List of 12 Best Forts In India – Complete Tour Details & History

India is a country with a very rich history of numerous kings and kingdoms. There are many historical sites and magnificent landmarks to explore in India. There are approximately 1000 heritage & ancient forts in India that really gather a lot of history within themselves. In this article, I have chosen the 12 best must-visit forts in India that are worth a visit from every Indian and from tourists all around the world.

Are you searching for which is the best royal residence/ heritage fort in India? Or, are you searching for a heritage fort to visit in India? If yes, then you have come to the right place. Here I have compiled a list of the 12 best historical forts in India with complete tour details. Some of the forts in India have now been converted into heritage hotels and some become famous tourist attractions in the country.

Best Magnificient Ancient Royal Forts in India

Following are the 12 best heritage royal forts in India that you must visit once in your life –

1. Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Fort is an ancient 6th-century hill fort situated in the Gwalior city of Madhya Pradesh. The fort was built by a local king named Suraj Sen in honor of the Saint Gwalipa who saved his life. The modern-day fort, consisting of a defensive structure and two palaces was built by Tomar ruler Man Singh Tomar. The fort has been controlled by a number of different rulers in its history.

The fort is commonly referred to as Gwaliyar Qila by the local citizens. The Gwalior Fort was once referred to as ‘the pearl amongst fortresses in India’ by Mughal Emperor Babur. Within the Gwalior fort premises, visitors will find many historical monuments, palaces, temples, and museums to visit. The fort of Gwalior is one of the best tourist places to visit in Madhya Pradesh.

Fast Facts about Gwalior Fort-

Address: 474008, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh
Built-in: 6th century
Built-by: King Suraj Sen
Area: 3 square kilometers
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: September to March
Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 60/- (Indian Nationals), Rs. 400/- (Foreign Nationals)

Also Read: How To Reach Gwalior Fort – Complete Travel Guide

gwalior fort

2. Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort, popularly known as Lal Qila is a majestic fort situated in Old Delhi.  It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1639 to 1648 as he shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi. The Red Fort served as the main residence of the Mughal Emperors till the year 1771. Later, it was occupied by the Maratha rulers. The Red Fort of Delhi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Every year on India’s Independence Day (15 August), the Prime Minister hoists the Indian tricolor flag at the fort’s main gate and delivers a nationally broadcast speech from its ramparts.

Fast Facts about Red Fort Delhi-

Address: Netaji Subhash Marg, Lal Qila, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006
Built-in: 16th-17th century
Built-by: Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
Area: 2.41 kilometers
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: September to February
Timings: 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Closed on Monday
Entry Fee: Rs. 35/- (Indian Nationals), Rs. 500/- (Foreign Nationals)

red fort delhi

3. Agra Fort

Agra Fort is an ancient and historical red sandstone fort situated in Agra city of Uttar Pradesh, India. It was the royal residence of the Mughal Emperors until they move their capital to Delhi. Agra Fort was believed to be built between the 14th to 15th centuries but it got its present appearance during the reign of Emperor Akbar. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is famously known as the Red Fort of Agra. Before capture by the British, the last Indian rulers to have occupied Agra Fort were the Marathas. The Agra Fort is one of the 10 reasons why you must visit Agra once in your life.

Fast Facts about Agra Fort-

Address: Agra Fort, Rakabganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282003
Built-in: 14th-15th century
Built-by: Mughal Emperor Akbar
Area: 94 acres
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: October to April
Timings: 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 40/- (Indian Nationals), Rs. 550/- (Foreign Nationals)

Also Read: 11 Best Tourist Places To Visit in Agra Uttar Pradesh

agra fort

4. Golconda Fort

Golconda, also pronounce as Golla Konda is the 12th-century castle in Hyderabad, Telangana, India. The Golconda Fort is known for its grand architecture and it is very popular and world-famous for the diamond mines around the fort. Golconda region has produced some of the world’s most famous diamonds, including the colorless Koh-i-Noor, the blue Hope, the pink Daria-i-Noor, the white Regent, the Dresden Green, and the colorless Orlov, Nizam, and Jacob, as well as the now-lost diamonds Florentine Yellow, Akbar Shah, and Great Mogul. Golconda Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is one of the most visited tourist places in Hyderabad.

Fast Facts about Golconda Fort Hyderabad-

Address: Khair Complex, Ibrahim Bagh, Hyderabad, Telangana 500008
Built-in: 12th-16th century
Built-by: Kakatiya Dynasty and Qutub Shahi rulers
Area: 3 square kilometers
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: November to February
Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 15/- (Indian Nationals), Rs. 200/- (Foreign Nationals)

golconda fort

5. Tipu Sultan Fort

Tipu Sultan Fort, officially known as Srirangapatna Fort is the historical royal castle situated in the South Indian state of Karnataka. The Srirangapatna fort is believed to have been built by Timmanna Nayaka, a ruler of the Vijayanagar Empire in 1454 CE. The fort has been controlled by a number of different rulers in its history. In 1782, Tipu Sultan took the reign of the fort and built fortifications. The fort had Lal Mahal and Tipu’s palace, which were demolished during the British capture of 1799.

Fast Facts about Srirangapatna Fort Karnataka-

Address: CMFR+R72, Srirangapatna, Karnataka 571438
Built-in: 1454 CE
Built-by: Timmanna Nayaka
Area: 240 acres
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: August to March
Timings: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, Closed on Sunday
Entry Fee: Rs. 15/- (Indian Nationals), Rs. 200/- (Foreign Nationals)

6. Kangra Fort

The Kangra Fort is an ancient and historical royal castle situated near Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India. The Fort was constructed by the royal family of Kangra and is believed to be built around the 4th Century B.C. Kangra Fort is known to be the largest fort in the Himalayas and is one of the oldest forts in India. Between the 15th to 16th centuries the Kangra Fort comes under the Mughal Empire. Kangra Fort is a majestic architectural landmark in Himachal Pradesh and it is one of the best forts in India.

