20 Amazing Forts of Madhya Pradesh

When it comes to forts in Madhya Pradesh, you really are spoilt for choice, for the state is home to countless historical marvels from various ages, and each one has something unique to offer. Known as the ‘heart of India’, the land of Madhya Pradesh brims with a rich heritage, history, and a fine medley of cultures that have merged over time.

The architectural marvels hidden in the drapes of Madhya Pradesh are subjects of great admiration amongst history enthusiasts, who flock here every year to rekindle their passion and curiosity. A beautiful, albeit a little time wore, a manifestation of the vast history of Madhya Pradesh, great tales unfold within the walls of these forts.

The state is blessed generously with marvelous natural bounties in the form of wildlife reserves, national parks, and beautifully forested hills, and countless historical monuments tucked away amidst the lush greenery.

Several forts sit shaded amidst forests and hills and weave a fine blend of history and nature to render visitors speechless. Some forts require long hikes but hold startling secrets that are revealed only to the selected few who chase them.

These ancient monuments are a gateway, a portal to the bygone ages, and offer thrilling insights into the primitive ages through the numerous carvings and artifacts housed within. But if you’re confused about which forts to include in your itinerary, here’s a list of amazing forts in Madhya Pradesh.

Famous Forts of Madhya Pradesh

01

Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Fort

Lodged near Gwalior Hill, the history of this fort traces back to the 6th century, the reflections of which can be seen in numerous artifacts and inscriptions that the place bears. The fort has witnessed the rise and the fall of several dynasties and rulers.

Considered to be one of the most historically significant forts in Madhya Pradesh, the architecture of the fort is exceptionally beautiful, carrying adornments in the form of intricate carvings.

Two stunning palaces, namely Gujari Mahal and Man Mandir, of which the former is now a museum, form the Gwalior Fort.

Price: Entry fees of INR 75 per adult, and INR 40 per child is charged.

Timings: 06:00 AM to 05:30 PM, every day.

Location: Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.

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02

Orchha Fort

Orchha Fort

Admittedly, the most popular destination in Orchha, the Orchha Fort is perched on the river Betwa, and comprise of three main buildings, namely Raj Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal.

The fort carries hidden passages, steep, winding stairs, and numerous mural paintings of the many avatars of Lord Vishnu.

The paintings recite stories of the bygone ages, while the arresting architecture of the forts is a blend of the Indian and Mughal styles. The former residence of royalty, Sheesh Mahal has now been transformed into a plush hotel!

Price: Entry fee of INR 10 per head is charged.

Timings: 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM, every day.

Location: Orchha, Madhya Pradesh.
03

Datia Fort

Datia Fort

Seated at a distance of about 80 km from the main city of Gwalior, Datia Palace, otherwise known as Bir Singh Dev Palace, showcases a beautiful architectural confluence of the Rajput and Mughal styles.

The palace spans 7 stunning floors and carries remarkable embellishments in the forms of fine carvings, rich paintings, and beautiful arches.

The most fascinating part about the palace is that it has no support for wood or metal, and yet stands as tall as ever! Though beautifully built, the palace was never inhabited by anyone, except for short visits.

Price: There are no charges to visit the fort.

Timings: 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM, every day.

Location: Datia, Madhya Pradesh.

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04

Chanderi Fort

Chanderi Fort

Chanderi Fort, perched atop a hill near the Betwa river, can be found even in the epic of Mahabharata when the area was ruled by King Shishupal.

Straddling the borders of Malwa and Bundelkhand, the fort sits amidst verdant forests and serene lakes, and several neighboring monuments dating to the Rajputs and Sultans.

Three ornate gates guard the entrance of the fort, of which one is also nicknamed as the ‘Khooni Darwaza’, owing to its reputation of the site of the execution of criminals.

Price: There are no charges to visit the fort.

Timings: 06:30 AM to 06:00 PM, every day.

Location: Chanderi, Ashoknagar District, Madhya Pradesh.

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05

Ajaigarh Fort

Ajaigarh Fort

Huddled atop a wooded hill amidst the Vindhya Ranges in Panna district, the ancient Ajaigarh Fort houses two stunning temples within, guarded by five gates, out of which only two still remain.

