Although Jaigarh Fort is often overlooked by tourists in favor of the better-known Amber Fort nearby, this majestic garrison in the Aravalli Range is certainly worth a visit, particularly for anyone with an interest in military history. The 18th-century red sandstone structure is also considered among the best-preserved old fortresses in India.
Jaigarh in its present incarnation dates back to 1726 under Maharaja Jai Singh II, and though it was named for the ruler, it also means “fort of victory” (“jai” means victory and “garh” means fort). It’s particularly significant to those with an interest in the military, and the fort has an armory full of old weapons, including plenty of cannons. There’s also a museum with memorabilia from the local royal family.
A variety of half- and full-day tours visit Jaigarh Fort, including group and private sightseeing trips by air, car, and jeep.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear comfortable shoes for navigating the sprawling grounds of the fort.
- The fort has lots of open, high-elevation spaces, so don’t forget sunscreen and a hat.
- There's an on-site restaurant offering simple North Indian meals and snacks.
How to Get There
Jaigarh is located off the road leading from the Jaipur city center to Amber. Getting to the top requires taking a taxi up a windy road full of hairpin turns; travelers can also climb up on foot, but the trip takes a good 20 minutes and may require staving off pesky monkeys. Many Jaipur and Rajasthan sightseeing tours include stops at the fort and usually drop you right in front, saving you a steep climb.
When to Get There
Jaigarh is open throughout the year, though it's best visited first thing in the morning, before the heat of the day makes visiting the open, exposed grounds less than pleasant. Note that Jaipur is at its most comfortable during the cool winter months of December and January and can become unbearably hot during May and June.
The Cannons of Jaigarh
Jaigarh once housed a gigantic cannon foundry (when India was under Mughal rule), and the many cannons here are among the fort’s biggest draw. The most famous of Jaigarh’s cannons is the Jaivana, which has a 55-ton (50,000-kilogram) barrel and is purported to be the world’s largest cannon on wheels.