Fast Facts about Kangra Fort, Himachal Pradesh-

Address: Old Kangra, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh 176001
Built-in: 3,500+ years ago
Built-by: Rajput family of Kangra State (the Katoch dynasty)
Area: 463 acres
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: February to September
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 150/- (Indian Nationals), Rs. 300/- (Foreign Nationals)

7. Chittorgarh Fort

Chittorgarh Fort, also known as ‘Chittor Ka Qila‘ is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and stands tall in the list of the largest forts in India. Chittorgarh Fort is located in the southern part of the state of Rajasthan. It is said to have been built by a local Mori Rajput ruler Chitrangada Mori. It is also one of the oldest forts in India as some of the legends link this landmark to the epic Mahabharata. Chittorgarh Fort has become very popular in modern times because of the epic tale of Chittor’s Rani Padmini in the Hindi movie Padmavat.

Fast Facts about Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan-

Address: Chittor Fort Rd, Chittorgarh, Rajasthan 312001
Built-in: Unknown
Built-by: Chitrangada Mori
Area: 691.9 acres
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: November to February
Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 50/- (Indian Nationals), Rs. 200/- (Foreign Nationals)

chittor fort rajasthan

8. Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh Fort is a majestic hilltop castle situated in Jodhpur city of Rajasthan, India. It was constructed in the year 1459 by Rajput ruler Rao Jodha. Mehrangarh Fort is one of the biggest forts in the country. The fort is a popular tourist attraction in Jodhpur city because of its splendid architecture and the history associated with it. Mehrangarh Fort is considered one of the most formidable and magnificent forts of Rajasthan. World Sacred Spirit Festival and Rajasthan International Folk Festival takes place on the fort every year.

Fast Facts about Mehrangarh Fort, Rajasthan-

Address: P.B No. 165, The, Fort Rd, Sodagaran Mohalla, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342006
Built-in: In the year 1459
Built-by: Rathore dynasty of Jodhpur
Area: 1,200 acres
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Timings: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 60/- (Indian Nationals), Rs. 400/- (Foreign Nationals)

mehrangarh fort

9. Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in the Jaisalmer city of Rajasthan, India. The fort stands amidst the sandy expanse of the great Indian Thar Desert on Trikuta Hill. Jaisalmer Fort is one of the very few living forts in the world, as nearly one-fourth of the old Jaisalmer population still resides within the fort. For the better part of its 800-year history, the fort was the city of Jaisalmer. The Fort was built in 1156 AD by the Rajput King Jaisal from whom it derives its name. Jaisalmer Fort is one of the most popular tourist landmarks in the state of Rajasthan.

Fast Facts about Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan-

Address: Near Gopa Chowk, Khejer Para, Manak Chowk, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001
Built-in: 1156 AD
Built-by: Rawal Jaisal
Area: Jaisalmer fort is 1,500 ft (460 m) long and 750 ft (230 m) wide
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: October to March
Timings: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 50/- (Indian Nationals), Rs. 250/- (Foreign Nationals)

jaisalmer rajasthan

10. Raigad Fort

Raigad Fort is a majestic hilltop castle situated in Mahad, Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It is considered one of the strongest fortresses on the Deccan Plateau. Raigad Fort is built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj around the year 1656, he also made Raigad Fort his capital upon being crowned the king of the Maratha kingdom in the year 1674. There are many beautiful sites to visit at the Raigad Fort complex. It is one of the most visited forts of the Maharastra.

Fast Facts about Raigad Fort, Maharastra-

Address: Raigad District, Maharashtra 402305
Built-in: 1656
Built-by: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
Area: 1,300 acres
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: November to March
Timings: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 10/- (Indian Nationals), Rs. 100/- (Foreign Nationals)

11. Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad Fort, previously known as ‘Kondhana Ka Qila‘ is a hill fortress situated near Pune city, Maharastra. It is believed that the Sinhagad Fort could have been built 2 thousand years ago. The Mughals and Maratha fought several times for the Sinhagad Fort. The main attractions of Sinhagad Fort complex are Kalyan darwaja, Devtake, and Subedar Tanaji Malusare samadhi. The outskirt’s views from the fort are so mesmerizing.  It is the best weekend gateway for the residents of Pune.

Fast Facts about Sinhagad Fort, Maharastra-

Address: Sinhagad Ghat Rd, Thoptewadi, Maharashtra 411025
Built-in: Around 2,000+ years ago
Built-by: Unknown
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: November to March
Timings: 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 20/- (Indian Nationals), Rs. 100/- (Foreign Nationals)

12. Rajgad Fort

Rajgad Fort, also known as ‘Murumdev‘ is a hill fort situated in the Pune district of Maharashtra, India. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had stayed the most on this fort than on any other fort of the Maratha Empire. Rajgad Fort is actually the birth landmark of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. And, because of this, Rajgad Fort is one of the most popular and most visited tourist places in Maharastra. This fort is also a great place for trekking. The view is so amazing and mesmerizing from here.

Fast Facts about Rajgad Fort, Maharastra-

Address: Balekilla Rd, Pune, Maharashtra 412213
Built-in: 1490 AD
Built-by: Unknown
Open to the Public: Yes
Best Time to Visit: November to March
Timings: Open 24 hours
Entry Fee: No Fee

rajgad fort maharastra

The above mentioned are the 12 best heritage forts in India. I tried my best to give you every important piece of information about these historic landmarks. But still, if there is something missing then please let me know in the comment section below. Thank you.

Also Read: 25 Best Romantic Places/ Cities For Couples To Visit In India

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