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The second-largest fort of Rajasthan, the Ranthambore Fort is shrouded in rich history. The fort is said to be built by the Chauhans in the 10th century. It was built in such a way that it acted as a barrier from the invaders. It survived several attacks until it was finally seized by Khilji. The fort holds a very high significance in Indian history.
Ranthambore Fort entrance. VIJAY SINGH/CC BY-SA 4.0
The fort is surrounded by the Aravalli and the Vindya ranges, and it offers a panoramic view of the entire forest. The western part of the fort has many temples, whereas, the eastern part is more on the wild side and has a number of species of leopards, birds, fishing cats, etc. The fort has seven gates, called, Ganesh Pol, Navlakha Pol, Andheri Pol, Hathi Pol, Suraj Pol, Sat Pol, and Delhi Pol. There are also many lakes within the fort, namely, Rani talaab, Padmala talaab, sukh sagar - it remains mostly dry, Jungali Sagar, and Kaala Sagar. Within its premises, there are marvels like Sametonki Haveli, Mahadeo Chattri, Toran Dwar, Badal Mahal, and Trinetra Ganesh Temple.
Amongst the many rulers, King Hameer Dev is the best-known. During his reign, Alauddin Khilji attacked the fort towards the end of the 12th century. Though it is said that during this fight King Hameer won, but when the queens saw the black colored flag of Khilji waving, they thought the king had lost and they attempted Jauhar (mass immolation). Even though Khilji lost at this war, later on, he managed to seize the Fort.
Once you reach there and see there you will see several marks of the victories, and losses of the previous battles, such as the sculpted version of the severed head of the treacherous Ranmal, who waved Khilji's flag after King Hameer Dev won the battle.
You will be awed by its grandeur when you actually stand in front of this brilliant fort.