Hill Forts of Rajasthan

Hill Forts of Rajasthan
Photo by Carlo Sarion.

The Hill Forts of Rajasthan are six massive fortifications built in the eclectic Rajput cultural tradition.

They reflect the elaborate, fortified seats of power of Rajput princely states that flourished between the 8th and 18th centuries and their relative political independence. The fortresses protected their palaces, temples and often also had urban settlements within their walls.

Community Perspective: the included forts are Chittorgarh Fort (Clyde), Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranthambore Fort (Clyde), Gagron Fort, Amber Fort (the easiest to visit as it is just outside Jaipur - Els, Clyde, Nan, Joel), and Jaisalmer Fort (Clyde). Jaisalmer Fort may be the “best” because it is still inhabited and it lies in the Thar desert close to the Pakistan border.

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Joel on the Road

Australia - 13-Jun-19 -

Although this site covers six different forts, we were a bit short on time and opted for the easiest one to visit the Amber Fort just outside of Jaipur. It's pretty easy to access, though I'd recommend using a ride-hailing service like Uber or Ola instead of organising a car through your hotel.

The Amber Fort is really more of a palace than a fort, though it certainly serves that purpose as well. There are multiple terraces and courtyards inside, each leading to an earlier and more exclusive part of the fort. There's fantastic details here at every turn, with impressive sizes matched against exquisite Mughal detailing. 

Sadly, elephant rides are still available here as an option instead of climbing up several ramps and staircases to enter the fort. It's not a long or arduous climb, though the heat and hawkers can make for a less-than-pleasant experience. 

As with every other site run by the Archaeological Survey of India (which covers most World Heritage sites), you can buy tickets directly online from the dubiously-named but actually legitimate https://asi.payumoney.com. You can then show tickets on your phone to the gate inspectors.

All up, we really enjoyed our visit to the Amer Fort. It's a large enough site that aside from a couple of areas it never really feels all that crowded, and there's a whole lot of fascinating stuff to see. Well worth a half-day of exploring at the very least. 

Read more from Joel on the Road here.


Germany - 18-Dec-18 -

Hill Forts of Rajasthan by Nan

The bus from Jaipur dropped me off near the entry to Amer Fort at the bottom of the hill. The entry lies next to a lake and the view of the Fort with the lake is very scenic. Amer Fort dates to around 1600 and belongs to the Mughal period with major Rajput influences. On the inside it's more of a palace than a fort.

After finishing my visit of Amer Fort, I continued on to the top of the hill. There a second fort is located, Jaigarh Fort. At the time of my visit they were shooting a movie, so I only got to see parts of it. I still got to pay in full. And maybe I am now staring in a Bollywood movie.

Getting There

I only visited the Amer Fort, probably the easiest option of the serial nomination. I flew into Jaipur from Bangalore. India has plenty of budget airlines, so you should consider this option.

After two nights I traveled on by train to Agra. The train running between Jaipur and Agra is newer than the average Indian train and a lot faster.

From Jaipur you can take a local bus to Amer. Amer used to be an independent city, but is now a suburb of Jaipur. My way back to Jaipur was a bit complicated, though, as there were no busses running for an hour or so. And when a bus finally showed up it was fully packed. I managed to squeeze myself in somehow.

While You Are There

A visit to the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a must. To me a truly astonishing and iconic site. Jaipur also boasts a nice old town with more remarkable structures, e.g. the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds). At lunch or dinner you should go for a plate of Biryani.

The area around Jaipur also holds more forts.


Modern spelling seems to be Amer, not Amber. Amer and Amber Fort refer to the same place, though. So no need to worry if you are visiting the right site. As I did for a while.


Malta - 17-Jul-13 -

Hill Forts of Rajasthan by Clyde

I visited 4 sites of this WHS in December 2011-January 2012. There are several forts in Rajasthan but the ones inscribed in this WHS are really unique. My personal favourite is Jaisalmer Fort in the Thar Desert close to the Pakistan border. It is special because it is still inhabited and the people there are really special. Hopefully sanitation problems and refuse collection will improve thanks to UNESCO but I really hope that the rumours of Jaisalmer becoming a "tourist attraction" meaning that the locals would be "accommodated" in apartments "outside" the city walls does not materialise (similar to what has happened in Bagan, Burma or Angkor Wat, Siem Reap). Jaisalmer Fort is special and unique to me because it is still inhabited after hundreds or thousands of years. I also visited Amber Fort outside Jaipur (entering the fort gate on a painted elephant like a maharajah), Ranthambore Fort, and Chittorgarh Fort with the claustrophobic Victory Tower.


Malta - 13-Feb-13 -

It would be fair to include such a WHS. I think it would deserve the WHS status at least as much as the Belfries of France and Belgium. Jaisalmer Fort and Jodhpur's Fort definitely would be 2 highlights in such a WHS.

Els Slots

The Netherlands - 12-Jul-93 -

Hill Forts of Rajasthan by Els Slots

In 1993 I visited one of these forts: Amber Fort. It was my first trip to India, and I was completely overwhelmed by its street life and visible poverty. Jaipur, the nearest city to Amber Fort, also was the first place we visited on our tour.

The Fort is located on the top of a hill, and we walked there in the late afternoon. I remember that it was getting dark when we returned and that there were lots of local kids yelling at us, walking with us, or wanting to hold hands.

The fort was built from 1592 and "shows the evolution from the purely defensive fort settlements of the early medieval period to the palace fortress type of architecture typified in the 16th century." It is quite an extensive complex, with several courtyards, gardens, a temple, audience halls and living quarters.

My visit was so long ago that I cannot really argue if this is a viable WHS or not. But certainly "palaces" in general are still a very prominent feature of Indian history and culture.

