Pol (the nine lakh gate) deserve a special mention.
Ganesh Mandir – This is a rather prominent and revered temple in the Ranthambore fort area. Located at the main gate of the fort, many devotees flock here in order to invite Lord Ganesha for auspicious occasions like weddings, births and more.
Hammir Court – The Hammir court is an open court area that was designed for special acoustics. Even today, a low whisper echos in the entire area and can be heard in every part of the court.
Badal Mahal – Located in the northern section of the fort, the Badal Mahal is a palace that seems to be built in the clouds. There is a huge 84 column hall here where Hammir Singh is said to have held his conferences and meetings. Despite being in ruins, the 61 meter high walls of the palace still stand tall.
Gupt Ganga – This is a very interesting water source in the middle of the arid dessert. One of the four water sources in the fort, this water body does not run dry even in the summers. Several animals can be spotted here and if you are lucky you may even get to see a leopard.
Bhamattis Kba Chattri – This is a dome supported by 32 pillars. even though it is dilapidated now, you can still see glimpses of its regal past via the carvings and murals.
- Although nobody has been able to trace back exactly when Ranthambore Fort was built, it is believed to have been constructed in the 8th century by the Chauhan Kings of Rajasthan.
- The descendants of the legendary Prithviraj Chauhan are said to have moved to Ranthambore Fort and declared it as their capital.
- Ranthambore Fort gained its popularity in the year 1238 AD when the coronation of Raja Hamir Dev took place.
- The Fort has been attacked numerous times in various significant periods of history, including attacks issued by Alauddin Khilji, Qutub-Ud-Din, Feroz Tughlaq, and Gujarat’s Bahadur Shah.
- Later on, it was captured in finality by the Mughal sovereigns of India as a residential palace, and in the following years as a prison. It was later handed over to the Maharaja of Jaipur, and remained under his reign towards the end of the British Rule in India in the year 1947.
- Many of the parts of the vast Ranthambore Fort have been vanquished by the effects of war and battle, but most of the buildings continue to stand tall.
- There is a Ganesha Temple within the fort, which has attracted tourists from all over the country to pay their respects in order to seek blessings of good fortune from the revered Hindu God.
Things to Do/See
- The ruins of Ranthambore Fort include palaces like Dullah Mahal, Hammir Court, 32 Pillared Chhattri, along with various memorials, war monuments, temples, mosques, step-wells, barracks, gateways etc.
- Bird watching is a popular activity at Ranthambore Fort, and one can also get a great view of the vast national park.
- Water storage ponds of Ranthambore Fort have been designed in a traditional fashion that most Rajasthani forts include, and it is quite an intriguing project.
- Visiting the Ganesha temple is not only loved by devotees but also tourists who can see the architecture of the temple as well as that of the fortress.
- There are various battlements and strong walls built around the Ranthambore Fort, which is a major attraction for visitors as it gives an insight into how well-made the protections installed by the kings of Rajasthan are.
- There are various gateways in the fort, known as ‘pol’, and they are Navlakha Pol, Hathia Pol, Ganesh Pol, Andheri Pol, Delhi Pol, Sat Pol, Suraj Pol, each with different dimensions of their own and presenting variations of architecture displayed in every gateway.
- As a massive fort within an even more hugely established national park, Ranthambore Fort stands out as a great example of splendid fortifications that will lead any visitor towards it without effort.
- Wearing comfortable clothes and shoes is important in case the tour of Ranthambore Fort is included with the tour of Ranthambore National Park.
- Based on the season you visit, wearing layers and warm clothes during the steep winters is significant and since the summers get too hot, cooler clothes should be worn accordingly.
- Carrying a bottle of water is recommended since a good amount of time is spent within the national park and the fort.
- Photography is permitted so it is recommended to carry a camera along to get great pictures of the fort and the picturesque location surrounding it.
- The park is closed for visitors from July to September, and should be visited during the rest of the months.
- Safari timings differ during every month and can be checked through the website depending on when you wish to visit the Ranthambore National Park.
- Opening/Closing Timings and Days
- The fort can be visited during the safaris of the National Park that occurs only between October to June. The timings are in between 7AM to 10:30 AM or 6:30AM to 10AM in the morning and in between 2PM and 6:30 in the evening, during different months.
Guides are available as per requirement.
Timings – 6.00 AM to 6.00 PM
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Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Ranthambore fort is between the months of October and February before the scorching heat of the desert kicks in.
How to Reach
Sanganer Airport is the nearest airport and is located at Jaipur. The distance from Jaipur to Ranthambore is about 180 km. Regular flights are available for Jaipur from all major cities of India so tourists can land at this place smoothly. Tourists from Sanganer Airport can take taxi or bus to reach the place comfortably. The charges of the bus are affordable in range.
Sawai Madhopur is the nearest railway station located at a distance of 10 km. The Sawai Madhopur railway station is well connected from all major cities and towns so tourists can take train from anywhere to reach the place smoothly. From outside railway station the tourists can take local bus, taxi or cab to reach the RNP smoothly.
Ranthambore is well connected from all major cities and towns through the state bus service so that the people can easily take bus from the nearby residents to reach the place comfortably. Apart from the state bus service, tourists also have a choice to take the buses of local, luxury and private operators. All these buses help tourists to visit the place comfortably. Jaipur (157km), Delhi (417km), Ahmedabad (657km) Ajmer (274km) and Jodhpur (450km) can be travelled to via road from Ranthambore. Availability of State owned and private buses solves the purpose of how to reach Ranthambore. However the road conditions from the Agra/Bharatpur side are very bad. The road from Tonk is in decent condition.