Hill Forts of Rajasthan – A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The group of forts that are together called as the Hill Forts of Rajasthan have been recently declared as World Heritage Site in the year of 2013. These forts are present in the six major cities of Rajasthan like Chittorgarh, Jhalawar, Sawai Madhopur, Kumbhalgarh, Jaisalmer and Jaipur. The power and prominence of the Princely states is apparent from these humongous forts, some of which have a circumference of 20 kms.

The Rajput clans ruled mainly in the duration of 8th to 18th century. These forts have been cleverly built in the manner so that the natural landscape like the hills, deserts, rivers and dense forests serve the purpose of offering defense to the forts. The structures used for water harvesting are so extensively built that they are brought in use, even today. While many works of constructions are in ruins today, some of the temples, sacred buildings and urban centres have survived the test of time. Within the walls of these forts one might get a chance to see palaces, trading centres and temples. These forts have witnessed and in a way supported the growth of culture, music and arts.

Six Rajasthan forts in World Heritage List

The hill forts, which are mainly located in the Aravalli mountain ranges, primarily include fortress of Ranthambore, Gagron fort, Jaigarh Fort, Amer Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Mehrangarh Fort, Chittorgarh Fort and other fort palaces of Bikaner, Bundi, Kota, Udaipur and Dungarpur. These forts have the capability to showcase all the key features of the kind of architecture brought in to use by the Rajput princely states.

With time some amendments have been brought in some of these forts to ensure that they remain intact. The plaster originally used at Amber fort and Gagron fort has been replaced, which although has strengthened these forts, leading to a huge loss of material, coating and patina that had a historical significance attached to it. The forts at Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh are heading towards decay which might lead to a total collapse. The fort at Jaisalmer is in serious need of renovation. Thus constant attention and focus has to be put in to the maintenance these forts to ensure that these retain their glory.

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