From a country that was divided into hundreds of kingdoms to the largest democracy in the world, India has a rich history spanning thousands of years. Forts have always been an integral part of India to protect the country from external enemy forces. India boasts of some exquisite forts that have served their purpose for years together and still stand strong. These architectural marvels have become must-visit destinations for any visitor to India. 

Top Forts of India

1) Mehrangarh Fort

One of the most massive forts in India, this fort was built way back in 1460 by Rao Jodha and is constructed over the hill next to Jodhpur and towers over the city. From the top of this fort, you can see the entire city and even beyond. This massive fort has thick, imposing walls and boasts of some excellent palaces and courtyards. You can also explore the museum in the fort and marvel at the old royal palanquins and other items from the time of the Rathores.

Mehrangarh Fort CC by 3.0 / Jmacleantaylor

Best time to visit
Summers are hot, but winters are pleasant in Jodhpur which makes October to March the best time to visit this city.
Where to Stay
Getting There

2) Red Fort

 

Located in the capital, Delhi, this fort is entirely made from red sandstone and served as the primary residence of the Mughal emperors for nearly 200 years. You can find numerous museums here while exploring its vast area.

The Red Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in 1639 and even today, every Independence Day, the tricolour flag is flown by the Prime Minister of India here. You can actually get an idea of the royal lives of the Mughal kings by seeing the various structures inside like Diwan-i-Khas and Hammam.

Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Delhi is during the winter months between October and March when the temperature takes a dip.
Where to Stay
How to Reach

3) Jaisalmer Fort

This giant fort towering over the city of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is one of the only few living forts in the world. You can still find one-fourth of the city’s population still living inside the walls of this fort which was indeed the city of Jaisalmer itself in the past. This 800-year-old fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the oldest in the country. The entire fort is made of yellow sandstone as a defence tactic to become camouflaged in the desert during the day.

Jaisalmer Fort View from Jaisalmer Fort / CC by 3.0 / Daniel Villafruela

Best Time to Visit
November to March is the best time to visit the city during the winter season to escape the desert heat.
Where to Stay
How to Reach
Jaisalmer is well connected to main cities in India by road and rail network. The nearest airport is Jodhpur, which is 300 km away.

4) Lohagad Fort

Lohagad Fort CC by 2.0 / vivek Joshi

Built at an elevation of 1000 meters above sea level, this fort near the hill station of Lonavala in Maharashtra is one of the many hill forts in the state. This age-old fort can be reached by an arduous trek, and this is what made it nearly undefeatable. From the top of the Lohagad Fort, you can see valleys on all the sides, and this gave the occupants a great vantage point. It is one of the best trekking routes in the state, and you can see clouds descend here every monsoon.

Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Lohagad Fort is June to February in monsoon and winter.
Where to Stay
How to Reach
You can reach Lonavala by road and rail from Mumbai or Pune. Both these cities have international airports.

Flights to Lonavala

Flights to Pune

5) Golkonda Fort

Located in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, this fort was built by Kakatiya dynasty and is built on a hill from where you can get panoramic views of the city. The vast area of the fort has enormous battlements which are still intact. Today, however, you can only find the ruins of this magnificent fort which fell after withstanding an eight-year-long siege.

To really appreciate the architectural prowess of the engineers, you can go to the Fateh Darwaza and clap your hands below a point in the dome. This clap can be clearly heard at the highest point of the fort. This was used as a warning measure during attacks.

 

Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit Hyderabad is between November and February.
Where to Stay
Getting There
Take a flight to Hyderabad and make your way to the fort from there

6. Amber Fort (Amer Fort)

 

This is one of the most iconic forts of India. Overlooking a serene lake in the town of Amer in Rajasthan, the Amer Fort is built on a hill and is a popular tourist attraction in Jaipur. Constructed of red sandstone and marble, you can find many Hindu style elements inside this fort. The fort is also a palace, and you can stroll in the vast courtyards here or experience unmatched opulence in the Diwan-i-Khas. You could also visit the intriguing Sheesh Mahal which is made entirely from mirrors inside the palace.

Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Jaipur is between November and February during winter.
Where to Stay
You can stay like a king in Taj Jai Mahal Palace.

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Hotels Near Amber Fort

Getting There

7. Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Fort Gwalior Fort / CC by 4.0 / Anuppyr007

Gwalior Fort is one of the oldest forts in India and is said to date back to 6th century. Built by the Hindu kings of the country, this fort boasts of two palaces – Gujari Mahal and Man Mandir. You can explore the Gujari Mahal, which is a museum now and see some of the ancient artefacts from those times. You can also find the second oldest record of ‘zero’, which is believed to be more than 1500 years old, in this fort.

Gujari Mahal  Gujari Mahal / CC by 4.0 / Nitin Pandey

Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit is between the months of July and February when the temperatures are cool.
Where to Stay
Getting There

 

Apart from these, India has hundreds of forts that can be explored to dive into the rich past of this nation. It’s time to get lost in the ruins and be awed by the magnificent constructions of the past!