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.
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.
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.