FACTS & FIGURES
Built by : Rajput Rulers Of Mewar
Location : Badnore (Rajasthan)
The Bada Imambada is an important tourist attraction of Lucknow. It was
built by the erstwhile Nawab of Lucknow to provide succor to the famine
stricken people. Though it began as a charitable project, yet the large
halls, vaulted galleries, and an intriguing labyrinth of interconnected
passages within it make it an amazing edifice.
THE GLORY THAT WAS
The Badnore fort is located in the colorful state of Rajasthan. Though
this magnificent seven-storied fort is in a state of decay, it reflects
the glory and architectural achievements of the erstwhile Rajput rulers of
Rajasthan. The strategic location of this fort increased its importance
and it witnessed a lot of strife in its hey days.
The vast desert of Rajasthan, the homeland of the Rajputs, is dotted with
innumerable forts and fortresses, some of which are the epitome of
grandeur even today. However, most of these magnificent forts are in an
advanced state of decay now. But, each one of these edifices has an
intriguing past and a spellbinding historic saga of sanguine romance and
chivalry that is synonymous with the brave clan of Rajputs.
The fort in the village of Badnore, in the Indian state of Rajasthan is a
good example of medieval Indian military style of architecture. This
seven-story fort located atop a hill, presents an awe-inspiring view.
There are a number of monuments and temples within the precincts of this
fort and around it. The buildings within this fort conform to the
traditional Rajputana (another name of Rajasthan) style of architecture,
which is a local variation of the broader Hindu style of architecture. The
strategic location of the Badnore fort on the rocky terrain of the Aravali
range, combined with its defenses, made it a strong bastion.
The origins of the region around Badnore go back to the ancient times. A
more than 2,000 years old inscription has been found near the village,
proving the strategic location of this region on an ancient trade route.
The engraved letters on the rock are written in Brahmi script, which was
prevalent around the 3rd century BC during the time of the great Mauryan
ruler, King Ashoka. According to a legend, the village of Badnore was
named after a local ruler by the name of Badna. However, some ancient
texts point out to the fact that Raja Harshavardhan of Kannauj founded the
village and the fort within it.
The majestic seven-storied Badnore fort is built atop a hill and commands
a view of the Badnore village below. Looming large, the garh (fort) seems
a perfect blend of strength and beauty, bearing the indisputable mantle of
pride. The Badnore fort can be entered through a gateway, known as the
Bada Darwaza (big gate), which has two ancient temples on both the sides.
The fort has stables, an ancient temple and a prison inside it, apart from
the main palace. This mammoth bastion that could house an entire battalion
still has over 130 rooms that can be used. The rugged yet delicately
portioned stories, indicate the architectural skill of a genre where
imagination was the only source of aesthetics. The quaint balconies and
the countless domed jharokhas (balcony) that previously offered
ventilation, now offer a peep into the lifestyle of a bygone era, and the
sublime past seems encapsulated in the ambience even today. The
architecture of the buildings within the fortifications conforms to the
traditional Rajasthani style of architecture.
The Badnore fort is surrounded by ten beautiful lakes, which enhance its
splendor. The water from these lakes served as a source of drinking water
for the troops living within the Badnore fort. On the banks of Vinodsagar,
one of the lakes is the Jalmahal or the water palace. Below the Jalmahal
is the Grishma Niwas or the Summer House, overlooking a huge garden. In
its midst is a step-well-a rarity in this region. Thakur Govind Singh, who
was the occupant of the fort at the time, had the step-well constructed in
1897. The step-well comprises a square enclosure that has steps leading
right down to the water on three sides and an eight-pillared balcony
extending on the fourth side.
The history of the Badnore fort is full of the stories of the successes
and failures of its occupants. The fort was a part of the erstwhile
princely state of Mewar and witnessed a lot of conflict. The fort was a
bone of contention between various Rajput kingdoms, which constantly
fought with each other to gain control over it. The reins of this fort
thus kept passing from the hands of one kingdom to another till the
Mughals finally captured it.
HOW TO REACH
Badnore does not have an airport of its own and the nearest airports are
in Udaipur, 190 km away and Jaipur, which is 130 km from Ajmer, which in
turn is a little more than 50 km from Badnore. Badnore does not have a
railway station and the nearest one is in the small town of Beawar,
adjacent to which Badnore is located. Badnore is well connected by road
with the important centers in the Indian state of Rajasthan as it is near
the national highway that connects the cities of Jaipur and Udaipur.