Ranthambore Fort is located in the Ranthambore National Park situated near Sawai Madhopur. The place was used by the Maharajas of Jaipur for hunting which was stopped after independence. The fort has now been listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. Mostly Rajputs were the ruling clan but later it was ruled by Delhi Sultanate, Mughals, Marathas, and the British.
Sawai Madhopur is a district located in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The city is popular for the Ranthambore National Park, Trinetra Ganesh Temple and guavas. The city was planned and built by Sawai Madho Singh on 19th January 1763. The day is now celebrated as the foundation day of the city.
Ranthambore Fort is opened for the public from 6:00am to 6:00pm and it takes around two to three hours to visit the fort. The fort is opened on all the days of the week and also on government holidays. Besides this, tourists can also visit the national park within which the fort is situated. The park is closed from the month of July to September.
There is no entry fees to visit the fort and tourists can enter the fort any time during the visiting hours without paying any charges. But as the fort is situated in the national park, tourists have to pay charges. The tourists can hire a gypsy or a canter. For Indians, the charges for hiring a canter is Rs. 510 per person and for gypsy it is 750 per person. For foreigners, the charges for hiring a canter is Rs. 1250 per person and for gypsy it is Rs. 1350 per person.
Best time to visit the fort is during the period from October to March. In these months, climate is very pleasant and tourists can visit the area comfortably. The months of April and May are hot and are not suitable to visit the fort. From the month of July to September the park is closed and nobody could enter the park. So fort also cannot be visited as it is situated inside the park.
There are more than 100 hotels in Sawai Madhopur where tourists can stay. These hotels range from inexpensive hotels to expensive five-star hotels. Some of the hotels of the city are as follows −
The Tigress located at Khilchipur
Dev Vilas located at Khilchipur
Hotel Sanctuary resort located at Ranthambore Road
Treehouse Anuraga located at Housing Board Road
Khem Vilas located at Sherpur
The Oberoi Vanyavilas located at Ranthambore Road
Hotel Juna Mahal located at Ranthambore Road
The Rajbagh Resort located at Sherpur
Sultanbagh located at Ranthambore Road
Abrar Palace Wildlife Resort located at Ranthambore Road
Ranthambore Paradise located at Ranthambore Road
Ranthambore Heritage Haveli located at Ranthambore Road
Jungle Retreat located at Ranthambore Road
Tiger Moon resort located at Sherpur
Rick Vanraj Palace located at Ranthambore Road
Hotel Siddi Vinayak located at Ranthambore Road
Budget or Two-Star Hotels
Hotel Ranthambore Palace located at Ranthambore Road
Hotel Royal Den located at Ranthambore Road
Hotel Ranthambore Vilas located at Ranthambore Road
Hotel Green Valley located at Ranthambore Road
Hotel Rajputana Heritage located at Ranthambore Road
Hotel Ranthambore Bagh located at Ranthambore Road
Vrindavan Palace located at Ranthambore Road
Hotel Ridhi Sidhi Resort located at Ranthambore Road
Hotel Dev Palace located at Ranthambore Road
The Farm Villa located at Ranthambore Road
Ranthambore Fort was built by Sapaldaksha of Chauhan dynasty. He was the first who put the foundation of the fort and the kings who succeeded him added more structures to the fort. Previously the name of the fort was Ranastambha or Ranastambhpura.
During the reign of Prithviraj Chauhan I, the fort was related to Jains. Prithviraj Chauhan III was defeated by Muhammad Ghori in 1192CE so his son Govindraja IV accepted the sovereignty of the Ghurid dynasty and ruled the kingdom.
Iltumish was the king of slave dynasty who captured the fort in 1226. After his death, Chauhans again captured it. The fort was unsuccessfully besieged by Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud in 1248 and 1253 but in 1259 Jaitra Singh Chauhan was defeated and the fort came under the rule of Delhi Sultanate. Shakti Dev again captured the fort in 1283. Then Jalal-ud-Din Khilji and after that Alauiddin Khilji unsuccessfully besieged the fort. But in 1301, Alauddin Khilji captured the fort.
Rana Hammir Singh ruled Ranthambore from 1326 to 1364 and Rana Kumbha from 1433 to 1468. Rana Udai Singh succeeded Rana Kumbha and ruled from 1468 to 1473. After this Hada Rajputs ruled the fort and then the fort was captured by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat who owned the fort from 1532 to 1535.
Akbar, the Mughal Emperor, captured the fort in 1558 and the fort was under Mughals till mid-18th century. After that Marathas tried to capture the fort so Sawai Madho Singh requested the Mughal Emperor of his time to give him Ranthambore. In 1763, Sawai Madho Singh built a fortified city and named it Sawai Madhopur.
During the British period, there was a rise in the population of the city in early 20th century which was a threat to the forests. So the Jaipur Forest Act was made in 1939 which prohibited the cutting of trees, animal grazing and hunting. But the law could not come into force. In 1953, the area was preserved due to Rajasthan Forest Act.
In 1955, the area that was conserved came to be known as Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary. In 1973, the area came under Project Tiger which fully prohibited hunting. In 1982, a large area measuring about 282km2 was declared as National Park and the forest areas came to be known as Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary.
Ranthambore fort is one of the most visited forts in Rajasthan as it is situated in the Ranthambore National Park. There is a big and massive wall which protects the fort while seven gates are there for entering and exiting the fort. There are many other structures which can be visited by the tourists.
