27 December 2013
In the zest of wildlife sightings, many visitors forget to visit the fort standing just opposite forest entry gate. Like Devagiri fort in Maharashtra, Ranthambore fort was equally formidable and was only conquered by invaders after employing mischievous ways. Raja Hammir Dev found bravely against Allaudin Khilji but was finally defeated due to the conspiracy of some of his Officers. It is said that Allaudin Khilji, after taking over the fort killed all the Officers who helped him saying that were traitors who were not loyal to their king!!
|Fort seen from the road|
The fort is situated on the hill and lies within Ranthambore National park. From the main entrance, start walking up on the steps constructed. At the next gate is a small idol of traitor, called gaddar!! People generally throw a stone at it as a mark of disrespect. I wonder how come the idol is still intact in spite of enduring such rough treatment from visitors!!
|"zig zag" path|
|One of the gate|
As we climb upwards though the zigzag path, the view gets better. Ranthambore forest starts to open up offering beautiful view of the lake and surrounding wild areas. There are some good vantage points here to enjoy great views of the forest and the fort.
|Pathway to Ranthambore fort|
|View of the lake and forest from Ranthambore fort|
We then enter into the top portion of the fort where the land levels. Dilapidated buildings are seen everywhere. One of the inspiring buildings is Battis Khmaba Chattri, a dome that is supported by 32 pillars. There is a small pool nearby which is said to be the bathing place for queens!!
|Battis Khamba Chhatri|
Hammir Palace can be seen from the dome but unfortunately the huge building complex is locked. We walk further towards Ganesh Temple. The Temple attracts lot of local people. Before the Temple is a pond which is quite attractive. One of the two mosques in the fort lies near the lake.
Langur monkeys rule this area. No visitors can escape from them if they carry any food items. They are confident and have “don’t care” attitude towards human beings. But they are peaceful if your hands are empty!!
The fort is very huge and it takes several hours to just to have a good view of it. Some parts of the forts are “wilder” as the forest has overtaken the walls.
There is also a Jain Temple which makes the fort multi religious area!!
Reaching Ranthambore fort is easy. It is just opposite to the entrance of safari routes 2 and 3. Even though the road towards the fort passes though the National Park, vehicles are allowed till the entrance. The road is good for any four wheelers. There are no entrance fees for the fort. Contrary to my expectation, the fort was not deserted. Thinking that the fort is less visited and wild, I took a guide with us to be on the safer side!! Most of the visitors were there just to visit Ganesh Temple.