Forts in Madhya Pradesh

Often referred to as the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh is one of the best tourist destinations in the country. It is brimful of tourist attractions and manages to delight tourists of all types, be it nature lover or a history buff or adventure enthusiast or food junkie or anything else. But the major highlight of the state is its mighty forts. It is a well-known fact that several rulers reined the region for years. Hence, the state is full of forts, which not only offer insights into the kingdoms of the bygone era but also are the finest specimens of Indian architecture. A tour to Madhya Pradesh cannot be deemed a complete one without exploring some of the most popular forts.

madhya-pradesh-forts

Top 10 Forts in Madhya Pradesh

Since the state has numerous forts, it is important to highlight the best ones. Some major ones are discussed below:

  • Gwalior Fort
  • Orchha Fort Complex
  • Chanderi Fort
  • Bandhavgarh Fort
  • Madan Mahal Fort
  • Maheshwar Fort
  • Datia Fort
  • Asirgarh Fort
  • Dhar Fort
  • Raisen Fort

Gwalior Fort

gwalior-fort-in-madhya-pradesh

Located on the top of a 3 km long plateau, Gwalior Fort is one of the major tourist attractions in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. Since the fort has served as a ground for many battles, its design has changed many times. The fort was instructed by Man Singh Tomar, who reigned from 1486 to 1516 CE. The fort comprises of several majestic structures, i.e., palaces, temples, gurudwara, school, museum, etc. The major attractions of the palace are Gujari Mahal (which has been converted into a museum) and Man Mandir Palace. In all, the fort is a sight to behold and is one of the best forts in Madhya Pradesh, India.

  • Timings: 6 am to 5:30 pm.
  • Best time to visit: October – March.

Orchha Fort Complex

orchha-fort-complex-in-madhya-pradesh

Having a large number of ancient monuments, Orchha Fort Complex is nestled on the banks of River Betwa and River Jamni in Orchha town of Madhya Pradesh. Rudra Pratap Singh, a Bundela Rajput king laid foundations for the fort complex. Later, it was completed by his successor rulers. The fort features palaces, gardens, pavilions, temples, etc. Furthermore, the fort has latticed windows, flat areas, hidden passages, mural paintings, etc. to delight tourists. Jahangir Mahal and Raja Mahal are the two most spectacular sculptures in the complex, portraying majestic architectural styles.

  • Timings: 8 am to 6 pm.
  • Best time to visit: October – March.

Chanderi Fort

chanderi-fort-in-madhya-pradesh

Situated on the edges of Malwa and Bundelkhand, Chanderi Fort is a huge Mughal Fort in the town of Chanderi, which is located in Ashoknagar district of Madhya Pradesh. The fort is so old that it even finds a mention in the famous Hindu epic, Mahabharata. Located 71 m above the town, the fort is surrounded by lush green forests and easygoing lakes. It is believed that the palaces (Hawa Mahal and Nau Khanda Mahal) within the fort were constructed by Bundela chiefs while the fortification walls were laid down by the Mughal rulers. The fort is accessible through three gates, out of which the most popular one is the main gate, known by the name of “Khooni Darwaza”.

  • Timings: 6:30 am to 6 pm.
  • Best time to visit: October – March.

Bandhavgarh Fort

bandhavgarh-fort-in-madhya-pradesh

Nestled in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh Fort is situated on Bandhavgarh Hill, at a height of 811 m above the sea level. The fort is in the centre of Bandhavgarh National Park, which is a popular tourist attraction in Madhya Pradesh. Though there are no records related to the history of the fort, it is suggested by the regional folklore that the rulers of the Gond Empire constructed the fort. The fort has also been mentioned in several ancient books. One can catch the beautiful view of the wildlife reserve from the fort. The fort features various idols, depicting its relation with the famous Hindu epic Ramayana. Moreover, tourists can spot vultures from the Suicide Point inside the fort.

  • Timings: Sunrise to sunset.
  • Best time to visit: October – April.

