5 Lesser Known Forts in India: Part I

5 Lesser Known Forts in India: Part I
The view of Bundi city from Taragarh fort in Rajasthan Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Demystifying history one fort at a time

Simrran Gill
June 13 , 2020
04 Min Read

India’s history is a long-drawn affair with shifts in dynasties and rulers. Apart from scriptures and books, architecture too is used to study the deep-seated stories of these kingdoms. One of the most easily accessible structures which showcase the past are the forts built across the country. Here are 5 forts in India that you can bookmark for the history lover in you:

Naggar Castle, Kullu
Terrace of the Naggar castle
Quaint villages, bustling touristy streets and crisp weather make for a perfect weekend getaway to the mountains near Delhi. However, when thinking of a fort in India, a mountain valley is not the first thing that comes to mind. but the Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh houses the magnificent Naggar Castle built in 1460 AD by Raja Sidh Singh. Overlooking the valley, the castle’s arched balcony exemplifies local Himalayan architecture styles. Not only can you visit the palace but you can also stay in it as it is a heritage hotel. The property also houses a museum showcasing the art, craft and culture of Himachal Pradesh.


Kangra Castle, Kangra
A view of the Dhauladhar range from the fort
Built by the royal Rajput fort of Kangra state, this is the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the oldest in India. It can easily be spotted on the highway from Kangra to Una. Spread on the Shivalik hillside, 20 kms away from Dharamsala, the fort is also said to have 21 treasure wells. Making for spectacular visual delight is the confluence of rivers Majhi and Banganga at its base. Standing the test of time and shifting rulers under different dynasties, the fort was heavily damaged in the 1905 earthquake, unlike the Naggar Castle.

Taragarh Fort, Ajmer
The fort in evening light
Rajasthan has been known for valour and victory all through history. When it comes to forts, battles and dynasties, many are based out of Rajasthan. Tarangarh Fort in Ajmer is no different and looks as if it is guarding the city. Located on steep hills, the fort has a sweeping, panoramic view of the city below. Another notable feature in the fort are the three massive water reservoirs, which have been carved out of the rocky base of the fort. It is also famous for its three gateways and its tunnels which criss-crossed across the entire hillside. However, now they are off limits for travellers. 

Fort of Prithvi Raj, Hisar
Standing as reminder of the bygone era, Prithvi Raj Ka Qila, as it is known colloquially, is now in ruins. Completely converted into a mound, it is a long-pillared structure with a flat roof. It is situated on top of the mound called Baradari, with three arches on each side where the open stairs lead to. Lime framework can be spotted on the roof bays with hemispherical domes. The red sandstone structure was also known for its underground chambers. 

Dhanidhar Fort, Rajouri

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Providing commanding views of the small town of Rajouri in Jammu, the Dhanidhar Fort is situated on a hillock. It is believed to be constructed by the Governor of Rajouri, Mian Hathu, in the mid-19th century. Apart from defence being the objective, the fort was also used to store food grains obtained under the revenue of the Dogra kingdom. The construction material used in the fort belonged to debris that came from the destruction of of the buildings of the Jaral Rajas. The fort now provides a breathtaking views of of the town of Rajouri. 


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