The northern gate harbors two rock-hewn tanks called Ganga and Yamuna. The fort seats beautifully carved sculptures and inscriptions which reveal wondrous secrets that have unfolded right before them.

To add to the allure of the fort, you can also spot a few ruined Jain temples resembling those in Khajuraho.

Price: There are no charges to visit the fort.

Timings: 07:00 AM to 06:00 PM.

Location: Ajaigarh Fort, Banda District, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

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06

Bandhavgarh Fort

Bandhavgarh Fort

The forested paradise of Bandhavgarh veils several secrets of the bygone ages within its bounds. Dating back almost 2000 years, the mesmerizing sandstone fort of Bandhavgarh finds mention in the great epic of Ramayana and is believed to have been Lord Rama's temporary shelter when he was journeying home after having destroyed Ravana.

It is commonly believed that the fort was built by two monkeys, and was presented to Lakshman as a gift. The walls of the fort are adorned with several idols of Lord Vishnu in his Dashavatar form. 

Price: INR 25 is charged per head as entry fees.

Timings: Sunrise to sunset.

Location: Bandhavgarh National Park, Bandhavgarh Qila Trail, Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh.

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07

Madan Mahal Fort

Madan Mahal Fort

Perched atop a rugged hill, the Madan Mahal Fort dates back to the age of Gond emperor Madan Singh, who founded the palace. It carries beautiful reverberations of the 10th century AD, along with relics of the Gond Queen Durgavati.

Garha Fort was the residence of the royal family, and housed war rooms, hidden passageways, a stable and an old, dilapidated reservoir.

Another great wonder that surrounds this palace is the Balancing Rock that sits precariously atop another, and looks like it could topple over anytime! The fort falls under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Price: There are no charges to visit the fort.

Timings: 07:00 AM to 06:30 PM.

Location: Madan Mahal Fort, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.

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08

Raisen Fort

A stunning architectural structure crafted from sandstone, and perched atop a lofty hill, the Raisen Fort in Bhopal fosters a massive reservoir along with a few temples. It is one of the most famous forts in Madhya Pradesh, guarded by nine gateways.

The origin of the fort can be traced as back as to 1200 AD! It also houses the shrine of Hazrat Peer Fatehullah Shah, a Muslim saint. The fort centers around a grand courtyard and a pool, while dense woods circle its fence.

Ancient rock shelters and paintings grace the fort walls, sending you reeling back in time.

Price: The entry is free here.

Timings: 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM.

Location: Raisen, Madhya Pradesh.

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09

Deogarh Fort

Deogarh Fort

The beautiful fort of Deogarh in Madhya Pradesh was built in the year 1670 by Rawat Dwarkadas of the Sisodia dynasty and sits atop a hill in the Chhindwara district.

The architectural brilliance along with exceptional mural art and carvings of the fort tempts herds of history patrons and devotees into its realm.

Featuring 200 hundred massive rooms, the building exudes a raw history and culture of the bygone era to stun visitors. The neighboring land of the fort is marked by a handful of wells and tanks built in the 17th century.

Price: There are no charges to explore the fort.

Location: Deogarh, Chhindwara District, Madhya Pradesh.

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10

Hinglajgarh Fort

Named after the Goddess Hinglaj Devi of the Kshatriyas, the Hinglajgarh Fort is situated near Navali village and is one of the lesser known places in Madhya Pradesh.

Though the fort has witnessed various rules, its glory peaked during the reign of the Paramara dynasty.

Many sculptures and artifacts unearthed and excavated from the fort bear testimony to the array of dynasties that have graced its realm, including the reign of Guptas. The fort lies in the midst of mesmerizing deciduous forests.

Price: The entry is free for the visitors.

Timings: 06:00 AM to 06:00 PM.

Location: Hinglajgarh, Madhya Pradesh.
11

Dhar Fort

Dhar Fort

Seated within the lush bounds of the Malwa region, the origin of Dhar Fort can be traced back to the 14th century AD, the reign of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, the then Sultan of Delhi.

