Madhya Pradesh is one of the best tourist destinations in the country. It is the junction of tourist interests and manages to gratify travellers of all types, be it nature enthusiasts, adventure enthusiasts, history fanatics, or anything else. But the major highlight of the state is its mesmerizing forts.
It is a well-known fact that several rulers reigned the region for years and built magnificent structures for various purposes. Hence, the state is full of forts, which not only gives us insights into the kingdom of that era but also are the finest representations of Indian architecture.
The list of beautiful destinations in Madhya Pradesh is endless and includes a reign of its charm. From ancient monuments, explorations, forests to hill stations, many places are to be explored. Still, the historical and cultural legacy of the state is very well conserved and depicted in the spectacular forts and palaces.
A tour to Madhya Pradesh cannot be considered a perfect one without exploring some of the most popular forts in India, which are located there. Out of the many temptations, the forts and palaces in Madhya Pradesh are simply overwhelming. Since there are numerous forts and palaces in Madhya Pradesh, we are going to talk about some major ones.
1. Gwalior Fort
Gwalior Fort is the most prominent fort and attracts a lot of tourists. Situated near Gwalior Hill, the history of this fort delineates us back to the 6th century, the deliberations of which can be seen in various artefacts and inscriptions that the place offers.
The fort has glimpsed the rise and the fall of different dynasties and rulers. It is contemplated to be one of the most historically substantial forts in Madhya Pradesh, the architecture of the fort is exceptionally gorgeous, carrying ornaments in the form of complicated carvings.
2. Orchha Fort
Surely, the most popular destination in Orchha, the Orchha Fort is settled on the river Betwa. It comprises three main buildings, namely Raj Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal. The fort holds hidden aisles, steep, spiralling stairs, and multiple mural paintings of the several avatars of god Vishnu.
3. Datia Fort
Settled at a distance of about 80 km from the main city of Gwalior, Datia Palace, differently known as Bir Singh Dev Palace, showcases a wonderful architectural intersection of the Rajput and Mughal styles.
The palace has carried remarkable exaggerations in the forms of fine carvings, affluent paintings, and elegant arches. The most intriguing part about the palace is that it has no assistance for wood or any kind of metal, and yet stands as huge as ever.
Though beautifully erected, the palace was never resided by anyone, except for short visits.
4. Chanderi Fort
Chanderi Fort, settled on the top of a hill near the Betwa river, can also be found even in the epic of Mahabharata when the area was used to rule by King Shishupal.
Perching the borders of Malwa and Bundelkhand, the fort sits amidst lush forests and soothing lakes, and several neighbouring monuments courting towards the Rajputs and Sultans.
5. Ajaigarh Fort
Snuggled on the top of a wooded hill amidst the Vindhya Ranges in Panna district, the ancient Ajaigarh Fort dwells two incredible temples within, guarded by five gates, out of which only two remain.
The northern gate harbours two rock-hewn tanks called Ganga and Yamuna. The fort perches beautifully carved sculptures and inscriptions which reveal miraculous secrets that have evolved right before them.
To add to the charm of the fort, you can also sight a few ruined Jain temples corresponding to those in Khajuraho.
6. Bandhavgarh Fort
The forested bliss of Bandhavgarh veils various secrets of the bygone ages within its edges. The mesmerizing sandstone fort of Bandhavgarh finds mention in the enormous epic of Ramayana.
It is believed to have been called God Rama's temporary shelter when he was touring home after defeating Ravana. The walls of the fort are illuminated with several idols of God Vishnu in his Dashavatar form.
7. Madan Mahal
Fort Perched on a top of a rocky hill, the Madan Mahal Fort dates back to the age of Gond emperor Madan Singh, who founded the palace.
It carries beautiful reverberations of the 10th century AD, along with memorials of the Gond Queen Durgavati. Garha Fort was the residence of the royal family.
8. Raisen Fort
A remarkable architectural structure crafted from sandstone, and perched on the top of a lofty hill, the Raisen Fort in Bhopal enables a huge reservoir along with a few temples. It is one of the most famous forts in Madhya Pradesh, guarded by nine gateways.
9. Deogarh Fort
The beautiful fort of Deogarh was built in the year 1670 by Rawat Dwarkadas of the Sisodia dynasty and sits atop a hill in the Chhindwara district. The architectural splendidness along with exceptional mural art and carvings of the fort tempts flocks of history contributors and devotees into its domain.
The building exudes a raw history and culture of the bygone era is enough to amaze visitors. The neighbouring land of the fort is marked by a handful of wells and tanks built in the 17th century.
10. Hinglajgarh Fort
This fort is named after the Goddess Hinglaj Devi of the Kshatriyas. The Hinglajgarh Fort is situated near Navali village and is one of the lesser-known places in Madhya Pradesh.
Though the fort has witnessed various rules, its glory peaked during the domination of the Paramara dynasty.
11. Dhar Fort
Seated within the lush bounds of the Malwa region, the origin of Dhar Fort can be traced back to the 14th century AD, the reign of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, the then Sultan of Delhi.
Crafted dexterously from black stone, red stone, and solid mural, the fort is equipped with buildings including Kharbuja Mahal and Sheesh Mahal, featuring remarkable architecture.
A palace museum within the area guards and displays several vestiges and artefacts from the medieval era. One of the most fascinating places in Madhya Pradesh, Dhar is an unmissable destination for all. You should go once.
12. Mandu Fort
The biggest of all forts in Madhya Pradesh, Mandu Fort spans 82 km and fosters wrecked places, canals, and baths within its edges. Courting back to the 10th century, the fort was founded by Raja Bhoj and later fell under the regime of Muslim rulers in 1304.