Site Info

Full Name
Hill Forts of Rajasthan
Unesco ID
2 3
Structure - Military and Fortifications

Site History

2013 Revision

Includes former TWHS Chittorgarh Fort (1981)

2013 Inscribed

2012 Referred

2012 Advisory Body overruled

Referral instead of "Not inscribed" proposed by ICOMOS


The site has 6 locations

Hill Forts of Rajasthan: Chittorgarh Fort
Hill Forts of Rajasthan: Kumbhalgarh Fort
Hill Forts of Rajasthan: Ranthambore Fort
Hill Forts of Rajasthan: Gagron Fort
Hill Forts of Rajasthan: Amber Fort
Hill Forts of Rajasthan: Jaisalmer Fort


The site has

Art and Architecture
Human Activity
Religion and Belief
Visiting conditions
WHS on Other Lists
World Heritage Process


Community Members have visited.

A. Mehmet Haksever AC Adiaro18 Afshin Iranpour Alberto Rodriguez Gutierrez Alex Marcean Alexander Barabanov Alexander Lehmann Alexander Parsons Alfons and Riki Verstraeten Ali Zingstra Alikander99 Allison Vies Amitlchoudhuryjbp Ammon Watkins Angela Vandyck Ani Anna Wludarska Annalett Swanepoel Anticpantaloon Anuradha Goyal Arianna Artur Anuszewski Aspasia Athena2186 Atila Ege Austra78 Bamse Bborders Ben Pastore Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero Bin Bob Parda Boj Brendan Carroll Buzz CalvinLoh Carlo Medina Carlo Sarion Carlos Garrido Carolinerowe25 Chen Taotao ChenMing Cheryl Chinmaya Chole Ross Chrissiequirk272@gmail.com Claire Bradshaw Clem C Clyde Coulpete Craig Harder Daniel Gabi Dasexps David Marton Dibro Diggy Dimitar Krastev Donald M Parrish Jr Donnico DuSilo Duesi73 Eldhoelias67 Elisabeth Fransisca Situmorang Els Slots Erik Jelinek Fan Yibo Fedekiwi Felicité Ferdimerkx Filip Murlak Fmannucci Frederik Dawson Garrett Garyrjtaylor Ge zhang Geert Luiken George Evangelou GerhardM Gianmarco Gianni Bianchini Gill Colman Gisella Gordon Mitchell HE SHAOMIN Hadrianus Haining Guan Handballrama Harald T. HaraldOest Harry Mitsidis Hidalgo Hidalgo Houqian Howard Brayer Hrishikesh Htupaz Hyoga Iain Jackson Ivan Rucek J Mitchell J_neveryes Jacob Choi Jacob Otten Jan-Willem Janis Janklak Janmoch Jarek Pokrzywnicki Jason and Corrinna Javier Coro Jean Lecaillon Jeankedezeehond Jeanne OGrady Jeffrey Chai Ran Jezza Joachim Nölte-Baumann Joel on the Road JohanneB John Smaranda Johnson Zhao Join-our-journeys Jonathanfr Jos Schmitz Jose Joshuakirbens Joyce van Soest Jsalda Judith Tanner JudyWalsh Julianna Lees Junwang111 KAO Keith90245 KeithBailey Kelly Henry Kevin McFarland Klaus Bondar Knut Krijn Kurt Lauer La Concy LaVale Lameduck99 Lara Adler Larry F Lars Jensen Lauren Leontine Helleman Lichia Liu tuo Liverpool1023 Longdutch Loratodorova Lorenzo2022 Lucio Gorla Ludvan Luis Filipe Gaspar Lukasz Palczewski Luke LOU MMM MSNarayanan MaYumin Maciej Gowin Malgorzata Kopczynska Marie Morlon Martina Rúčková Marton Kemeny Matthewsharris Michael Novins Michal Kozok Michal Marciniak Mikko MirksB Mnikish730 MoPython Monica Tasciotti Morodhi Naim Y Nan NataliaS Neil McPaul Nihal Ege Nomad99 Olli-Pekka Turunen PabloNorte Pang Liang Fong Pascal Cauliez Patphilly Patrik Paul Hilder Paul Schofield Peltzi Petteri Philipp Leu Philipp Peterer Phillipmeng Pieter Dijkshoorn Pink Bunny Potsdamer Prasadsawant Priyaranjan Mohapatra Qqalexqq Rahul Rathi Ralf Regele Randi Thomsen Raphael Ravishankar Red Reisedachs Reza Ri Riccardo Quaranta Richard Stone Rob Wilson Robin Frank Roman Bruehwiler S. Anril Tiatco SHIHE HUANG Sachin Sascha Grabow Saxondean Sergio Arjona Shandos Cleaver Simisingh3 Simonf Skalec Socon Solivagant Sophie Stanislaw Warwas SteO153 Stephen Brooker Subhayan_svnit Sujan Kumar Sun_jianyuan@me.com Super-Sophie Sutul Svein Elias Szucs Tamas Tamara Ratz Tammy Gouldstone Tevity Thanneermalai L The Salmons Thomas Buechler Thomas Kunz Thomas van der Walt TimAllen TimPick Tlaloc Tonioto Tony H. Tony0001 Travelure Truls Brekke V&M Vernon Prieto Vicente B. Avanzado Jr. Vincent Cheung Voyager WHS Lux Wait About Walter H. Wang Qin Waxwing Wieland Wodynski Wolfgang Hlousa Wolfgang Sander Wtrentfox Wuzefelix YAO WEI Yuri Samozvanov Zhang xiaozhong Zos M Zoë Sheng _johsch_