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The Fort

Ramathra was granted as a jagir (fiefdom) in 1645 AD to Thakur Bhoj Pal by his father the Maharaja of Karauli. The name Ramathra honours Lord Rama, who, it is believed, camped here while on his epic journey to Lanka. Today, Ramathra Fort belongs to Thakur Brijendra Raj Pal and his family who are descendents of the founder.

Among its numerous shrines, the Ganesh Mandir and Shiva Mandir give the best flavour of local religious life.

The pure white marble idol of Lord Shiva, the great Ascetic, is a masterpiece of early 18th century craftsmanship.


The fort has a strong perimeter wall crowned with parapets. Its ramparts are wide and offer a spectacular view from the hilltop. Inside there is a multi-story palace, parts of which are being restored using traditional building techniques and local craftspeople. Stone lattices and a painted ceiling ornament the otherwise simple facilities. It was, after all, designed to be a battle fort.A complete walking tour of the Ramathra village, a small hamlet of farmers and herders, takes about 3 hours.

The Lake

Ramathra Fort has a commanding view of the countryside. One can sit on the top of the fort’s massive outer wall and look out over farmland, rugged scrub of the Daang plateau, Kalisil Lake and its irrigation canal. Sunrises are especially spectacular and at twilight one can watch herds returning from the jungle or the blue bull grazing in the forest scrub below.


Water birds are the big attraction of Kalisil Lake which lies along the same flyway as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary just 175 kms to the north.

It was formed over 50 years ago when the Kalisil River was dammed for an irrigation scheme that now benefits farmers in Ramathra and its neighboring villages along the canal.


The lake is fed by monsoon rains and when full, its spreads 17 kms from the dam all the way to the holy town of Kailadevi. Even when the monsoon is light there is sufficient water for boating. A two to three seater boat equipped with paddles and life-vests is available for rent with or without a guide to bird watch, search for crocodile dens and possible crocodile sightings. Bring your binoculars and your telephoto lens – this is reason enough to visit Ramathra fort

Countryside

What distinguishes Ramathra Fort from many other heritage homes is its remoteness from the urbane and closeness to nature. Ramathra is part of a green farming belt in the Kalisil River valley. The Daang plateau, stretching east to the Chambal River valley and as far as Ranthambhore to the south, is filled with gorges.


Today, tigers are rare and the bandits only legendary, but visitors regularly see several varieties of deer, blue bulls, wolves jackals, hyenas and, if lucky, a wild boar, bear or leopard.

Jeep safaris from Ramathra Fort take you across the Daang through its badlands to several spectacular places that are best explored on foot.


With all the jeep safaris you’ll meet villagers and see their homes as they tend small plots in the fertile valley or herd cattle on the Daang scrub. Several stops are planned when crossing the Daang for photography and animal-spotting, making the journey as fun and interesting as the destination.