Location: Bundi, Rajasthan
Built In: 1354
Built By: Ajaypal Chauhan
Other names : Star Fort, Ajaymeru Durg and Garh Beetli
Perched on hilltop of Nagpahari, Taragarh Fort stands majestically overlooking Bundi city, Rajasthan. This massive fort was built by Ajaypal Chauhan, the Sapadlaksh king in 1354. The fort served as a perfect defense system against the enemies. The rugged topography of Nagpahari hill on which the fort was built made it inaccessible to the invading armies. The fort contains huge walls, water reservoirs and monumental structures such as the Rani Mahal and Miran Saheb ki Dargah, a tomb dedicated to Miran Saheb, a great warrior who laid down his life defending Taragarh from marching rival troops. Taragarh Fort is also known by other names such as Star Fort and Ajaymeru Durg. The fort was once believed to be strong bastion of the Chauhan dynasty and is known for its tunnels crisscrossing the hillside. The fort has several gates namely Gagudi ki Phatak, Lakshmi Pol and Phuta Darwaza.
History Of The Fort
Taragarh Fort was built by Sapadlaksh, king Ajaypal Chauhan. He was also the founder of Taragarh town. This fort was built to safeguard the town from enemy’s invasion. In the 12th century, the Chauhans ruled over Bundi. The fort was the key to Rajputana. Taragarh Fort had witnessed many historic battles over the centuries involving Rajput rulers, Mughals, the Marathas as well as the British Empire. During the Mughal rule, this fort became important military training ground. However, in later period, Taragarh Fort was turned into a sanatorium by the British authorities when they conquered Ajmer, Taragarh and the surrounding regions.
Architecture/ Layout Of The Fort
Taragarh Fort in Bundi city, is a spectacular and impressive display of Rajasthani architecture. The main gateway of the fort is adorned with stone carvings of elephant sculptures. The fort has three gateways namely Lakshmi Pol, Phuta Darwaza and Gagudi ki Phatak. Water reservoirs inside the fort are carved out of the rocky base of the fort. These water reservoirs were built to store water and supply for citizens during the time of crisis. The tunnels inside the fort served as routes for Kings and generals to escape in the vent of sudden invasion by enemy. The massive tower of Bhim Burj is barricaded on which is mounted a large canon known as Garbh Gunjam, or ‘Thunder from the Womb’. Within the fort premises, Rani Mahal is another complex where King’s concubines and queens lived.
Major Battles or Events Associated With The Fort
During the rule of Rajputs, the fort was invaded by Roshan Ali, Sahabuddin Gauri and several other armies. The fort also came under attacks from Bahadur Shah and Sher Shah. During the Mughal rules, this fort became a central place for military activities. During the British rule, Lord William Bentinck ordered to dismantle the fort and turned it into a sanatorium for the army, stationed at Nasirabad British cantonment.
There are no records about any restoration work being carried for this massive fort. There are some sections in the fort that are not open for public viewing.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Taragarh Fort is during winter, the period between November and March. The fort remains open for visitors from morning till evening.
How to Reach
- Taragarh Fort is located in Bundi city, Rajasthan. Bundi city is well connected through roads, railway lines and air routes.
- There are buses plying towards Bundi city from Kota and Ajmer.
- The nearest railway station is Kota, just 35 kms away from Bundi city.
- The nearest airport is Sanganer Airport, Jaipur, which is about 215 km from Bundi.
Around The Fort
There are other tourist attractions near the fort such as Rani Mahal, Garbha Gunjan, Dudha Mahal and Bhim Burj. Rani Mahal is a palace for royal queens and concubines of the King. Bhim Burj stone tower is located within the premises of Taragarh Fort and is considered second biggest tower in India. Garbha Gunjan, a Canon, can be seen mounted on Bhim Burj. Bundi Palace is also located close to Taragarh Fort. Bundi Palace was built during the 16th-17th centuries.
Taragarh Fort is considered one of the oldest hill forts in India. Taragarh Fort with its glorious past today lay in ruins with overgrown vegetations and has become a historical tourist spot in Bundi city, Rajasthan. The majestic fort with its massive structures, water reservoirs, impressive tower and palace has made it an attractive tourist destination for people from all across the globe. Taragarh Fort presents a spectacular scenic view of Bundi city at twilight.