Ranthambore Fort is a formidable fort and has been a focal point of historical developments of Rajasthan. It is situated near Sawai Madhopur town in Rajasthan. It is surrounded today and lies within the famous Ranthambore National Park which was formerly the hunting grounds for the Maharajahs of Jaipur before Indian independence.
Its earlier name was Ranastambha or Ranastambhapura. It was associated with Jainism during the reign of Prithviraja I of Chahamana dynasty in 12th century. In Mughal period a temple of Mallinatha was built in the fort. The fortress of Ranthambore was founded in 944 by the Nagil Jats, a branch of Chauhans. The fortress commanded a strategic location, 700 feet above the surrounding plain. It is of historical importance to know about Nagil clan. Nagil people are descendants of Nagavanshi mahapurusha Nagavaloka.
The fortress was captured by the kingdom of Mewar under Rana Hamir Singh (1326–1364) and Rana Kumbha (1433–1468). After the reign of Rana Kumbha's successor Rana Udai Singh I (1468–1473) the fortress passed to the Hada Rajputs of Bundi. Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat captured the fortress from 1532 to 1535. The Mughal Emperor Akbar captured the fortress in 1559.
The area surrounding the fortress became a hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur. Inside Ranthambore fort there are three Hindu temples dedicated to Ganesh, Shiva and Ramlalaji constructed in 12th and 13th centuries from red Karauli stone.