India’s history spans thousands of years, characterized by a rich tapestry of cultural, social, and architectural achievements. India’s architectural heritage is a testament to its architectural brilliance right from the Indus Valley civilization to the British era, many of which remain comparatively unpopular to date.

Exploring these offbeat historical sites offers budget travellers a unique and enriching experience that is often more affordable and less crowded than visiting popular tourist destinations.

Gingee Fort, Tamil Nadu

Troy of the East by the British Gingee Fort
Picture Courtesy: Google

Discover the Troy of the East

Often referred to as the “Troy of the East” by the British, Gingee Fort is one of India’s most impressive yet lesser-known historical sites. It is not just a historical monument but an educational adventure that can captivate children with opportunities for exploration. The place is visited by fewer crowds when compared to other famous places.

 The entry fee at Gingee Fort is generally nominal. Local buses and shared auto-rickshaws are available from nearby cities like Chennai, Pondicherry, or Villupuram. One can look for budget stays like hotels, guesthouses, or hostels in nearby towns. Instead of hiring a guide, a little research can help with a self-guided tour and help to organize a budget trip.

Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan

Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Picture Courtesy: Google

Explore the vastness of Chittorgarh

Chittorgarh Fort, located in the city of Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, is one of the largest forts in India and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It stands as a testament to the valour, culture, and architectural prowess of Rajasthan’s history. It is comparatively less explored than other Rajasthan Forts as fewer tourists frequent it. The fort is famous for its prominent towers – the Vijay Stambha and the Kirti Stambha.

Visiting Chittorgarh Fort on a budget is not difficult as Chittorgarh is well-connected by rail to major cities like Jaipur, Delhi, and Udaipur. The entry fees to explore the rich history and architecture are minimal. Sometimes travel passes or discounts are also made available by the tourism board, requiring little research and pre-planning.

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Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan

Walk along the Great Wall of Kumbhalgarh fort
Picture Courtesy: Google

Walk along the Great Wall of Kumbhalgarh

Kumbhalgrah Fort, located in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, is a Mewar fortress on the westerly range of the Aravalli Hills. The Great Wall of Kumbhalgrah extends over 36 kilometres, making it the second longest continuous wall in the world, after the Great Wall of China. Kumbhalgarh served as a refuge for the rulers of Mewar in times of danger.

Kumbhalgarh Fort has spectacular views and planning a budget trip to Kumbhalgarh Fort can be an enjoyable and affordable experience with careful planning. Buses from Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh are frequent and that can help to reduce the cost of travel. There are several budget stays in Kumbhalgrah and nearby towns and the entry fee is minimal.

Bidar Fort, Karnataka

Immerse in the Historic Beauty of Bidar Fort
Picture Courtesy: Google

Immerse in the Historic Beauty of Bidar Fort

Bidar Fort, located in the town of Bidar in Karnataka, is a historical and architectural marvel with a rich history. The fort was originally built in the 8th century by the rulers of the Chalukya dynasty and therefore, has important historical relevance. The fort is known for its formidable bastions and massive gates and covers an area of about 1.5 square kilometres.

Planning a budget trip to Bidar Fort is not a Herculean Task as government and private bus operators run regular services to Bidar from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Pune. Bidar also has a railway station that is connected to cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and others. The place has several budget stays that offer basic amenities at affordable rates. Entry to Bidar Fort is generally free, making it an affordable attraction for budget travellers.

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Golconda Fort, Telangana

Golconda Fort located in Hyderabad Telangana
Picture Courtesy: Google

Experience the Grandeur of Golconda

Golconda Fort, located in Hyderabad, Telangana, is one of India’s most magnificent forts with a rich history and impressive architecture. The fort was originally built by the Kakatiya dynasty in the 12th century as a mud fort and was later rebuilt and expanded by the Qutb Shahi dynasty in the 16th century. It is famous for its diamond mines, which produce some of the world’s most famous diamonds, including the Koh-i-Noor.

A little planning can help to make a budget-friendly trip to Golconda Fort in Telangana exciting and economical. Hyderabad’s public bus system offers affordable options to reach Golconda Fort. One can use the Hyderabad Metro to reach a nearby station and then take a bus or auto-rickshaw to the fort. A range of budget stays are available in areas like Abids, Nampally, and Secunderabad. The entry fee is as nominal as Rs. 25 for Indian citizens and Rs. 300 for foreign tourists and the place is also visited by fewer crowds.