Crafted dexterously from black stone, red stone, and solid mural, the fort is equipped with building including Kharbuja Mahal and Sheesh Mahal, featuring remarkable architecture.

A palace museum within the area guards and displays several relics and artifacts from the medieval era. One of the most fascinating places of Madhya Pradesh, Dhar is an unmissable destination for all.

Price: The entry is free here.

Timings: Open 24 hours.

Location: State Highway 31, Shri Vihar Colony, Dhar, Madhya Pradesh.
12

Mandu Fort

Mandu Fort

The biggest of all forts in Madhya Pradesh, Mandu Fort spans 82 km and fosters ruined places, canals, and baths within its bounds. Dating back to the 10th century, the fort was founded by Raja Bhoj and later fell under the reign of Muslim rulers in 1304.

It features countless intricate carvings and inscriptions that recite wondrous stories from the ancient times, capturing the senses.

Mandu Fort dominates every other monument in the region and is a must-see for patrons of history and religion. The fort gives visitors a tantalizing taste of the rich history and culture of its forgotten ages and has become one of the famous tourist places of Mandu

Price: There are no charges to visit the fort.

Timings: 06:00 AM to 07:00 PM.

Location: Dhar, Madhya Pradesh.

13

Maheshwar Fort

Maheshwar Fort

Fortress of the great Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of the Maratha Dynasty, Ahilya Fort graces the ghats of Maheshwar, overlooking the ribboning Narmada river. The edifice features a spacious terrace which offers stunning vistas of the sprawling beauty and the river Narmada.

Initially what was the residential area of the queen has now been converted into a luxury hotel. Carrying luxurious rooms stretching across 7 elegant buildings, the fort offers an unprecedented experience of living within the chambers of royalty, which is something many have only dreamt of.

Price: There are no charges to visit the fort.

Timings: 06:00 AM to 07:00 PM.

Location: Ahilya Wada, Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh.

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14

Asirgarh Fort

Asirgarh Fort

Spread over the mighty Satpura Ranges, Asirgarh Fort, formerly known as Asa Hir Garh, was installed by the Ahir ruler Asa Ahir and is one of the finest Madhya Pradesh forts. It also houses magnificent worship places including a mosque, temple, and gurdwara.

Every part of the fort belongs to a different era, and they come together to weave astonishing stories. The faded beauty of the fort still manages to amuse visitors by teleporting them to the various ages.

Price: There are no charges to visit the fort. 

Timings: 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM.

Location: Asha Devi Road, Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh.

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Unexplored Forts of Madhya Pradesh

15

Ater Fort

Ater Fort

Situated in Ater, the Ater Fort is one of the most shaded forts in Madhya Pradesh and was built by two separate rulers. The construction was initiated by the Bhadauria king Badan Singh in 1644 and completed by Mansingh in 1668.

It is an architectural marvel, and the nuances in architectural styles are beautifully portrayed. A seven-storied residential building with massive balconies and a spacious terrace can be seen within the fort.

Skirting the banks of Chambal river, it also seats remnants of Diwan-I-Am and Diwan-I-Khas, attesting to the brilliance of the fort’s interiors.

Price: There are no entry charges for the fort.

Timings: 06:00 AM to 05:00 PM.

Location: Ater, Madhya Pradesh.

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16

Bajrang Garh Fort

Amongst the most shaded of Madhya Pradesh forts, the Bajrang Garh Fort forms the heart of its home village. Also known as Jharkon, the fort stands as a symbol of victory and strength of the Marathas.

It is home to four historic buildings, namely Bajrang Mandir, Ram Mandir, Moti Mahal and Rang Mahal, along with a dilapidated temple.

The glory of these monuments has faded over time, however, their decrepit walls narrate a captivating story to those who come seeking answers and enlightenment. It is a window to the ancient ages which can be found now only in history textbooks.

Price: The entry is free for all the visitors.

Location: Bajrangarh, Guna District, Madhya Pradesh.

