Uncover A History Lesser Known At These Hidden Forts In India

Once homes to kings and queens, forts now serve as archives for those passionate about history. While some have risen to prominence, there are many that go unexplored. Here are some lesser-known historical gems you must visit
Inside Narwar Fort in Madhya Pradesh
Inside Narwar Fort in Madhya Pradesh

There's no better introduction to India's rich historical past than visiting its grand remains. Once homes to kings and queens, forts now serve as archives for those passionate about history. While some have risen to prominence and welcome hoards of enthusiastic tourists from all over the world every day, there are many that go unexplored. However, if you are keen on uncovering the lesser-known stories of the past, plan a visit to these hidden forts in India.

Daulatabad Fort, Maharashtra 

Also known as Devgiri Fort, the Daulatabad Fort is nestled atop a cone-shaped hill rising dramatically from the plains. Belonging to the time of the Yadavas, this fortress was later annexed by Muhammad bin Tughlaq. With its three concentric lines of defending walls, formidable bastions, and an elusive underground passage, this fortress served as the first line of defence against invaders.

Although largely unexplored, the fort exemplifies fine architecture reminiscent of those times across its various sections, such as the Chini Mahal, Chand Minar and Baradari. The best time to visit the fort is from July to February. 

Narwar Fort, Madhya Pradesh 

The majestic Narwar Fort continues to regale in its past glory on a 500-ft high hill constructed by the Kachwaha clan of Rajputs in the 10th Century. Even though much of it is in ruins, the fort once rivalled the famous Gwalior Fort in its grandeur. Its unique architectural elements, such as fluted columns, flat ceilings, and multifoil arches, are its main draw among history lovers and architecture enthusiasts. The fort's internal walls, adorned with glass beads and vibrant paint, continue to dazzle visitors with its beauty. The best time to visit the fort is between October and March when the weather remains pleasant.

Bidar Fort, Karnataka 

Founded by the Bahmanid Dynasty in the 15th Century, the Bidar Fort is an architectural marvel built by Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1428. This citadel, partially carved out of bedrock, stands as a testament to the architectural brilliance of its time. The fort's five darwazas (gateways) and a double ring of walls, offering heightened protection against enemies, is worth exploring. To add to the list, the Rangin Mahal, constructed by Ali Shah Barid, known for its exquisite beams and brackets, is also as enchanting.

Dhandidhar Fort, Jammu and Kashmir 

Located 2 km from the Rajouri district and overlooking snowy peaks stands the mighty Dhandidhar Fort. Major power shuffles between Raja Raheem Ullah Khan and Maharaja Gulab Singh preceded the construction of this fort. However, when Maharaja Gulab Singh finally sought the right to rule over the district, he appointed Mian Hathu as the district's Governor, and under his patronage, the fort was built. Once used for storing grains and military training, the Dogra rulers also used to seek cover when threats of an attack surfaced. Several other beautiful spots, such as the Aharball Waterfall, also surround the fort. 

Warangal Fort, Telangana 

The Warangal Fort, constructed by King Ganpatideva in the 13th Century, continues to be one of the most beautiful remains of the past. Despite its current state of disrepair, the fort's mud and granite walls serve as a testament to its former grandeur. The stunning Kirti Torana, intricately carved stone gateways depicting Lord Vishnu, is the most prominent feature. With its extensive area of 19 km, boasting 45 pillars and towers, the fort holds immense historical significance. Don't miss out on the nearby Bhadrakali Temple and Thousand Pillar Temple.

Qila Mubarak, Punjab 

Believed to have been constructed by the Kushana Emperor Kanishka and Raja Dab in 90-110 AD, this fort in Bhatinda boasts a rich history and is considered one of India's oldest forts. Many historical figures like Prithviraj Chauhan, Razia Sultana, Guru Gobind Singh, and Sultan Mahmud, once graced its majestic entranceways. In this fort, you can also visit the prison where the first female ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, Razia Sultana, was held captive. In addition, the fort premises also houses two gurudwaras, adding to its spiritual significance. 

Cover photo credit Shutterstock.com

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