Featured Image By Daniel Villafruela CC BY-SA 3.0
Taragarh Fort, better known by the name of Star Fort is a massive and splendid fort located in the Bundi district of Rajasthan. This fort is said to be built in the year 1354 AD by the then Rajput ruler, Rao Deva Hada. A colossal place full of marvelous architectural wonders like huge gateways, wall paintings, bastions, weapons, palaces, lakes, and much more, is a must visit in Rajasthan for the lovers of heritage and excursions. The scenic view of the Bundi city from the top of the fort is really refreshing and breath-taking.
Let up explore this fortification to a much deeper extent-
Location of Taragarh Fort-
Taragarh Fort is located on the Nagpahari Hill of the Aravalli Mountain ranges in the Bundi district of Rajasthan. Bundi is also renowned by the names of the City of Stepwells, Vrindavati, and the Mini Kashi of Rajasthan. It has an approximated elevation of 1426 feet from the sea level.
Bundi is located in the southern Rajasthan and is a part of the Hadoti region that comprises four districts, namely- Kota, Bundi, Baran, and Jhalawar. This region was founded and ruled by the Hada Rajput rulers and so it gained the name Hadoti.
The distance of Bundi from major cities of Rajasthan and that of India is given here- Kota-40 km, Jaipur-212 km, Udaipur-294, Jodhpur-353 km, Ajmer-1710 km, Mumbai-964 km, Delhi- 478 km, and Ahmedabad-573 km.
History of Taragarh Fort-
The fort dates back to the year of 1354 AD and the name of the ruler who built is not clear due to mention of various rulers. The dilemma actually exists between the names of Rao Deva Hada and Rao Bar Singh. While most of the sources favor Rao Deva Hada, there are some mentioning Bar Singh too.
The fort has witnessed various rulers and dynasties like Rajput, Marathas, Mughals, and finally the Britishers. This fort is believed to be the oldest forts of Rajasthan.
The architecture of Taragarh Fort-
This fort is free from the interferences of the Mughal architecture in its construction and is purely made in the royal Rajput styles of architecture. The main material used for the construction is the green serpentine stone.
The main gate known as the Hathiya Pol gives the fascinating entry to the Fort after climbing steep pathways. This huge portal has elephant structures carved on it.
Hathiya Pol Image Credits- @puneetyadav
There exist three other gigantic gateways namely- Gagudi ki Phatak, Phuta Darwaza, and Lakshmi Pol that facilitate entry to the fort. These gateways are the secondary gateways that protected different parts of the fort during emergencies. These are made of wood and are in a very ruined state.
Bhim Burj is a massive bastion built in the 16th century and boasts of the pride to mount the Garbh Gunjan (Thunder from the Womb) canon, one of the most powerful and thrilling canons of that era.
Chitra Shala is another amazing thing to explore within the complex. This place has original murals and colorful wall paintings of the Bundi School of Paintings, but are in a ruined state and demands more attention of the authorities. This art gallery is also known as the Ummed Bhawan getting the name from its creator Raja Rao Ummed Singh.
Garh Palace or Bundi Palace is a majestic palace located within the premises of the fort. This palace, accessed through the Hathiya Pol is said to be built by Raja Rao Ratan Singh Hada during the years of 1607-1631 AD.
Phool Mahal, Badal Mahal, and Chhatra Mahal are the prominent palaces inside the Garh Palace and has splendid features of intricate pillars and kiosks called Jharokhas.
Miran Saheb ki Dargah is a shrine dedicated to Hazrat Miran Syed Hussain within the Garh Palace.
A palace called the Rani Mahal is also located inside the fort complex that has colorful glass windows and wall paintings as the main attraction. It was meant to be the living area for the queens in that era.
The exquisite feature of the fort is the network of tunnels that are present there and probably was meant for the emergency exits of the royal dignitaries during the times of war. Although, these are closed for the visit of tourists due to lack of proper maps.
Some other attractions of the fort are Zenana Mahal, Naubat Khana, Diwan-e-Aam, Anirudh Mahal, and Ratan Daulat. All these are also worth visiting once.
Also Read-RED FORT, DELHI
How to Reach Taragarh Fort?
Address- Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan
PIN Code- 323001
Although the nearest airport to Bundi is the Kota Airport at a distance of about 44 km and can be reached within 1.5 hours through buses or taxis. But this one is not well connected and developed airport. So, the best option would be the Jaipur International Airport, 204 km distant from the fort. You can have both domestic and international flights from here.
Kota Junction is the nearest railway station to Bundi at a distance of about 40 km and is very efficiently connected with almost all major cities of the nation. One can reach there through buses that run at regular intervals from Bundi.
The nearest bus stand is the RSRTC Bus Stand in New Colony, Bundi at a distance of about 2 kilometers from the fort.
Best Time to Visit-
Usually, the months of October-March are best suitable for a visit to the Taragarh Fort. These months of winters will save you from the scorching summer heats of April-June and the monsoons of July- September and would help you to explore the place with full enthusiasm.
Timings of Taragarh Fort-
The visiting hours are from 8 am to 7 pm in the summers while these are reduced to 8 am to 6 pm in the winter. The fort remains open for the tourists on all the days of a week.
INR 500 is charged to foreign tourists that include the ticket of Taragarh Fort and Garh Palace along with the charges of Cameras included.
INR 80 is charged to Indian tourists and the charges of Cameras are INR 100 as an addon.
INR 25 is charged for taking the service of a guide.
Also Read- PITHORAGARH FORT, UTTARAKHAND
It takes around 3 hours to completely explore the fort, so plan your day accordingly. Try to visit the fort in the morning hours only so that heat does not bothers you.
It is advisable to wear shoes with a good grip to avoid any slipping, as the way to the top is very steep and stones are bit slippery.
Do carry proper arrangements of food and water with you, as there are no such facilities available inside the fort.
Carry binoculars for having a mesmerising top view of Bundi city from the fort. This view will remain alive in your eyes for years.
Location on Map-
Do share your experiences below in the comments about Taragarh fort of Bundi.