In 2013, at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Phnom Penh,Cambodia, Ranthambore Fort, along with 5 other forts of Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.
The Ranthambore fort was by a Chauhan ruler, although the exact name of the ruler is disputed. A widely held belief states that the fort was built the reign of Sapaldaksha, in 944 CE. Another theory states that the fort was built during the reign of Jayant, in 1110 CE. According to Government of Rajasthan’s Amber Development & Management Authority, it is likely that the construction started in the mid-10th century during the reign of Sapaldaksha, and continued a few centuries after that.
Its earlier name was Ranastambha or Ranastambhapura. It was associated with Jainism during the reign of Prithviraja I of Chauhan dynasty in the 12th century. Siddhasenasuri, who lived in the 12th century has included this place in the list of holy Jaina tirthas. In Mughal period a temple of Mallinatha was built in the fort. The Yadavas ruled in this fort before Prithviraj Chauhan conquered this fort in the 12th century. This has been depicted on a description atone at the entrance of the fort, by the Archaeological Survey of India.
After the defeat of the Chauhan king Prithviraj Chauhan by Muhammad of Ghor in 1192, Ranthambore, led by Govinda Raja, son of Pritviraj, became the center of Chauhan resistance to the expanding Sultanate of Delhi. Govinda Raja was succeeded by his son Balhana.
1569-Akbar’s entry into the fort of Ranthambhor
The Delhi Sultan Iltutmish captured Ranthambore in 1226, but the Chauhans recaptured it after his death in 1236. The armies of Sultan Nasir ud din Mahmud, led by the future Sultan Balban, unsuccessfully besieged the fortress in 1248 and 1253, but captured from Jaitrasingh Chauhan in 1259. shakti Dev succeeded Jaitrasingh in 1283, and recaptured Ranthambore and enlarged the kingdom. Sultan Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji briefly besieged the fort in 1290-91. In 1299,Maharao Hammir Dev Chauhan sheltered Muhammad Shah, a rebel general of Sultan Ala ud din Khilji, and refused to turn him over to the Sultan. The sultan unsuccessfully besieged the fortress in 1299, but returned in 1301 to personally oversee a long siege, and succeeded in capturing the fort.
The fortress was captured by the kingdom of Mewar under Rana Hamir Singh(1326–1364) and Rana Kumbha (1433–1468). After the reign of Rana Kumbha’s successor Rana Udai Singh I (1468–1473) the fortress passed to the Hada Rajputs of Bundi. Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat captured the fortress from 1532 to 1535. The Mughal Emperor Akbar captured the fortress in 1569.
The fortress passed to the Kachwaha Maharajas of Jaipur in the 17th century, and it remained part of Jaipur state until Indian Independence. The area surrounding the fortress became a hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur. Jaipur state acceded to India in 1949, becoming part of the state ofRajasthan in 1950.
Inside Ranthambore fort there are three Hindu temples dedicated to Ganesh, Shiva and Ramlalaji constructed in 12th and 13th centuries from red Karauli stone. There is also a Jain temple of Lord Sumatinath (5th Jain Tirthankar) and Lord Sambhavanath.