Rajasthan Fort Hill – World Cultural Heritage in India

The serial site, located in the state of Rajastahan, consists of six majestic forts in Chittorgarh; Kumbhalgarh; Sawai Madhopur; Jhalawar; Jaipur and Jaisalmer. The eclectic architecture of the forts, measuring up to 20 kilometers in circumference, is testimony to the power of the Rajput private states that flourished in the region from the 8th to the 18th centuries. The defensive walls were large urban centers, palaces, commercial centers and other buildings including temples that often predated the fortifications, within which a royal culture developed. elaborate support for learning, music and the arts. Several urban centers enclosed in fortifications still exist, as do the site’s many temples and other sacred buildings. Fortresses use natural defenses provided by the landscape: hills, deserts, rivers, and dense forests. They also had an extensive water harvesting structure, much of which is still in use today.

Accreditation year: 2013
Criteria: (ii)(iii)
Area: 736 ha
Buffer zone: 3,460 ha

Outstanding global value

In the State of Rajasthan, the six vast and majestic hill fortresses together reflect the elaborately fortified positions of power of the Rajput private states that flourished between the 8th and 18th centuries and their relative political independence.

The extensive fortifications up to 20 km in circumference optimized different types of mountainous terrain, especially the river in Gagron, the jungle in Ranthambore and the desert in Jaisalmer, and represented an important period. important role in the development of an architectural form based on “traditional Indian principles”. The vocabulary of architectural forms and ornaments has much in common with other regional styles, such as Sultanate and Mughal architecture. The Rajput style is not “unique”, but the distinctive way that Rajput architecture is eclectic (inspired by its predecessors and neighbors) and its influence for later regional styles (such as Maratha architecture) made it special.

Within the defensive walls of the fortress, the architecture of the palace and other buildings reflects their role as centers of court culture, and as patrons for the study of art and music. . In addition to housing for the court and military protection, most had extensive urban settlements within their walls, some of which still exist today. And some also had trading centers because the fortresses were the centers of production, distribution, and trade that formed the basis of their wealth. Most forts contain temples or sacred structures, some of which predate and outlast the Rajput kingdoms, and many of these remarkable collections still attract followers. track. In general, forts contain extensive water harvesting structures, many of which are still in use.

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As the former capital of the Sisodia clan and the target of three famous sieges in history, Chittorgarh is associated with Rajput history and folklore. Furthermore, the sheer number and variety of early architectural monuments (from the 8th to the 16th centuries) mark it as an exceptional fortress in terms of scale and grandeur. comparable to very few other forts of India. Kumbhalgarh was built in a single process and (apart from Fateh Singh’s palace, added later) retains architectural coherence. Its design is attributed to an architect named –Mandan who was also an author and theorist at the court of Rana Kumbha in Chittorgarh. The combination of these factors is very special. Set amidst the forest, Ranthambore is a prime example of a forested hill fort and furthermore, the Rest of Hammir Palace is one of the oldest surviving structures of an Indian palace. Gagron is an example of a fortress protected by a river. In addition, its strategic location on a hill reflects it controlled trade routes.

The Amber Palace represents an important period (17th century) in the development of the common Rajput-Mughal court style, reflected in the buildings and gardens added by Mirza Raja Jai ​​Singh I. Amber.

Jaisalmer is an example of a hill fort in desert terrain. The large town that lies within it from the beginning, still inhabited to this day, and the group of Jain temples, make it an important (and in some respects, even the only) example. ) about a sacred and secular fortress (urban). In addition, its strategic location on a hill reflects it controlled trade routes.

Criterion (ii): Rajasthan’s Hill Forts represent an important exchange between Princely Rajput ideologies in fort planning, art and architecture from the early to late medieval period, in the diverse cultural and geographical areas of Rajasthan. Although Rajput architecture shares much in common with other regional styles, such as Sultanate and Mughal architecture, it is eclectic, drawing inspiration from its predecessors and neighboring countries, while also having a degree of influence on later regional styles such as Maratha architecture.

Criterion (iii): The chain of six massive forts on the hill is an architectural manifestation of Rajput’s valor, valor, feudalism and cultural traditions, recorded in several Historical texts and medieval and late medieval paintings in India. Their elaborate fortifications, built to protect not only garrisons for defense but also palatial buildings, temples and urban centers, and their distinctive Rajput architecture , is a special testament to the cultural traditions of the ruling Rajput clans and their patronage of religion, art and literature in the Rajasthan region over the centuries.


