Surrounded by the Kali Sindh and Ahu rivers on all three sides, the Gagron fort is regarded as Rajasthan’s only water fort. The imposing structure has also found its way to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites for its sheer beauty and stunning architecture.
Also known as Jaladurg, the fort is famed for its natural beauty as much as for the fascinating tales witnessed here centuries ago. While surrounded by the tranquil river on all three sides, the fourth side is surrounded by a moat–therefore, also earning the status of a hill fort.
King Bijaldev of the Parmara empire was behind the fort’s establishment in the 12th century. However, historians believe the construction began circa the 7th century and lasted until the 14th century.
Although the fort has seen 14 battles, the Battle of Gagron is the most monumental. In 1951, the Rajput King Rana Sanga was faced with Malwa Sultan Mahmood Khilji’s retaliation after King Sanga attacked him earlier probed by the Sultan’s interference in a matter with Medini Rai.
This sparked an aggressive encounter, after which the Sultan was imprisoned in the fort. The fort has witnessed another painful chapter in history, as it was where the ritual of Jauhar was performed twice. Many locals have reported the exact location where Jauhar took place to be haunted.
About Its Architecture
The fort is exceptional proof of India’s history of architectural splendour. Unlike most forts that have two ramparts, Gagron features three. More interestingly, the fort’s foundation is the hill it stands proudly on. The vast structure spans four sq km and is surrounded by the Vindhya range and the Mukundara hills. The hills are dotted with temples of deities like Shiva and Ganesha. In addition, there’s also a dargah of the Sufi saint Mitheshah, where Muharram is celebrated with enthusiasm every year.
How to reach
Nearest station: Jhalawar Station, located approximately 9 km away
Nearest airport: Kota Airport, located 87 km away
By road: Jhalawar is well-connected to major cities in Rajasthan like Jaipur (318 km away), Kota (83 km), Udaipur (314 km)
The best time to visit this fort is between August and March. Since the fort’s history is mainly obscure, hiring a guide is recommended.
Timings: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Entry fees: Free