Ranthambhore fort is believed to have been built in 944 A.D. by a Chauhan
ruler. It is strategically located on the border of Rajasthan and erstwhile
Malwa The Undulating topography of the surrounding forests was used as
an outer defense to the advantage of the fort. It was one of the strongest
forts of Northern India.
The fort had many buildings
inside of which only a few have survived the ravages of wars and time.
Among the remaining ruins, the two pavilions, Badal Mahal and Hammirs court
and parts of the royal palace give an idea of the old grandeur. For water
supply there are two rain fed reservoirs in the fort.
The fort also has an old
temple devoted to lord Ganesh which attracts a lot of pilgrims and visitors.
History of the Fort -
In medieval India, Ranthambhore
was an important Kingdom in the eyes of the Sultans of Delhi because it
guarded the passage to Central India. Muslim invasions brought about major
political changes in North India.
In Rajasthan Chauhan kingdoms
of Sapadalaksha and Nadol disappeared. Govinda, Grandson of Prithviraj
Chauhan established himself at Ranthambhore and rules as a feudatory of
the Sultan of Delhi. However relations between Delhi and Ranthambhore changed
when Fitutmish deceitfully got Virnarayan the ruler of Ranthambhore assassinated
and occupied Ranthambhore. Virnarayan uncle Vagbhat escaped to Malwa and
ultimately founded a small Kingdom for himself bordering Ranthambhore.
In the wake of disturbances after the death of Iltutmish, Vagbhat attacked
Ranthambhore with a small army. He surrounded the fort and ultimately Rajia
Sultan, the ruler of Delhi could barely get the Starving Garrison out of
Vagbhat ruled Ranthambhore
continuously for 12 years struggling with the sultan of Delhi. The
internal quarrels within the sultans and the Mughal invasion left the Sultan
with little time to check the growing powers of Vaghbhat. Vaghbhat built
a beautiful temple at Jhain and beautified Ranthambhore.
Vagbhat was succeeded
by Jaitrasingh who continued the struggle against Delhi and Malwa. In 1253
Balban attacked Ranthambhore but could only capture some horses and had
Hammir succeeded Jaitrasingh
in 1283 A.D and launched a career carrying out raids into Malwa and Gujarat.
He defeated the ruler of Chittor and received tribute from the ruler of
Abu. His power also reached Pushkar, Sakambhari and Champa.