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17

Ginnorgarh Fort

Ginnorgarh Fort

Seated about 60 km away from Bhopal, the Ginnorgarh Fort is one of the lesser known forts in Madhya Pradesh, but by no means any less appealing than the rest.

Reigning atop 1,127 meters on a beautiful hill, the fort is frequented more like a picnic spot than as a historical monument.

Built by the ruler of the Gond dynasty, the fort was passed on to Dost Mohammad, who ruled over the city of Bhopal for a brief period. The trail to the fort cuts through dense forests and winding steps, adding thrill to the affair.

Price: There is no entry fee to visit the fort.

Timings: 10:00 AM to 05:30 PM.

Location: Sehrai Ginnor, Madhya Pradesh.
18

Chauragarh Fort

Chauragarh Fort is cradled by the dense forests of the Satpura Range and sits 250 km away from Jabalpur. Founded by the Gond King Sangram Shah in the 16th century, the fort bears promises of fascinating adventures and secrets.

A manifestation of the history and culture of Jabalpur, the fort also moonlights as a popular picnic spot, owing to the exquisite natural beauty that it is shrouded in.

The beautiful Chauragarh Temple doubles the appeal of the fort, luring more and more adventurers and history fanatics every year. It is also one of the most unexplored of Madhya Pradesh forts and makes for a perfect day hike.

Price: The entry is free for the visitors.

Timings: 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM.

Location: Narsinghpur, Madhya Pradesh.

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16 October 2018
Excellent
It’s was one of those few trips that I cherish, thanks to Thrillophillia for that experience and a special thanks to Satya Rajput ( the incharge crew ) for his special efforts in everything
25 November 2019
Excellent
"bahut maja aaya camp mein Romance Bhiya thank you aapane bahut Dhyan Rakha ham sabka thank you so much Bhiya ??"
20 November 2019
Excellent
3 Cheers for Thrillophilia???????????? #Satya Rajput #Cooperative ???? Sangam of #NarmadaRiver and #TawaRiver Perfect Scenic Natural Place...????? With Awesome Arrangements ???? #MomDaughterTrip????????????????? #BeautifulMemories???? #CelebratingOurSpecialDay???? #16November #Shubhani???? #AddingMomentsToCherish?? #LifeTimeExperience???? Words cannot describe about my experience ????... Might be some glimpse of our pictures can narrate my story???? Chilling weather with Bonfire???? And savouring cup of Tea ? made on the BonFire... Along with Guitarists ????and Amazing Singers???? Would like to go again with such a wonderful team????
03 December 2018
Excellent
amazing company trip with Thrillophilia, nicely managed by hotel staff, camping was very comfortable starting from things were very hustled free just enjoyed a lot team Thrillophilia was very supportive and learnt a lot from all, and got a new lesson on posing in thrillo style from Satya.
27 October 2018
Excellent
I attended Mahua camp which fascinated me to come here from Bhopal to Indore great plan by Thrillophilia and well executed by Satya Rajput.
21 December 2019
Excellent
Looking for a complete tour of Madhya Pradesh , this tour is perfect as it takes you through the most enchanting towns of Madhya Pradesh like l Orchha, Khajuraho, Chitrakoot, Amarkantak, Kanha National Park, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Ujjain. And What makes this tour special is that you can see one of the seven wonders Taj Mahal seeing which is immensely pleasing to the eye.
09 December 2019
Excellent
Perfect river side camp.we enjoy a lot with our group there is various team building games . delicious food they served to us when we reah there the give us tea and some snaks then we enjoy bornfire nd some songs with the group then we take the food nd go to night walk where we do the star gazing then we come to our tents those who wanted to sleep they but we stay near bornfire nd discuss about life nd then we wake up early mrng nd go to see sunrise nd the we play many games nd take the breakfast after the group picture we move to our homes.
08 December 2019
Excellent
"Thank you thrillophilia for amazing experience,\nhad really good times\nespecially with the coolest guides around, achal and ayushi\nthese people were full of life and really made an experience worth it????"
05 December 2019
Excellent
A perfect weekend getaway and a soothing experience
03 December 2019
Excellent
It was an awesome experience ,event

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