Complete Guide: Zorawar Fort
As much as the natural beauty of Ladakh intrigues people, the ancient monuments and history hold a lot of importance too. There are several ancient and historic monuments in Ladakh that amuses people to bits. It is one of those ruins that interests a lot of people during their trip to the land of high passes. This fort has a long and strong history and if you are an explorer or a historic buff, you need to visit the magnificent Zorawar Fort without a miss.
Standing tall and strong over Leh Palace, this fort was constructed and General Zorawar Singh as a military check post. It was the post held by the Dogra Soldiers who were also known as the snow warrior. Currently, the fort speaks for the past and has become a very reputed and top-notch tourist attraction in Leh.
About Zorawar Fort
Zorawar Fort is known to be one of the best constructions in Leh’s history. It is an excellent place to visit if you are keen to learn about Indian history. The rooms and museum of Zorawar Fort speak of the boastful and strong history of Ladakh starting from the reign of General Zorawar Ranjit Singh to the Indian Military. This fort was once owned by one of the greatest warriors of the Indian Army who is known for his victorious battles against the Chinese army.
The fort is strategically built above the Leh Palace to get an eye on the entire valley and detect if there is a threat coming. This is a place that houses a lot of wealth of the Dogra Dynasty rulers. The other name for this fort is Riasi Fort.
Important Information about Zorawar Fort
Before you read further, here are a few important things that you should know about the place.
- You will have to buy a ticket to enter the fort but there is still no ticket counter. The ticket you buy at the Hall of Fame, Leh can be used to enter this fort too.
- Travelers cannot enter the fort without a ticket.
- Make sure to be a part of the light and sound show that talks about the boastful and prideful history of Ladakh and India.
- The light and sound show takes place in the evening starting from 8 pm and goes on for 45 minutes.
- If you or any of your family members are in the armed forces- entry is free.
- There is no specific parking around the fort so either you can take a horse to the fort or hike your way up.
History of Zorawar Fort
There is a history room in the fort where all the artifacts and important items from history are kept including paintings and write-ups.
The fort was constructed in April 1836 by the general who was also known as the Wazir of Jammu and Kashmir (Ladakh was a part of Jammu and Kashmir.)
The Architecture of Zorawar Fort
The entire fort was built out of local material and the front gate is a true depiction of this. There are multiple small buildings and rooms inside the fort. The majority section of the fort is made out of sun-dried blocks. It is majorly made of mud, clay, and stones. Constructing such a building in the 19th century was an achievement in itself.
Highlights of Zorawar Fort
- Houses a huge variety of coins and specimens in terms of stamps.
- It also has a lot of treasure from the rulers of the fort of the different time periods.
- There is a war room in the fort that comprises all the used war materials like guns.
- Then there is another important room in the fort that houses the artifacts of its era.
- There is a room named Topkhana that has mortars and canons used at that time.
- There is also a Zorawar Museum in the complex where you can explore a lot of things right from his paintings to the clothes he wore.
- A special artifact room is also present where all the important manuscripts and other written details are kept including a statue.
- Another history room was also constructed in the complex that houses all sorts of written information on boards.
You can explore the entire complex and enjoy the sight of everything ancient. Some of them are tools used by Zorawar Singh in the victory run against the Chinese.
Entry Fee for Zorawar Fort
The high altitude Zorawar Fort is located at an altitude of 5359 m approximately. And taking about its entry fee, then the Indian travelers will have to pay approximately 15 INR per head and the international travelers have to pay 100 INR per person.
Timings to visit Zorawar Fort
The opening and closing time of Zorawar Fort is 8 am to 6 pm every day. You can plan your trip to this fort with your visit to Leh Palace. Also, it requires just about half an hour to explore the entire fort and its sections. Click pictures wherever you wish to and enjoy your time with them.
Location of Zorawar Fort
The fort is strategically located above the Leh Palace to get a distant view of the surroundings. It is located on Namgyal Hill which is approximately 1 km from the Leh Market. You can hike up Skara Road to reach here.
Apart from the location of this fort; one can enjoy the beauty of the surroundings which is a constant when you are in Ladakh. The valleys, mountains, landscapes, lakes, and rivers; bring a charm of its own in the land of high passes.
Best time to visit Zorawar Fort
The best time to visit the fort in Leh is during the summer. It is between May and August. These months are comfortable and allow the visitors to hike and enjoy the complex. You can also enjoy exploring in comfortable weather. But that cannot and does not stop travelers from visiting here during their choice of time.
Tips that will help you while visiting Zorawar Fort
Zorawar Fort is situated on a hill, and the terrain can be rocky and uneven in places. It’s important to wear comfortable shoes that are suitable for walking on this kind of terrain.
- Leh is located at a high altitude, and the sun can be intense, even in cooler weather. It’s important to bring sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
- It’s important to stay hydrated when visiting Zorawar Fort, especially if you plan to climb up to the fort. Be sure to carry enough drinking water with you.
- The fort is open from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, and it’s best to visit in the morning when it’s cooler and less crowded.
- Zorawar Fort is named after Zorawar Singh, a legendary warrior who played a significant role in the history of Ladakh. Take some time to learn about the history of the fort and the region before your visit.
- Ladakh has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to respect local customs and traditions while visiting. Dress modestly and be mindful of local sensitivities.
- Hiring a local guide is a great way to learn more about the fort and the surrounding area. A guide can provide insights into the history and culture of the region, and help you navigate the terrain.
With all the information that is given above, it wouldn’t be a problem in understanding how important Zorawar Fort is for Leh tourism. People visit here; they have to acclimatize in Leh, no matter what. And during this time they get to visit multiple attractions in this place. Zorawar Fort is one of them and you should visit here too on your trip.