Hill Forts of Rajasthan

Sunday, 11 September 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Jaisalmer Fort © Gérard Janot/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jaisalmer Fort © Gérard Janot/cc-by-sa-3.0

The North Western Indian State of Rajasthan has over one hundred fortifications on hills and mountainous terrain. Six Hill Forts of Rajasthan, spread across Rajasthan state in northern India, have been clustered as a series and designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ‘Hill Forts of Rajasthan’ was initially submitted to the UNESCO as a serial property formed by five Rajput forts in the Aravalli Range, and were built and enhanced between the 5th and 18th centuries CE by several Rajput kings of different kingdoms. The UNESCO series has been increased to six forts. They consist of:

  1. Chittor Fort at Chittorgarh city
  2. Kumbhalgarh Fort at Rajsamand city
  3. Ranthambore Fort at Sawai Madhopur
  4. Gagron Fort at Jhalawar city
  5. Amber Fort at Jaipur city
  6. Jaisalmer Fort at Jaisalmer city

Some of these forts have defensive fortification wall up to 20 km long, still surviving urban centers and still in use water harvesting mechanism.

Chittorgarh Fort © Ssjoshi111/cc-by-sa-3.0 Gagron Fort © Siddharth 36/cc-by-sa-3.0 Jaisalmer Fort © Gérard Janot/cc-by-sa-3.0 Kumbhalgarh Fort © Shivam Chaturvedi/cc-by-sa-3.0 Ranthambhore Fort © Manojmeena/cc-by-sa-3.0 Amber Fort © Jakub Halun/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Kumbhalgarh Fort © Shivam Chaturvedi/cc-by-sa-3.0
A series was to be selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to highlight the culture and architecture of hilltop Rajput forts. The State party of Rajasthan presented an overview of the process for the selection of component sites for the series of Hill Forts and the criteria selected. The criteria set resulting in the selection process followed the four following perimeters: The forts adapted to the Geography of the Hilltops, the fortifications were power centers, they included sacred grounds, and the fort was designed with urban settlements. Rajputs adhered to architectural texts that categorized different typologies of fortifications based on their geography. The earliest literary references differentiated four types of forts; Hilltop Forts, Water Forts, Forest Forts, and Desert Forts. This series of world heritage sites was created solely on the Hilltop Forts of Rajasthan. This and excluded many forts solely based on typology such as Junagarh Fort which is a ground fort. Furthermore forts that were not designed for urban settlement were excluded. Mehrangarh, although situated on a hilltop, was a fortified citadel for the court which lacked an urban settlement for the civilians.

An initial list Forts of Rajasthan was created based on all forts recorded by the Archaeological Survey of India. Of the hundreds of fortifications, 54 forts were further examined as they shared integral characteristics of Rajput military architecture. The State party explained how from this initial listing, a smaller group was selected made of 24 of the most significant forts of Rajasthan which all shared key aspects of Rajput Fortifications. This number was soon shortlisted to 13. From this list five forts were initially selected, all of which were located on the Aravalli Range, and belonged to different clans. The sixth fort, Jaisalmer was later added into the series.

Read more on india.com – Hill Forts of Rajasthan that you must explore, UNESCO.org – Hill Forts of Rajasthan and Wikipedia Hill Forts of Rajasthan (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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