Madan Mahal Fort

madan-mahal-fort-in-madhya-pradesh

Perched on a hill in the town of Jabalpur, Madan Mahal Fort is a small fort of the Rajgond rulers. Dating back to the 11th century AD, the fort is well associated with the Gond queen and her son. Commissioned by the Gond ruler Raja Madan Shah, the fort offers enchanting views of the surrounding region. The fort was built as a pleasure palace for the ruler. The fort also includes many stables, rooms, secret passages, corridors, tunnels, and much more. Though the fort is not as marvelous as other forts in the state, it is worth a visit during the Madhya Pradesh tour.

  • Timings: 7 am to 6:30 pm.
  • Best time to visit: October – March.

Maheshwar Fort

maheshwar-fort-in-madhya-pradesh

Nestled along the banks of Narmada River, Maheshwar Fort is a splendid edifice. The fort used to the residence of queen Rajmata Ahilya Devi Holkar of Maratha dynasty but now it has been converted into a 4-star luxury hotel. It is said that there are more than 100 temples around the fort. These temples seem to boast of the centuries-old history of the town. The heritage hotel offers a one-of-its-kind experience to guests as they get to spend their vacations in the royal style. The fort also has a terrace, from where tourists can catch a glimpse of blooming river and its surroundings. Due to its connection with the queen of Holkar dynasty, the fort is also addressed as Ahilya Fort.

  • Timings: 6 am to 7 pm.
  • Best time to visit: October – March.

Datia Fort

datia-fort-in-madhya-pradesh

Located on an isolated rock on the western side of Datia city, Datia Palace is about 75 km away from Gwalior. The palace was commissioned by Raja Bir Singh Deo. The edifice is a conglomerate of Mughal and Rajput architecture. It is so huge that it can be spotted from a faraway place. The palace features 7 floors, all of which are truly marvelous. The most surprising thing about the palace is no royal ever lived there. The fort is a wonderful and strong structure. Moreover, it is the biggest and the most famous palace out of 52 palaces built by the founder of Datia all over the country.

  • Timings: 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Best time to visit: October – March.

Asirgarh Fort

asirgarh-fort-in-madhya-pradesh

Built in the 15th century, Asirgarh Fort is situated is perched on a hill, 20 km north from Burhanpur in Satpura Ranges. The fort was built by Asa Ahir of the Ahir dynasty. The architecture of the fort is a combination of Islamic, Mughal, Persian, Turkish, and Indian styles. The fort features a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, a mosque called Asir Masjid, a gurudwara, several ponds, etc. It is said that different portions of the fort belong to different eras. Though the fort is in a ruined condition, it is one among the top tourist places to visit in Madhya Pradesh.

  • Timings: 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Best time to visit: October – March.

Dhar Fort

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Located on a small rectangular hill, Dhar Fort was built in 1344. It is believed that Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, then the Sultan of Delhi built this fort. The buildings inside the fort showcase a mix of Afghan, Mughal, and Hindu architectural styles. Constructed of red sandstone, the fort contains structures like Sheesh Mahal, Kharbuja Mahal, a palace museum, etc. The fort served as an important centre for freedom fighters during the Great Revolt of 1857. The fort continues to amaze tourists with its splendid architecture and strategic location.

  • Timings: 24 hours.
  • Best time to visit: October – March.

Raisen Fort

raisen-fort-in-madhya-pradesh

Spread across a lofty hill, Raisen Fort is situated 43 km west of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. The fort is so huge that it has 9 gates and 3 watchtowers. There are various structures enclosed within the fort, including palaces, a mosque, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, a big reservoir, etc. Surrounded by dense woods on all the sides, the fort traces its origin back to 1200 A.D. Furthermore, the interiors of the fort are decorated with ancient rock shelters and beautiful paintings. The fort demonstrates a mixture of different architectural styles. Or it can be said that every ruler that reined the surrounding region has left his imprints in the fort.

  • Timings: 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Best time to visit: October – November.

Conclusion:

Apart from these best ones, there are numerous forts and palaces in Madhya Pradesh, boasting of the rich cultural heritage and magnificent architectural styles. So, delay no more and plan a trip to Madhya Pradesh at the earliest and acknowledge the legacy of the town.

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