It features countless complicated carvings and inscriptions that recite wonderful stories from ancient times, capturing the senses. Mandu Fort dominates every other monument in the state and is a must-see for patrons of history and religion.
The fort gives visitors a tantalizing taste of the rich history and culture of its forgotten ages and has become one of the famous tourist places of Mandu.
13. Maheshwar Fort
Fortress of the great Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of the Maratha Dynasty, Ahilya Fort graces the ghats of Maheshwar, overlooking the ribboning Narmada river.
The structure features a spacious terrace that offers stunning panoramas of the magnificent beauty and the river Narmada.
14. Asirgarh Fort
Spread over the great Satpura Ranges, Asirgarh Fort, formerly known as Asa Hir Garh, was established by the Ahir ruler Asa Ahir and is one of the finest Madhya Pradesh forts. It also houses magnificent worship places including a mosque, a temple, and a gurdwara.
Every part of the fort belongs to a different era, and they come together to intertwine astonishing stories. The faded beauty of the fort still manages to amuse visitors by teleporting them to various ages.
15. Ater Fort
Situated in Ater, the Ater Fort is one of the most shadowed forts in Madhya Pradesh and was built by two separate rulers. The construction was initiated by the Bhadauria king Badan Singh in 1644 and completed by Mansingh in 1668.
It is an architectural marvel, and the nuances in architectural styles are beautifully portrayed. A seven-storied residential building with massive balconies and a spacious terrace can be seen within the fort.
16. Bajrang Garh Fort
Amongst the most shades of Madhya Pradesh forts, the Bajrang Garh Fort forms the heart of its home village. Also known as Jharkon, the fort stands as a symbol of victory and strength of the Marathas.
It is home to four historic buildings, namely Bajrang Mandir, Ram Mandir, Moti Mahal, and Rang Mahal, along with a ragged temple. The glory of these monuments has faded over time, however, their decrepit walls narrate a captivating story to those who come seeking enlightenment answers.
17. Ginnorgarh Fort
Seated about 60 km away from Bhopal, the Ginnorgarh Fort is one of the lesser-known forts in Madhya Pradesh. Reigning atop 1,127 meters on a beautiful hill, the fort is frequented more like a picnic spot more than as a historical monument.
Built by the ruler of the Gond dynasty, the fort was passed on to Dost Mohammad, who ruled over the city of Bhopal for a short period. The path to the fort cuts through dense forests and winding steps, adding thrill to the happening.
18. Chauragarh Fort
Chauragarh Fort is carried by the dense forests of the Satpura Range and sits 250 km away from Jabalpur. Founded by the Gond King Sangram Shah in the 16th century, the fort holds vows of fascinating adventures and secrets.
An embodiment of the history and culture of Jabalpur, the fort, owing to the exquisite natural beauty that it is used in. The lovely Chauragarh Temple doubles the appeal of the fort, persuading more and more adventurers and history enthusiasts every year.
It is also one of the most novel Madhya Pradesh forts and makes for a perfect day trek.
19. Jahangir Palace Orchha
One of the most dominating structures in the Orchha fort complex is the Jahangir Mahal built by Bir Singh Deo in the 16th century. You will be mesmerised by the view and architecture it has.
Mythology has it that it was constructed to welcome the Mughal emperor Jahangir, who happened to be Maharaja's close friend and guest for one day. The rooftop of the palace offers scenic views of River Betwa.
20. Jhansi Fort
It was built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo of Orchha, 1613 Jhansi fort rests atop a hill called Bhangra, in the town of Jhansi. Encircled by many gates, this enormous fort is living evidence of the royal bravery and grandeur.
It preserves a fine collection of antique sculptures that provides a definitive glimpse of the history of the Bundelkhand region. The main fort area also encloses Karak Bijli Top, Rani Jhansi Garden, Shiv temple, and a "Mazar''.
21. Narwar Fort
The Narwar Fort, located just east of the river Kali Sindh, is a remnant of the resplendent past of India. 42 km outside of Shivpuri, the fort is a magnificent reminder of the royal boundaries and the nearly constant wars for territory expansions.
The town is of historical significance and was known as Nalapura till the 12th century.
22. Gohad Fort
It lies outside the city on several day excursions. It is located 45km north-east of Gwalior on the route to Bhind. The Jat rulers of Gohad were awarded the title of Rana.
The Rana Jat ruler Singhandev II founded Gohad fort and the Gohad state in 1505. It had the same style of architecture as used by the Jat rulers in Bharatpur Fort.
So here comes the end of our list of 22 amazing forts of Madhya Pradesh that will be a delight to its tourists. The rich cultural and historical story of Madhya Pradesh reveals in the form of its massive forts.
Ceased in time, these ancient forts are exquisite instances of the past and still amaze tourists with their eternal magnificence. These inflicting forts, drenched with many stories, speak volumes about the rulers and dynasties that formed their supreme seat in the state.
The Madhya Pradesh forts narrate historical tales of love, beauty, heroism, cheating, and even bloody battles. For instance, the impenetrable Aligarh Fort is not only famous for its extraordinary architecture but also has incredible stories to trade.
On the other hand, the Chanderi Fort, with its Khooni Darwaza, narrates vicious tales of slaughtering. Apart from these best ones, there are numerous forts and palaces in Madhya Pradesh, boasting a vibrant cultural heritage and magnificent architectural styles.
So, do not miss out on any of these amazing forts and plan a trip to Madhya Pradesh at the earliest and acknowledge the legacy of this beautiful town. Travel Incredible India!
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