Explore the amazing cultural heritage of Rajasthan at its best!
Taragarh Fort or Star Fort is situated in the city of Ajmer in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is a massive fort in Bundi and built at a height of 500 meters on a hill by Rao Singh Bar in the 13th century under the reign of King Ajaypal Chauhan. Built in 1354 AD, although the fort is now in a ramshackle state, the Taragarh Fort still remains one of the most impressive forts in Rajasthan. It is built on a steep hill and now is overgrown by vegetation.
Unlike most forts in Rajasthan which are made of Sandstone the Taragarh Fort is made of serpentine stone which is green in colour. It remains one of the few forts in Rajasthan which does not show influences of Mughal style of art and architecture.
Taragarh Fort, being a trendsetter for the rest of the forts to come, was the first fort to be built on top of a hill. The Taragarh Fort is the oldest fort in Rajasthan, and it has a long bloody history. It has been passed from the hands of the Marwari rulers into the hands of the Mughals. But after the death of QutubuddinAibak, successor of Sultan Sahabuddin, Chauhan and Rajput rulers attacked the fort in a combined effort. When the British came, they acquired the fort from the Rajputs . The fort is the oldest and has seen its fair share of wars.
The Taragarh Fort is an impressive structure made to suit the needs of the people inside when under siege. Lakshmi Pol, Phuta Door and Gaugudi Gate are the three doorways which serve as entrances to the Taragarh Fort. The Gaugudi Gate has a massive and interesting lock and the gate can only be crossed by an entrance way. The once impressive gateways are, for the most part, in ruins. During its glorified days, Taragarh Fort was well known for its tunnels which run in a criss cross pattern along the entire hillside. However, these tunnels remain inaccessible because there are no proper maps available. There are several bastions around the fort out of which Bhim Burj is the largest. It is said that there was a massive canon placed here which when fired produced a sound that was akin to thunder that came from the earth. Therefore, it was called the Bhim Burj, which means “Thunder from the Womb’. Such was the power of the canon that it was able to shake the earth.
Another bastion, called the Chauhan bastion has some deep-water reservoirs. These reservoirs are huge enough to store big amounts of water so that it can be supplied to the residents during time of crisis like a siege which could go on for days and months.
There are a couple of mahals (palaces) inside the fort complex and a probable baradar. The complex also has a palace called the Rani Mahal and is built for the wives and concubines of rulers. The Mahal has lost much of its charm as the shine of its spectacular murals on its walls and the paintings on the stained-glass windows have completely lost its shine and colour. The fort also has Miran Saheb ki Dargah. He was the governor of the fort and died during a siege, in 1210.Taragarh or Dudha Mahal which is situated inside the fort has beautiful frescoed walls. It, like most of the Fort has lost its shine and colour.
The trek is a steep slope and requires walking. Be sure you come with a good pair of shoes or boots and plenty of water. The Map is important to navigate the ground of the fort. There are monkeys and other wild flora and fauna that are present. The top of the hill provides you with a view of the entire city of Bundi. You can smell the freshness in the air feel in the wind in your face. One advice to travellers is to wear comfortable shoes as you’ll have to walk a lot and to bring your own bottles of water.
The city of Kota is very near to Bundi. There are many trains that run between the two cities and these cities are also well connected to the other cities of Rajasthan. One can take a taxi or any other vehicle to the Kota Railway Station from their accommodations.
Bundi is also well connected by a network of roads to Kota.
The state transport system provides a number of buses to connect the major cities of Rajasthan. One can also hire a private vehicle or taxi of their choice. Other major cities that are well connected to Bundi are Jaipur, which is at a distance of 170km, Ajmer (155km), Agra (310 km) and New Delhi at a distance of 390 km. The nearest airport is Kota Airport.
Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and at a distance of 170 km from Bundi. It well connected by the roads as well as the railways. The Jaipur Airport is the nearest airport to Bundi. It is at least 200 kilo-meters away from Bundi. National as well as Inter-national flights are available here.
The old walls of the fort have witnessed countless of stories and secrets. There they are, on the top of the hill and whisper their secrets, one each at a time, to all those who travel there. On top of the hill, lies this old fort who knows millions of stories. These stories are present in the air and can be heard by those who actually listen. The beauty of the place lies in its sense of mystique that surrounds the air around it. It is a must go for all adventure seekers and history lovers alike.