Visiting a fort is like taking a step back in time, isn’t it? It’s like every ancient wall, every long-forgotten window, every abandoned courtyard tells the tale of eras it has withstood.  Albeit forts are an example of architectural finesse and defense strategy of the time and rule they belong to, what is history really if not a love affair with the past? So if you fall into the category of travellers who love to walk through the centuries-old passages, the forts in and near Chandigarh await your arrival!

Don’t worry about narrowing down a list as we have already done the hard work for you. Here are top 8 forts in and near Chandigarh that truly merit a visit for their exquisite architecture, formidable strength, and a charm that only historical places hold.

Forts in Chandigarh

1. Burail Fort

Located in the heart of the city, Burail Fort is a remnant of Chandigarh’s rich history. Over 900 years old, this fort is a dying reflection of what was once the mighty citadel of a Mughal general. The only trace of the past left on its premises is the Shahidi Qila Sahib Gurudwara built in the memory of the army of Sikh warriors who died here in the late 1700s.

Open for all, this fort is ideal for a meet-up with friends when you are all in the mood for some insights into the history and culture of the City Beautiful.

  • Location: Sector 45, Chandigarh

Cultural enthusiasts like you might also love our blog on top museums in Chandigarh.

2. Manimajra Old Fort

Not quite as luxurious as the forts near Chandigarh, Manimajra Old Fort still holds a charm that makes it a must-visit. The fort was mostly popular among locals until Hollywood put it on the world tourism map after it was featured in the Oscar-nominated movie Zero Dark Thirty. 

  • Location: Manimajra, Chandigarh
  • Forts near Chandigarh

3. Fort Ramgarh

Fort Ramgarh is one of the most-loved forts near Chandigarh. Along with being an important historical structure, it is also a much-admired heritage hotel in the area. Fort Ramgarh is 360 years old, and it was built by the Chandel Rajputs who once ruled over the region.

The remarkable 37-feet wooden door of the fort gives you a glimpse of what lies inside this spectacular monument. Also, it is declared as India’s tallest wooden door by the Limca Book of World Records. So if you are in the area or just want to go on a day-trip from Chandigarh, Fort Ramgarh should definitely be considered.

  • Distance from Chandigarh: 20 km
  • Location: NH 73, Sector 28, Panchkula
  • Timings: 10 AM to 10 PM

4. Morni Fort

Perched atop the Morni Hill at a height of about 1200 m, the Mir Jafar Ali Fort or Morni Fort is a splendid place to spend a day with family or friends. The Haryana Forest Department renovated and restored this fort to its original structure in 2009. It commands a panoramic view of the town, which is why it is on the must-visit list of travellers. Built in the 17th century, Morni Fort is also a great place to enjoy the sunset.

  • Distance from Chandigarh: 40 km
  • Location: Morni Hills, Panchkula district
  • Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

5. Fort Nalagarh

Sitting atop a hillock amidst the Shivalik Range, Fort Nalagarh was built in the year 1421 by Raja Bikram Chand. Like Ramgarh, this fort has also been converted into a heritage resort, giving travellers a taste of royalty. It is surrounded by 20 acres of forest and commands stunning views of the surrounding hills.

If you are looking for weekend getaways from Chandigarh, Fort Nalagarh is the perfect place for a break from the hustle-bustle of the city.

  • Distance from Chandigarh: 47.5 km
  • Location: Raj Mahal, Nalagarh

6. Bharatgarh Fort

Built in the year 1783, Bharatgarh Fort is one of the few residential forts in the country and is currently occupied by the descendants of Sardar Amar Singh. However, a part of this 7-acre fort is open to public as a heritage homestay. Perched atop a small hill in the Shivalik Range, this fort is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike for its beautiful location, outstanding hospitality and king-like treatment.

Needless to say, if you want a taste of royalty, Bharatgarh is one of the best forts near Chandigarh.

  • Distance from Chandigarh: 62 km
  • Location: Ropar District

7. Ramshehar Fort

Ramshehar Fort was constructed by Raja Ram Chander in the year 1540. This centuries-old fort is now a heritage resort which offers its visitors a memorable stay in the Himachal. Architecture wise, the fort is built in a Mughal fashion but hints of Indian and British styles can also be seen here. This splendid fort is located on a hillock and commands breathtaking views of the Shivalik Range and Sirsa River.

  • Distance from Chandigarh: 66 km
  • Location: Ramshehar, Nalagarh

8. Doraha Fort

Remember that beautiful song “Tu bin bataye” from the Bollywood movie Rang De Basanti? Well, it was filmed at Doraha Fort, also named as Mughal Serai or Doraha Serai, and that is why it is more popularly called the RDB Fort. This extraordinary fort was built in the 17th century by Emperor Jahangir and today it stands tall as a fine example of splendid Mughal architecture.

It is around a 2-hour long drive away from Chandigarh. So, if you are in the mood for something offbeat, a trip to Doraha Fort is an excellent idea!

  • Distance from Chandigarh: 97 km
  • Location: Doraha, Ludhiana District
  • Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM

With so much to explore and experience in and near Chandigarh, what are you still waiting for? Call your buddies and start exploring!