Royal Rajasthan: Forts, Palaces and Havelis

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Jaisalmer Fort Jaisalmer Fort © Derek Freal

Rajasthan's royal forts, palaces, and havelis have marked itself high on the tourist trail. The luxury of the kings and queens, the princely state and the comforts of the royals have now open to the world. Lots of old forts and palaces are opened to the guest for their comfort stay as well as royal treatment and luxury. Some of the royal ones are listed here with a brief description of what makes them unique and worth visiting.

The famous forts of Rajasthan include:

Badal Mahal at Kumbhalgarh Fort, one of the historic destinations of royal Rajasthan

Kumbhalgarh Fort

  Rajsamand, near Udaipur
  UNESCO World Heritage Site

Built by Rana Kymbha, this fortress has only been conquered once in all of history -- due to shortage of water. It was fighting against the joint forces of Akbar, Raja Man Singh of Amber, Raja Udai Singh of Marwar, and the Sultan of Gujarat. The wall of this fort is the second largest continuous wall in the world (after the Great Wall of China) and stretches around 36km. (That's over 20 miles!)     Kumbhalgarh Fort Photo Gallery

Amer (Amber) Fort in Jaipur, one of the historic destinations of royal Rajasthan

Amber Fort

  UNESCO World Heritage Site

Also known Amer Fort, this ancient fortress is huge. It was constructed by Raja Man Singh I but the history of this city goes back far past this. Amber was ruled by Meena rulers prior to the Rajputs. The fort is known for its rich culture and art. The best part of it are Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas, Diwan-e-Aam, and Sukh Niwas.     More Amber Fort Photos

Jaisalmer Fort, one of the historic destinations of royal Rajasthan
via Milo & Silvia

Chittorgarh Fort

  Chittorgarh, near Udaipur
  UNESCO World Heritage Site

Chittorgarh is the epitome of Chattri Rajput (an Indian Warrior caste) pride, romance and spirit, for people of Chittor always chose death before surrendering against anyone. Vijay Stambh and Rani Padmini's sacrifice in the great and extended fort of Chittorh are the best part. Meera bai, a famous follower or lord Krishna also relates to the history of Chittorgarh.

Jaisalmer Fort, one of the historic destinations of royal Rajasthan

Jaisalmer Fort

  UNESCO World Heritage Site

One of the largest forts in the world, Jaisalmer Fortress was built by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from where both the town and fort derives their names. The fort stands proudly amidst the golden stretches of the great Thar Desert, on a hill overlooking the city around it, and has been the scene of many battles. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are of yellow color during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets. For this reason, it is also known as the "Golden Fort".

The famous palaces and havelis of Rajasthan include:

Hawa Mahal, also known as the Wind Palace, is one of the obligatory sights to visit in Jaipur, the Pink City of India
Hawa Mahal, the Wind Palace located right in the heart of the Pink City, Jaipur -- cannot miss it

Jal Mahal, also known as the Water Palace, is one of the obligatory sights to visit in Jaipur, the Pink City of India
Jal Mahal, the Water Palace also located in Jaipur is another popular destination. There is an open promenade (where this photo was taken from) where locals always gather and enjoy the view -- as do the tourists!

Raj Mahal Palace, also known as Jaisalmer Palace because of its location
Raj Mahal Palace, also known as Jaisalmer Palace for an obvious reason, is another beautiful of ancient architecture that is now a museum. (Jaisalmer may be located far from everything but do not skip it!)

    Others noteable palaces:
  • Lake Palace of Udaipur (now a luxury hotel)
  • City Palace of Udaipur (now converted into a museum)
  • City Palace of Jaipur (now converted into a museum)
  • Umed Bhavan Palace in Jodhpur (now converted into a hotel)
  • Patwa ki Haveli in Jaisalmer -- the Merchants Haveli (now converted into a small museum)

Rajasthan has achieved great importance that has withstood the test of time and now attracts more tourists than invading empries. From a travel point of view its rich and royal forts, palaces, and havelis make Rajasthan a "must visit" destination for most visitors to India. Experience the royal treatment of past kings and queens and walk where they walked, enjoy the same elegant destinations and views. It is truly a step back in time!

See More     Rajasthan Travel Guides     India Archives


Vijay is a Hotelier cum Traveler who has traveled all over India.... The passion towards travel has made him to travel twice to thrice in year. He loves his country the most and that is why he has completed almost entire North, South and West. He is also looking for Central and Easter part nowadays. Well he has started touring other countries now a days. His recent encounter is thailand.

He is ready to help those who plan to visit India but remember he is neither an agent nor tour operator though he can get you arrange your tour and he is almost available round the clock. 


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