The Lohagarh Fort was built by the Jat rulers of Bharatpur and is
situated in the city of Bharatpur, Rajasthan. It is one of the spectacular work
of architecture that has survived many battles and also the wrath of time.
Maharaja Suraj Mal, the founder of Lohagarh Fort, devoted all his wealth for a
good cause and to build numerous forts and monuments across his kingdom. The
fort is of particular interest to the historians and architecture students.
The name Lohagarh is derived from the word ‘Lohagad’ which in common
language means ‘iron fort’. The name is applicable to this fort as this
majestic structure is virtually impenetrable. The fort is surrounded by deep
trench on all sides that in turn provided protection to the citadel. It was
believed that the fortress could only fall when a “crocodile swallowed up all
the water in the moat”.
Today, the fort is managed by the government of Rajasthan and some parts
of this have been converted into a museum. Simultaneously, it has become one of
the most visited tourist spots in the state. In fact, what is interesting about
this fort is that unlike other fortresses, it is very simple and less adorned
with ornamental things like carvings, wall paintings, etc. Security and safety
of the town of Bharatpur are the only things that have been paid attention to
while constructing this fort.
There are three important establishments/ palaces inside the fort
namely, Palace of Badan Singh, Mahal Khas, and, Kamra Palace. There are also
quite a few beautiful monuments within the fort such as Kothi Khas and Kishori
Mahal. There is also a brilliant park named Nehru Park situated between the
museum and main entrance of the fort, which is also known as the Ashtadhatu
Gate. The architecture of the fort reflects the sturdiness of fort and also the
utmost care with which it was built by the Jat rulers.
More on Lohagarh Fort
History of Lohagarh Fort
Lohagarh Fort is positioned on
an elevated surface on an artificially constructed island in the heart of the
town of Bharatpur. Visitors from all the corners of the country come to witness
this grand spectacle. Maharaja Suraj Mal started the construction of this fort
in 1732 and it took around 60 years to complete the fort.
The fort has witnessed multiple
attacks by the Britishers, the major one being the attack lead by Lord Lake in
the year 1805. There was a continuous assault on the fort for six weeks and
within this period the British forces faced onslaught 4 times after which they
finally gave up. Assaults were made on 9 and 21 January and 20 and 21 February
in the year 1805 and subjected the British army to a loss in killed and wounded
of 3203 officers and men.
Architecture of Lohagarh Fort
The most interesting part of the
fort is its walls which are coated with thick layers of mud. the fort takes its
inspiration from the Mahi Durg, which is a fort made of mud referred to in
Sanskrit scriptures. The walls extend up
to 7 km and it was completed in 8 years. The fort gets its sturdiness from its
walls as it was due to the mud coating that the fort was able to withstand the
firing made by the Mughal and British forces.
However, the walls of the fort
were crumbled down as soon as it was annexed by the British Empire in 1826. But
the coating on the inner side of the wall still remains as it used to be in the
past. There are two gateways in the fort, one situated at the north side which
is known as Asthdhaatu or the gate made of eight elements. The walls have
rounded bastions and beautiful carvings and paintings of elephants. There is an
interesting story behind this gate. Initially, this gate was positioned at the
entrance of Chittorgarh Fort. When Alauddin Khilji attacked the city in the 13th
century, he took this gate along with him to Delhi. Later in the year 1764, the
Jat rulers attacked Delhi and took back the gate to Bharatpur.
The other gate is located on the
east side of the fort and is called Chowburja or the four-pillared gate. The
Maharaja’s meeting hall or the Durbar made out of sandstone has intricate
carvings on its pillars and walls, and therefore, it is also one of the major
attractions for the tourist visiting Lohagarh Fort.
There are also three other
places inside the fort: the Karma Palace, Palace of Badan Singh, and the Mahal
Khas. A few splendid towers in the fort such as Fateh Burj and Jawahar Burj
were constructed by the Jat rulers to celebrate their victory over the Mughals
and British forces. Kothi Khas and Kishori Mahal are two other monuments that
you should not forget to visit while exploring the Lohagarh Fort.
Lohagarh Fort Museum
Few parts of the fort have now
been converted into a museum by the state government of Rajasthan. Karma Place
has now been used to exhibit Jain sculptures, collection of weapons, ancient
Sanskrit and Arabic manuscripts, a carving of Yaksha that dates back to 1
century BC, sandstone Shivalinga, the
Nataraja, and many other artifacts of the past. The exhibition halls are small
with marble flooring and stone windows adorned with brilliant patterns.
Best Time to Visit Lohagarh Fort
The ideal time to visit the
Lohagarh Fort is from August to September. The weather is pleasant with
occasional monsoon showers. The walk around the fort during this period is
memorable as you also get the witness the greenery around.
Tips for Visiting Lohagarh Fort
Walk cautiously as the roads and
paths leading to the hill are quite slippery during monsoons.
Do not forget to carry a camera
to click amazing pictures of the fort and the surroundings.
How to Reach Lohagarh Fort
The Fort is nestled in the center
of the town and hence can be accessed by all means of transport, be it bus,
auto rickshaw or cycle rickshaw.