The heart of India, the state of Madhya Pradesh, is replete with several historic forts and castles built by different rulers throughout its iconic history. While there are several important forts in the state, here are some notable ones you must visit when in Madhya Pradesh.
Gwalior Fort, Gwalior District
Gwalior Fort is a hill fortress and is one of the most significant in India. Its history dates back many centuries. The fort has undergone several additions and renovations, and its outer walls still stand two miles in length and 35 feet high. They are the reason for its reputation as one of the invincible forts of India. Some notable structures within the fort include the Man Mandir Palace, the Gujari Mahal, the Jauhar Kund, and the Teli ka Mandir. The defence also has several temples, including the Sas-Bahu Temple and the Teli ka Mandir. The fort was named 'the pearl among the fortress of hind' by the Mughal emperor Babur.
Jahangir Mahal, Orchha, Niwari District
Located in the Orchha fort complex, the Jahangir Mahal was commissioned by Bir Singh Deo in the 16th century. It was built during the rule of the Mughal emperor Jahangir, hence its name. The palace is considered one of the finest examples of Mughal-style architecture in India and is a significant landmark in the town of Orchha. Jahangir Mahal is a multi-storied palace with intricate carvings and decorations on its walls, ceilings, and doorways. The palace also features a large central courtyard and several smaller courtyards, as well as a large number of rooms and chambers.
Maheshwar Fort, Maheshwar, Khargone District
Overlooking the Narmada River, Maheshwar fort is believed to have been built in the 18th century by the Holkar dynasty. Holkar Maharaja Malhar Rao ruled it till the death of his son, which was when he handed the responsibility to his daughter-in-law, Maratha queen Ahilyabai Holkar. She was known for her piety and her many philanthropic endeavours. Over the centuries, the fort has been used as a military stronghold, a royal palace, and a centre of administration. Some notable structures within the fort include the Rani Ahilya Palace, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, and the Ahilya Ghat, a riverfront bathing area. The Maheshwar ghat is considered one of the most beautiful ghats in India.
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Jahaz Mahal, Mandu, Dhar District
The town and the fort are famed throughout India due to the royal romance of Rani Roopmati and Baz Bahadur. The palace, shaped like a ship, is one of the many historic structures within the Mandu Fort Complex, a large fortification that dates back to the 15th century. The palace features a series of interconnected courtyards and chambers and is known for its intricate carvings and decorations. Additionally, the Mandu Fort Complex is home to several other vital structures, such as the Jahaz Mahal, the Hindola Mahal, the Jahaz Qila, and the Taveli Mahal. These structures are considered important examples of Afghan and Indo-Islamic architecture and are a testament to the region's rich cultural heritage.
Asirgarh Fort, Burhanpur
Taking its name from the Yaduvanshi Ahir king Asa Ahir, who built the fort, Asirgarh is also known as the dakkhan ka darwaza, the gateway to the Deccan. Perched on the Satpura ranges, Asirgarh gained importance due to its location and proximity to the rivers Narmada and Tapti. It played an essential role in the region's political and military events over the centuries. It houses a temple, mosque and also some British-era graves.
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