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Ranthambhore Fort

Ranthambhore Fort RajashtanRanthambore National Park is among the top ten wildlife destinations in India. The name comes from the medieval fort in the park. The fort in turn gets its name from two hills, Thambor is the 700 foot high steep hill the fort is built upon and Ran is nearby. Over a thousand years old, the fort is now a protected monument.

A rugged and large citadel, it withstood several attempts to conquer it. In 1381 ten thousand women committed Johar or mass self immolation. In 1528, the fort was conquered by the Mughals.

In the 17th century, Ranthambhore Fort was made a prison fortress. Prisoners were executed by stuffing them with opium and throwing them down from the fort walls. Francois Bernier, a traveler of the 17th century wrote in his book "Travels in the Mughal Empire, 1656-68" that prisoners were kept on an average for two months, before the Governor would have them brought out. They would then be placed on the top of the wall and after having them drink some milk (a decoction of the milky juice of poppy), they would be thrown down headlong on the rocks below. The opium was given to the prisoners to make them insensible.

In the late 19th century, the Mughals gifted Ranthambhore Fort to the Maharaja of Jaipur. The royal family of Jaipur made the surrounding forests their hunting reserve. The circumference of the fort is 7km. There is a good road leading to the fort and the climb takes 20 minutes. Very often tigers can be spotted in the park below from this vantage point. There are also several temples located in the complex.

Ranthambore Fort is strategically situated for bird watching and also for enjoying the wide vistas, so do take your binoculars and camera along. This place is also extremely popular with movie-makers.

Ranthambore National Park is under WWF-India Eco-development project aimed at developing a model programme to resolve the conflict between human settlement and ecological conservation.

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Taj Mahal, Agra

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had Taj Mahal constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who is entombed here alongside Shah Jahan (who was buried later).

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