Jaigarh Fort, Rajasthan

Discover the secrets of Jaigarh Fort
Picture Courtesy: Google

Discover the secrets of Jaigarh Fort

Jaigarh Fort, located near Jaipur in Rajasthan, is a historic fort known for its cannon foundry and the world’s largest cannon on wheels. The fort’s massive walls stretch over 3 kilometres and are made of red sandstone. Perched on the Aravalli range, Jaigarh Fort is shrouded in legends and secrets. It is connected to Amer Fort through a series of underground tunnels. There is a persistent legend that Jaigarh Fort once housed a vast treasure of the Kachwaha rulers of Amer.

Travelling in groups can help to split the costs of accommodation. transport, and guided tours when planning a visit to Jaigarh Fort. Booking accommodation and transport in advance can often save money and ensure availability. Many people do not visit the place, and the entry fee is nominal.

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Janjira Fort, Maharashtra

Explore the Unique Sea Fort of Janjira
Picture Courtesy: Google

Explore the Unique Sea Fort of Janjira

Janjira Fort is a historical fortress situated on an island just off the coastal village of Murud in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. The fort is renowned for its robust construction, comprising high walls and bastions that have stood the test of time. It also features several towers and turrets, each equipped with cannons. Despite being surrounded by saline water, the fort contains three sweet water wells. Inside the fort, there is a stone sculpture of a tiger trapping elephants, symbolizing the might of the Siddis.

The boat ride from Rajapuri Jetty to Janjira Fort is relatively inexpensive. Looking for shared boats can reduce the cost even further. Murud and the surrounding areas can be explored on foot or by renting a bicycle, which is both economical and allows an intimate local experience. The entry fee to visit this architectural marvel is minimal.

Taragarh Fort, Rajasthan

Enjoy the Serenity of Taragarh Fort
Picture Courtesy: Google

Enjoy the Serenity of Taragarh Fort

Taragarh Fort in Bundi, located in Ajmer, Rajasthan, is one of the oldest forts in India, renowned for its historical significance and architectural grandeur. The fort has three main gateways known as Lakshmi Pol, Phuta Darwaza, and Gagudi ki Phatak. Each gate is unique, adorned with intricate carvings and designs. The fort is known for its large water reservoirs, which were essential for sustaining the fort’s inhabitants during sieges. The fort’s walls and bastions are robust, showcasing the defensive architecture typical of the era.

Budget travel to Taragarh Fort in Bundi can be a rewarding experience with careful planning. Many of Bundi’s attractions, including Taragarh Fort, are within walking distance of each other. The entry fee is nominal and the place is perfect for budget exploration.

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Ramnagar Fort, Uttar Pradesh

The Relic Ramnagar fort before crossing the river Ganges

Step into History at Ramnagar Fort

Ramnagar Fort offers a unique glimpse into the history and culture of Varanasi, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and cultural explorers. A prominent feature of the fort is its clock tower, which still functions. The Durbar Hall is also one of the notable features where the Maharaja used to hold court, displaying various artefacts related to the royal family. The museum within the fort displays a collection of vintage cars, royal palanquins, antique weapons, medieval costumes, manuscripts, and more. It was built in 1750 by Maharaja Balwant Singh and has been the ancestral home of the Maharajas of Banaras.

A budget traveller can opt for train travel to Varanasi Junction, as it is well-connected to major cities in India and is generally affordable. Many of Varanasi’s attractions, including the Ghats and the old city, can be explored on foot, saving transportation costs and allowing for a more immersive experience. The place has an affordable entrance fee and is not frequented by tourists.

Rai Praveen Mahal, Madhya Pradesh

Uncover the Charm of Rai Praveen Mahal
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Uncover the Charm of Rai Praveen Mahal

Rai Praveen Mahal, located in the Orchha Fort complex in Madhya Pradesh, is a historical palace known for its beautiful architecture and intriguing history. Rai Praveen was a celebrated poetess and musician in the court of King Indrajit Singh of Orchha in the 17th century. Known for her beauty and artistic talents, she was a beloved courtesan. The palace was built by King Indrajit Singh in honour of Rai Praveen. It served as her residence and a venue for her performances.

Planning a budget trip to the place can start by booking train tickets in advance. Jhansi is the nearest railway station, around 16 km from Rai Praveen Mahal. There are some free attractions to explore like the local markets, parks, and temples. Combination Tickets can cover multiple tourist attractions in the area and save money compared to buying individual tickets for each sight. Moreover, the cost of learning about this intriguing architecture and history is nominal.

Each of these forts provides a glimpse into the unknown or less popular part of Indian History. The diversity in India is a result of historical changes and achievements and a short trip to any one of these forts can make some addition to the understanding of Indian dynamics in terms of culture and history. It is high time to pack bags and start a journey filled with education and fun.

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