Ranthambore Fort is a historic fort in Ranthambore National Park (one of India’s most popular wildlife sanctuaries) which is situated near the city of Sawai Madhopur , in the west Indian state of Rajasthan .
The fort is part of a group of forts categorized as the “Hill Forts of Rajasthan” which has been officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ranthambore Fort was built by the Chauhan warriors (a clan of rulers who ruled in Rajasthan and Ranthambore region up to the 13th century AD) and was built in the reign of a Chauhan King, Sapaldaksha, in 944 CE. In the 13th century the Delhi Sultanate captured it. This fort has been under different rulers namely – Chauhans (also after the capture of Delhi Sultanate), Mewars, Hadas and Maharajas of Jaipur.
The Ranthambore national park has been the hunting grounds of the Maharajahs of Jaipur until the time of India's Independence from the British in 20th century. This Park and Fort have been a focal point of the historical developments in the state of Rajasthan.
Ranthambore fort is located on the top of a rocky outcrop, and lies in the midst of the dense forest. The fort provides a panoramic view of the surrounding Ranthambore National Park which is a popular tourist attraction.
There is a massive wall which protects the fort and there are a total of seven gates for entering and exiting it. The Fort spreads over an area of 7 km (4.3 miles) in circumference and includes an area of about 4 square kilometers (around 988 acres).
There were many other buildings within the Ranthambore fort, out of which only a few have survived the destructions caused by wars and time.
Among the ruins that remain today are:
Besides these the fort (currently) also has many cenotaphs, mosques, temples, barracks, step-wells and gates.
Ranthambore fort can be visited during the safaris of the Ranthambore National Park that are carried out for tourists between October to June.
Jaipur , the capital of Rajasthan state, is around 160 km (99.4 miles) from Ranthambore National Park and also has the nearest airport for bothe domestic and international travels.
Sawai Madhopur (city railway station) is the nearest train station located at a distance of 10 km away from Ranthambore fort and park, and is well connected to all major cities and towns in the surrounding regions in Rajasthan and other states in India.
The fort is open to visitors between 7AM and 10:30 AM and 2PM and 6:30 PM in the evening. There may be a difference of few minutes depending on weather conditions in the area.
Other nearby attractions in the area include:
Reflecting the glory and valor of the Chauhan dynasty, the Ranthambore Fort was constructed by the Chauhan rulers during the 10th century. The strategic location of the fort kept it safe from the invaders despite having witnessed many wars and battles. The fort is also known for the place where 'Jauhar' was performed by royal women when Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji tried to seize the fort and the royal queen.