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Shivad Fort

Approximately 100 kilometres from Jaipur, the capital city of the state of Rajasthan in India, lies the village of Shivad or Shiwad (or Shiwar), which is part of the Chauth Ka Barwada Tehsil in the district of Sawai Madhopur. This village used to lie in the erstwhile Isarda Thikana or Zamindari under the erstwhile Kingdom of Jaipur. Not only does it house the famous and beautiful fort of Shivad on the nearby hills but is also closely connected to the Jaipur royal family, as the last two Maharajas of Jaipur were adopted from the royal family of Isarda. The Shivad Fort is one of the twin forts of Shivad and Barwada, built on two hills side by side as a marvel of architectural style, as if protecting each other’s back. The fort of Shivad is situated on the larger hillock, whereas the fort of Barwada is located on the smaller one. Together with its fabulous history and connection with the illustrious Jaipur royal family, Shivad presents a unique combination of archaeology, history and folk tales which makes it a unique but unexplored destination for tourists visiting Rajasthan. The nearby Shiva Temple of Sri Gushmeshwar adds to its allure.

History of Shivad Fort

The estate of Isarda was founded in the early 17th century as a feudal vassal state to the erstwhile Kingdom of Jaipur. Thakur Jhujhar Singh, Thakur of Raisar is taken as the forefather of the Thakur Family of Isarda through his daughter Kunwarani Kusum Kanwar, and the first record of semi-independent Thakur Family of Isarda can be traced to Thakur Koju Ram, who was the ruler of Isarda estate around 1730. The Shivad Fort came under the rule of the Thakur Family of Isarda, but probably it was built much earlier in the 7th century AD, as a protective outpost of the Kachwada Kingdom in the same region. Another reason for building a fort in this particular place was to protect the Gushmeshwar Jyotirlinga Temple from ongoing attacks of invaders from outside the borders of India. Under Thakur Ajit Singh, this fort was rebuilt into the current form around 1761 and served as a border outpost between Sawai Madhopur district of the Kingdom of Jaipur and the nearby Kingdom of Bundi. Under Thakur Saheb Raghunath Singh, the estate of Isarda reached the pinnacle of its glory when Raghunath Singh’s second son Kanwar Qayam Singh was adopted by His Highness Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh Ji II of Jaipur, and succeeded the throne as His Highness Maharaja Sawai Madho Singhji II. The current titular Maharaja of Jaipur Padmanabh Singh is the son of Princess Dia Kumari of Jaipur who was married to the Thakur Saheb of Isarda Narendra Singh Ji. Princess Dia Kumari is also a Member of the Indian Parliament from the constituency of Sawai Madhopur. (more in the History section)

The Fort as we see it Today

The Gushmeshwar Temple (also called the Niwai Shivad Temple) along with the old fort of Shivad is one of the greatest attractions in this area that are yet to be properly explored. The architecture of the Shivad Fort still gives an overview of the old form of the Chauhan/Chandela style. Over time, the architectural style gave in to the influence of the Mughal and the Neo Indian styles, and today, the fort ruins give a sense of different cultures and heritages all combined into one. The temples inside the fort, as well as the remaining structures of palaces and barracks give an example of the past glory that this ancient fort carries forward. Close to the Ranthambore National Park and the famous Ranthambore Fort, this fort along with the temple can become part of an itinerary of travellers wishing to explore the unexplored hidden heritage of these lands.

Tourist Information

The fort is open throughout the week from 7 AM to 7 PM. The temple is open from 5 AM to 9 PM. The nearest railway station is Sawai Madhopur, whereas the nearest airport is in Jaipur.