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Hidden Forts of India that are Worth Witnessing

India is a magnificent country that lovingly embraces a variety of scenic landscapes for visitors to explore, enjoy, and feel awestruck by its sheer diversity. Vast seas, majestic mountains, gushing streams and rivers, cascading waterfalls, sandy deserts, dense forests, and more have always adorned the country, making it look more beautiful. Its rich past and history have added more to its splendour, grandeur, and elegance. The forts and palaces in the country speak volumes of his magnificent history. Some forts are well known, while some are located at such obscure places that they are still hidden and nicely tucked away from the prying eyes. Here, we bring you some amazing forts that are not so popular or located at off-beaten tracks and should be explored to know more about our erstwhile times.

1.Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan

Kumbhalgarh, a place steeped in history, telling the tales of Rajputi courage, chivalry, and sacrifices, is also known for its incredible fort. Rajasthan, in itself, is a place known for its exquisite architecture and absolute royalness. An icon of Mewar, the Kumbhalgarh Fort is known for its second-largest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China. In 2013, the Kumbhalgarh fort was declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is perched atop the western fringes of the Aravalli Ranges near Rajsamand district in Udaipur. The mini fortified area is liberally peppered with around 360 temples, out of which 300 are Jain temples. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks through the walled city and know more about those times when Rajput Kings kept their love for their motherland before the love for their lives. This 15th Century Fort separates Mewar from the Marwar region. 

Best Time To Visit- The best time to visit this fortress or citadel is from October to March. Rest of the year, the destination witnesses scorching heat, making it challenging to explore the area.

Nearby Attractions- When planning a visit to this fort, you can also add Udaipur and Chittor to your itinerary and explore amazing attractions worth checking out. 

2. Bhangarh, Rajasthan

It is another fort in Rajasthan hidden away amidst the ruins of erstwhile times. There is a reason behind this fort hidden away from touristy commercial action. It has a mystery attached to it, which makes it an exciting experience checking it out. Located in the 17th Century in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, a visit to this fort and hearing the tale associated with it is enough to give you goosebumps. The Bhangarh fort is undoubtedly not for those with faint hearts, especially if visiting during the dusk hours. Today, this fort is standing amidst ruins, but there was a time when it used to have a grand edifice and a bustling city beside it. Today, sealed in ill-fate, it tells a spooky tale. There are warning signs all around, asking visitors to leave the premises before the sun sets at the horizon. There are several temples on the premises, but the legendary curse on this fort resulted in these temples waiting for the jinx to end. The fort and nearby buildings are architecturally significant. Despite its strange and frightening stories, Bhangarh Fort is worth visiting and exploring for its natural beauty. 

Best Time to Visit- The best time to visit the ruins is any time of the year. Even during peak summers, the place stays relatively cool due to the thick vegetation surrounding it. Moreover, it is located at the fringes of Sariska Tiger Reserve.

Nearby Attractions- Plan a visit to Bhangarh and add Abhaneri to your itinerary, famous for its marvellous stepwell construction. Jaipur is the nearest major city, a place known for its amazing tourist attractions.

3. Ahilya Fort

Another fort that is not so popular but is worth mentioning in this list is Ahilya Fort in Madhya Pradesh. It is approximately 91 km away from Indore. Close to the banks of the gushing Narmada River. There was a time when the Holkar Dynasty ruled this region. It was a very popular Maratha clan, almost 4000 years ago. The famous Queen Ahilyabai Holkar built this fort as a mark of her devotion to Shiva. The fort steps lead to the ghats, where ceremonial rituals were practiced. A temple dedicated to Shiva in the fort premises is the epitome of unique Maratha architecture. There is a room in the fort where a magnificent collection of Shiva in gold and silver are placed. The queen used to seat these idols on a gold swing. Today, the descendants of the royal family have converted the fort into a heritage hotel. It has 13 rooms that give magnificent views of the Narmada River.

Best Time to Visit- Visitors can visit this fort at any time of the year, but October to February are the best times as the weather is very pleasant and comfortable in these months.

Nearby Attractions- Make a halt at Indore and enjoy attractions like Rajwada Palace, Central Museum, Lal Bagh Palace, etc.

4. Daulatabad Fort, Maharashtra

Many of us have not heard about Daulatabad Fort or the erstwhile Devgiri Fort, which the Yadavas built. It is located 11 km away from Aurangabad on a cone-shaped hill that seems to be rising abruptly from the plains and reaching a height of about 190 m. In the 14th Century, the fort came into the possession of Muhammad-bin Tughlaq and was renamed as Daulatabad Fort. The fort has three concentric lines of defending walls with several bastions. Its major highlights are its scarp, moat, and the unique subterranean passage of solid rock. The fortress was the first line of defense against the progressing enemy. Some of the important structures in the fort premises worth exploring are the Baradari, the Chini Mahal, and the Chand Minar.

Best Time to Visit- Visitors can visit this fort at any time of the year, but July to February are the best times as trekking to the fort in these months doesn't seem to be too daunting.

Nearby Attractions- When planning a trekking expedition to this awe-inspiring fort, do spend some time in Aurangabad, where you can explore attractions like Bibi ka Maqbara, Panchakki historical Place, Aurangabad Caves, and more. 

5. Narwar Fort, Madhya Pradesh

Perched atop a 500 ft high hill, this fort has been constructed in a typical Rajputi style. It is because it was constructed in the 10th Century by the erstwhile Kachwaha clan of Rajputs. Later, this fort was also occupied by Mughals and Scindias. Although the fort is dilapidated today, it was quite magnificent in the olden times and was considered next to the famous Gwalior Fort in magnificence. Its fluted columns, flat ceilings, and multifoil arches make it unique in appearance. The internal walls of the fort are beautified with glass beads and bright paint.

Best Time to Visit- Visitors can visit this fort from October to March. During this period, the weather is pleasant, and exploring the area becomes easier and comfortable.

Nearby Attractions- The fort is situated close to Gwalior. So, when visiting Narwar Fort, do not miss checking out the famous Gwalior Fort and other attractions in the city.

6. Bidar Fort, Karnataka

Founded by the Bahmanid Dynasty, Bidar Fort and the surrounding city are situated on the Northern Karnataka plateau. Ahmed Shah Abdali built it in 1428. The citadel has five darwazas and a double ring of walls for added protection against enemies. The unique aspect of this fort is that it is partially carved out of bedrock. There are a lot of structures, monuments, and palaces in the fort premises worth exploring. One of the monuments that is much talked about and attract many visitors is the Rangin Mahal that Ali Shah Barid constructed. Its ornate beams and brackets are its major highlights.

Best Time to Visit- Visitors can visit this fort from December to February. During peak summers, exploring the fort becomes slightly challenging due to soaring temperatures.

Nearby Attractions- When visiting Bidar Fort, make it a point to check out other attractions like Shri Narsimha Jharna Mandir, Madarsa of Mahmud Gawan Masjid, and more.

7. Dhandidhar Fort, Jammu and Kashmir