Hammir Kachaheri was built by Hammir Singh and it faces Delhi gate. The kachaheri is built on a raised platform. The structure has a central chamber that measures 19.50m x 11.90m. There are two more chambers, one on each side of the central chamber. The pillars in the central chamber support the ceiling and are arranged in two rows.
These pillars divide the chamber into 15 sections. Toranas are located in front of the chamber and is supported by double row of columns. The structure was built with rubble stones which are attached to each other through lime mortar.
Hammir Palace was constructed by Hammir Singh. The eastern wing of the palace has three storeys while the rest of the sides are single storeyed. There are many chambers in the ground floor connected by small doors to each other.
The verandah of the chambers is common whose ceiling is supported by plain pillars. Balconies were constructed on the eastern façade. Stone rubble attached with lime and plastered with lime mortar is used to construct the palace.
Battis Khamba Chhatri is a three storey building whose top terrace is square shaped that measures 12.5m x x12.5m. The roof of the building rests on 32 pillars or battis khamba and that’s the reason the building was named so. The pillars are arranged in two rows where the outer side has six and inner has four pillars.
The upper part of the pillar is octagonal in shape while the lower one is square-shaped. There is a verandah in which the center of the ceiling has a big dome which is surrounded by three small domes. Rest of the ceiling is flat.
There are seven gates in the fort which are used to enter and exit the fort. These gates are as follows −
Navlakha Pol − The width of the gate is 3.20m and it faces east. The gate is built with ashlar masonry and an inscription on a copper plate is fixed on the gate. The inscription tells that the door in the gate were built by Sawai Jagat Singh of Jaipur.
Hathi Pol − Hathi Pol is 3.20m wide and faces southeast. On one side it has fort wall while natural rock is there on the other side. A guard room in a rectangle shape can be found over the gate.
Ganesh Pol − Ganesh Pol faces south and has the width of 3.10m. The brackets in the gate support the beam. Rock is attached to the eastern side of the gate.
Andheri Pol − Andheri Pol faces north and has the width of 3.30m. Walls of the fort are on both side of the gate. The gate also has balconies on all sides.
Delhi Pol − Delhi Pol has the width of 4.7m and it faces northwest. The gate has an arch and many guard cells.
Satpol − Satpol faces south and is 4.7m wide. The guard cells in the fort is of two storeys and there are balconies on both sides of the gate. Brick masonry is used to make the battlements on the top.
Suraj Pol − Suraj Pol faces east and is the smallest gateway. The width of the gate is 2.10m.
Ganesh temple of the fort is popular because people write letters to Lord Ganesh which is posted daily by a local postman. That’s the treason the temple is very popular among the devotees.
Badal Mahal has a big hall which has 84 columns. The palace has been ruined but still walls can be seen whose height is 61m. The big hall was used by Hammir Singh for holding meetings and conferences.
Sawai Madhopur does not have airport but it is well-connected via rail and road to various cities. Sawai Madhopur falls in the Delhi-Mumbai route through railways and many trains have stoppage here.
The distance of some of the cities from Sawai Madhopur is as follows
Sawai Madhopur to Delhi
By rail – 350km
By road – 376km
Sawai Madhopur to Agra
By rail – 210km to 270km (depends on route taken by train)
By road – 287km
Sawai Madhopur to Jaipur
By rail – 124km
By road – 165km
Sawai Madhopur to Kota
By rail – 108km
By road – 134km
Sawai Madhopur to Ratlam
By rail – 375km
By road – 498km
Sawai Madhopur to Mumbai
By rail – 1017km
By road – 1153km
Sawai Madhopur to Ajmer
By rail – 258km
By road – 277km
Sawai Madhopur to Jodhpur
By rail – 442km
By road – 446km
Sawai Madhopur to Bikaner
By rail – 510km
By road – 494km
Sawai Madhopur doesn’t have airport but the nearest airport is Sanganer in Jaipur. Tourists can come to Jaipur through flight and take a train, bus, or car to reach Sawai Madhopur. It takes around two hours by train and three hours by bus to reach the city.
Sawai Madhopur is located on the Delhi-Mumbai route. Jaipur is also directly connected to Sawai Madhopur and many long and short distance trains from Jaipur and Delhi go via the city. No trains start from the city but the trains that stops here include Rajdhani, Janshatabdi, superfast and fast mails and express and passenger trains.
Sawai Madhopur does not have bus stand but the nearby bus stand are Tonk which is 60km away and Nagar which is 39km away. The best way to go to Sawai Madhopur by road is hire a taxi.
If the tourists want to get around Sawai Madhopur, they can take auto rickshaws, taxis or local buses. To go to the park in Ranthambore, they can take a canter or jeep. Before hiring an auto rickshaw, the tourists have to properly deal with them regarding the cost to reach their destination.
There are many places nearby Ranthambore Fort which the tourists can visit. Some of them are as follows −
Surwal Lake is a place in the park nearby the fort where people can watch birds catching fishes. Since the lake dries in summer due to its shallowness, it is better to visit it in monsoon or winter. Morning time is better as a large number of birds can be seen.
Kachida Valley is nearby the park where tourists can find panthers, bears, deers and other animals. The hills nearby also add beauty to the place. Due to its beauty from the presence of hills and the animals found, the valley is one of the best place to visit.
Padam Lake is the largest lake of the park where wild animals come to drink water as it is the main source. In the early morning, many animals can be seen drinking water from the lake. The lake is called Padam which means flowers because water lilies grow here which make the place beautiful.
Jogi Mahal is situated nearby Padam lake. Previously, it was used as a rest house but now accommodation has been restricted. There is a banyan tree nearby the mahal which is very tall and is considered as one of the largest banyan trees in India.