Fort in Bundi
Opening hours: 8:00am-5:00pm
Address: Nahar ka Chauhatta, Bundi, Rajasthan
Ticket price: ₹100, camera/video ₹50/100
Visit duration: People typically spend up to 1 hour here
Taragarh Fort, initially known as Ajaymeru Durg, is nestled in the city of Bundi, Rajasthan. This 700-year-old fortress was built at an elevation of 1430 feet on the steep hillside.
What once was quintessential of exclusive Rajput architecture now only possesses the remnants of the elegant past. You can witness the noteworthy craftsmanship of the forgotten artisans in the majestic fort. The panoramic view of the city from the top of Taragarh Fort never ceases to amaze the visitors.
The Taragarh Fort is believed to have been built by the founder ruler of the city of Bundi, King Ajaypal Chauhan in 1354. The Mughals used the fort as a strategic centre while the British dismantled the fort and converted it into a sanatorium on the orders of Lord William Bentinck.
Prithviraj, elder brother of Rana Sanga of Mewar seized the Taragarh fort at the end of the 15th century but Rana Sanga of the Sisodia dynasty gifted the fort to Karamchand Panwar.
Miran Saheb ki Dargha, one of the major gateways of the fort, pays tribute to Miran Saheb, garrison commander or Qiladar of the fort, who sacrificed his life while defending the fort against enemy attacks.
The Taragarh Fort is hidden behind the Bundi Garh Palace and has secret tunnels to take refuge and escape during an attack on the city. It is painted in beige and the intricate carvings and architectural layouts that you can see on every nook and corner of the fort is an outcome of Rajasthani-Rajput workmanship at its finest. There is no incorporation or influence of architecture from any part of the country, it is but an original labour of its own culture.
The Taragarh Fort can be entered through three grand gateways, Gagudi ki Phatak, Phuta Darwaza and Lakshmi Pol. Hike to the top of the hill beyond the three main gateways and you will find a grand and ancient door that ushers you inside fort.
As you walk through the wide gateway, you can see, on both sides of the path, two massive platforms built from stone. The doorway was utilised by the royal guards to take shelter from the heat in the past.
The Rani Mahal is also settled inside the fort. The path from the gateway opens to a small veranda which is enclosed by the Mahal. The ground floor has a massive and wide open hall, the layout is similar to an arcade column. The hall leads to the many rooms allocated for every queen of the king. A Baori or a stepwell, built from carving rock, is attached to the Mahal.
An ancient temple is nestled near the Rani Mahal. A garrison for the warriors is also located near the palace as a measure to protect the royal courtesans.
Climbing up further we reach the top of the fort. A long and wide corridor is running across the hill. The fort is 4.5 km wide. At the pinnacle of the fort resides the Bhim Burj. It harbours the largest 16th-century bastions of the fort popularly known as 'Garbha Gunjan' or the 'Thunder from the Womb'.
The Taragarh Fort is slowly degrading into ruins with time yet it has managed to capture its royal aura. The height of the fort was indeed strategic. A long trek to reach the top can tire out anyone.
The fort opens everyday from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. The entry fee to the fort is ₹100. For camera and video, it costs ₹50 and ₹100 respectively.
It would be less exhausting if you visit the fort during the early mornings as walking under the sun always depletes energy.
Keeping in mind that a lot of walking is required, keep 1 to 2 hours in hand to enjoy your tour.
First, there is no drinking water at the fort, so remember to carry your water bottles. Second, wear comfy footwear that will help you ascend the steep slope and enjoy the view of the fort.