As a chain, the six components together form a complete and coherent group that fully embodies the properties of the Universal Outstanding Value without reliance on future additions to the chain.

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When treated as individual components, Chittorgarh and Ranthambore include all relevant elements to represent their local, fortress-related meanings. However, ICOMOS is concerned about the development and industrial activities around Chittorgarh Fort, especially the pollution and landscape impacts of the nearby quarries, cement plants and zinc smelters, if continued. continue or even extend, potentially adversely affecting the asset.

Chittorgarh’s wider landscape is susceptible to urban development as well as industrial and mining activities that cause significant air pollution. In Jaisalmer, the wider vistas and views of the fort may be susceptible to some kind of urban development in the surrounding town. While in Gagron, the scene can be threatened due to uncontrolled construction.

Within the fortresses, there are recognized developmental pressures stemming from the continued encroachment and expansion of communities. The stability of the entire hill where Jaisalmer is located is susceptible to water seepage due to the lack of adequate infrastructure.


As a series, the six locations are likely to show all the outstanding aspects of the Rajput fortress between the 8th and 18th centuries. Each site is essential to the series.

As for individual fortresses, although the structures at each site convey their full value, some are vulnerable. The original exterior plaster at Fort Amber and Fort Gagron was replaced, which stripped away the historic material and rust. At Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh Forts, there are structures in a state of gradual decay or collapse, prone to losing their originality in materials, quality, workmanship and design. In Jaisalmer in the metropolitan area, individual buildings need improved conservation methods.

Protection and management requirements

Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambore and Jaisalmer Forts are protected as Monuments of National Importance of India under the Historic and Ancient Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Monuments Act (Declaration of National Importance) country) 1951 (No. LXXI 1951 (AMASR)) and AMASR Revised 2010. They are listed in 1951 (Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambore and Jaisalmer) and 1956 (Chittorgarh). The 1951 national law provides unlimited protection to designated monuments within its framework and the 2010 amendment establishes a 200 meter protected area around the site of the Monuments with designated national importance.

Gagron and Amber Forts are designated as State Protected Monuments of Rajasthan under the Rajasthan Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Antiquities Act 1968. Both were listed in the exact year the act was passed. . The 1968 Act states that no one, including property owners, may carry out any construction, restoration or excavation work, unless authorized by the responsible public authorities. . In the case of Amber Palace, an additional notice regarding the protection of a 50 meter buffer zone around the property was issued. All sites have designated buffer zones, but a clearer zoning policy for these buffers is needed to regulate development.

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The overall management of the six properties is directed by the Apex State Advisory Committee, established through Order A&C/2011/3949 on 11 May 2011. This committee is chaired by Rajasthan’s Chief of Staff. Maintain and include members of relevant ministries, namely Environment & Forests, Housing and Urban Development, Tourism, Arts, Literature & Culture, Energy and various representatives of heritage sectors including ASI. The Apex Advisory Committee meets quarterly and is designed to form an overall multi-tenant asset management framework, local management guidelines for the six multi-tenant components, and coordination of cross-sectional initiatives. transparency, sharing documents and research, sharing management and conservation practices, and addressing the requirements of shared interpretive resources.

To implement the recommendations of the Apex Advisory Committee, the Amber Development and Management Authority serves as the overarching authority for regulatory implementation. This was legalized through the announcement of the Rajasthan Government Chief of Staff dated 14 October 2011.

There are Management Plans designed for 2011 to 2015 for five of the six sites. For Jaisalmer, the Property Management Plan, along with sub-plans including visitor management, risk preparedness and local people’s livelihood generation, will be completed by the end of 2013. there are policy statements in the Plan for reference Excellence Global Values ​​and more detailed action plans will be developed to implement management policies, as well as management quality assurance indicators. management during implementation. For the first revision of the Plans, an overarching volume of the entire series should be provided that outlines the agreed approaches.

To reverse the flaws of some individual structures within the fortress, short-term conservation actions are needed. For Jaisalmer, it was necessary to ensure that the main conservation project for the infrastructure and the preservation of individual buildings was carried out within the agreed timeframe. The preservation of extremely extensive fortifications and complexes of palaces, temples and other buildings will require a great deal of skill and resources. A capacity-building strategy to raise awareness of the importance and value of these skills could be considered as part of a livelihoods-creation approach.

To ensure a clear understanding of how each fortress contributes to the entire sequence, it is necessary to improve interpretation as part of the interpretation strategy for the overall sequence.

Rajasthan Fort Hill Map

Video of Rajasthan Fort Hill

See also: UNESCO World Cultural/Natural Heritage Sites

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