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Bala Quila (Alwar fort)
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Mon – Sun  9:00AM to 6:00PM
1 – 2 hrs. (suggested)
Oct to March
Nov to Feb
Summer: 24°C – 40°C
Winter: 16°C – 30°C

This imposing fort stands 300m above Alwar, its fortifications hugging the steep hills that line the eastern edge of the city. Predating the time of Pratap Singh, it’s one of the few forts in Rajasthan built before the rise of the Mughals, who used it as a base for attacking Ranthambhore. Mughal emperors Babur and Akbar have stayed overnight here, and Prince Salim (later Emperor Jehangir) was exiled in Salim Mahal for three years.

Courtesy: Mewati Lehar

Built in 15th century by Hasan Khan Mewati, it has been under the rule of the Marathas, Yadavas, and the Kachwaha Rajputs. According to the Hindu Puranas, the fort is the strength of the King. The literal meaning of the ‘Bala Quila’ is the Young Fort. Laxman Pole is the only metalled road which connects the Fort to the Alwar city. The silver pages of history speak that Pratap Singh, the founder of Alwar state entered the fort through this metalled way only.

It is an architectural piece of Indo-Islamic style. The walls are beautifully crafted which takes you back to the golden era. Each gate is named after a ruler which speaks about their magnanimity. Besides the beautiful carvings of the wall, there are many other things which are eye catching.The notable buildings in the fort are Jai Mahal, Nikumbh Mahal, Salim Sagar Pond, Suraj Kund and 15 temples, namely Sita Ram temple, Top Wale Hanuman Ji Temple and Chakradhari Hanuman temple which in the present day reflect the historical grandeur of the bygone era.

It has 446 openings for Musketry which are surrounded by 8 citadels, 15 large and 51 small towers. The part of the fort where Jahangir lived for three years of his exile is known as Salim Mahal. Also, the fort houses a radio station which can only be visited with the permission of the Superintendent of Police, Alwar.

The fort was used by Mughals as the base for attacking Ranthambore even before they starting ruling. Mughal emperors Babur and Akbar had an overnight stay, whereas Prince Salim (later Emperor Jahangir) was exiled for three years in Salim Mahal as the outcome of banishment by Emperor Akbar.

The distance between the city and the fort is of about 12 km. The foothill of the cliff is easily reachable by auto-rickshaws or private cabs. From the foothill, there is a 7 km steep path which has to be covered on foot.

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