War and Peace
The history of Rajputs is occluded with episodes of battles and bloodshed. This martial race had and still continues to have fierce pride in its lineage and traditions. Never one to capitulate before the foreign invaders, the Rajputs embraced war and carnage with joy to safeguard their honor and freedom. To participate in battles and display bravery, they considered, were a Rajput’s treasure, and not gold and jewels. There passion and conviction to protect their prestige was far greater than living a life of comfort and luxury, distinctly displayed by Maharana Pratap of Mewar, who sacrificed every worldly pleasures for the conservation of his clan, people and sovereignty from the wrath of Akbar.
Sometimes, though, centuries of getting involved in political wars were succeeded by peace, or more likely, negotiations with the supposed enemy.
Taragarh fort, stands as a testimony to both war and peace initiated by the Chauhan dynasty. Formerly known as Ajaymeru after Ajayaraj Singh Chauhan, who founded it at around 7th century AD, the fort was lost when Mohammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan in the year 1192-93. After repeated attacks by the Turkish invaders and after facing defeat every time in the hands of the Chauhan kings, when Ajmer finally came under the clutches of the foreign invaders, the Chauhan dynsaty scattered in various areas to the east and south of Rajasthan. Only when Rao Deva Hada of the Hada Chauhan Dynasty freed Bundi (a land which leads up to Ajmer with the Taragarh fort daring and dauntless in between) from the local tribes, did Taragarh fort regain its former glory, as the Chauhans came back to reside in their fort. Though not the early ‘Raos’, who were in constant support of the Rajput against their clashes with Mughals, but the later ‘Rajas’ of Bundi negotiated for peace and held exalted ranks in the courts of Mughal sovereigns. Rao Surtan Singh of Bundi (1531-1544), however, is notorious for his immoral nature and treachery towards Rana Uday Singh II of Mewar. In the later centuries, the rulers of Bundi also made subsidiary alliance with the British East India Company, which henceforth brought them under the direct protection of the latter. After the partition of India in 1947, the ruler of the state of Bundi decided to accede to India.
This astounding, partly perishing edifice – described by Rudyard Kipling as ‘the work of goblins rather than of men’ – almost seems to spring from the rock of the hillside it stands on. The fort crowns the crest of the steep hill, while the palace spreads picturesquely down the hillside. Surprisingly, the palace is not built of the sandstone favored by most other Rajput Kingdoms, but of a hard, green-tinged serpentine stone, seeked locally. This stone, unlike sandstone, does not lend itself to fine carving. Instead, Taragarh Palace was embellished by superb paintings. The fort is ornately constructed and is highlighted by three gateways, popular among the common folk as the Lakshmi Pol, the Phuta Darwaza and Gagudi ki phatak. It is also known for the large water reservoirs it holds in it, such that all of them used to be inside the fort, making the enemy outside exhausted out of thirst when they tried to lay siege to it.
Despite time playing a harsh role, this witness to epic history, treasures some of the most spectacular murals and shaded window panes. The fort is still an alluring destination for all who want to blend themselves into the colors of Rajasthan.
How to reach Ajmer:
Ajmer is one of the most holy and well connected cities in Rajasthan as it has the famous dargah of garib nawaz which is popular in people from all faiths and religion , it is well connected through air via Jaipur and you will have to take a taxi or bus to reach ajmer it is well connected to all the major cities of rajasthan and daily bus service is also there from delhi and faridabad.
Jaipur international airport is the nearest airport if you are planing to visit ajmer as the city is yet to have its own airport and Jaipur is well connected by daily flights from all the metro cities of India.
ajmer railway station: It is known as ajmer junction and is well connected via rail route will all the major cities and town and trains are available round the clock also it is dotted with a number of hotels and lodges so if a person has not booked a place to stay can easily find accommodation here before starting his journey .
by road connectivity: ajmer is connected to rest of the country through national highway 8, and apart from state transport buses there are a lot of private bus operators who connect ajmer to rest of the country and the kind of buses range from regular buses to sleeper coaches and Volvo bus service which is also operated by rajsthan state transport.