AN IMPORTANT railway junction and entry point to the Ranthambhore National Park, Sawai Madhopur is named after its founder Sawai Madho Singh I (r.1750-68). The historic 8th-century Ranthambhore Fort (now in die park), a prized trophy on the main route to Central India, was the scene of many terrible battles between its Rajjput chieftains and the invading armies from Delhi and Agra. The fort was attacked by Alauddin Khilji and later by Akbar in 1569. This battle has been glorified in Mughal miniatures and bards have sung about the heroic deeds of its Rajput defenders, The fort was eventually handed over to the Amber kings (see pp2OO-2O3). This jungle fort, despite its ruined state, looks launting .
Its massive gateways, ramparts and bastions make entry a tricky affair. Within it is an 8th-century temple dedicated to Ganesha, chose priest receives sacks of Biters, sometimes addressed simply to “Sari Ganesha, Ranthambhore especially during the marriage season, in order to invoke the deity’s blessings. Clumps of grass bed together by newlyweds or luck are also seen along he way to the fort temple.
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