Bala Quila

Eastern Rajasthan

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.

Now in ruins, the fort houses a radio transmitter station and parts are off limits. The surrounding hills are under the auspices of Sariska Tiger Reserve & National Park and subsequently reserve entry fees apply (and heavy fines if you aren't out before sunset). You can walk the very steep couple of kilometres up to the fort entrance or take the road. The ticket office is at the bottom of the hill west of the city palace.

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