Monday, July 15, 2024

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Nahargarh Fort

Jaipur, Rajasthan
Visiting Time   1000-1630
Best Season
October to February
Offers a picturesque view of Jaipur.
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Nahargarh Fort of Rajasthan is located 6km north west of Jaipur, on the rugged Aravali Hills. It was originally named Sudarshangarh, but it became known as Nahargarh, which means 'abode of tigers'. The fort was built by Jai Sawai Singh II in 1734 (who also built the City Palace) to bolster the defense of Amer and the fort is the first of the three forts built by him. Later further additions were made to it by the succeeding rulers. It is a small fort on a sheer rock face with immense walls and bastions. It is here the portions of the famous hindi movies 'Rang De Basanti' and Shuddh Desi Romance were shot.

One have to walk around 2 km up through a long-winding road, to reach the top of the fort. Also known as 'Tiger Fort, it offers a stunning view of Jaipur right down below to the Man Sagar Lake.

There is a strange story behind the change of name of the fort. This place was haunted by the spirit of Rathore prince, Nahar Singh and this spirit obstructed the construction of the fort. On advice from his spiritual preceptor, the king Jai Singh built a small fortress at Purana Ghat in order to please the spirit and then the fort was renamed as Nahargarh. He also built a temple for him within the fort premises.

Although most of the Nahargarh fort is now in the ruins, but the lovely buildings added by Sawai Ram Singh II and Sawai Madho Singh II in the 19 th century are preserved in a good condition. The walls and the 19th century additions including the rooms furnished for the maharajas are worth admiration.

When work began on it, strange things happened here at night. Every morning the workers would find that the previous day’s entire construction was destroyed. Jai Singh then found out that the land had once belonged to a dead Rathore prince named Nahar Singh and his spirit did not like the sudden disturbances in his spiritual abode. To appease the soul a small fortress was built at Purana Ghat where the spirit could reside, and then the fort was renamed Nahargarh.

The fort was extended in 1868 and in 1880s the fort changed as a monsoon retreat by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh. He ordered the Raj Imarat, who responsible for royal construction projects to design a pleasure palace within the fort known as Madhavendra Bhawan Palace. And, Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the designer of Jaipur of Rajasthan, built this palace with its beautiful interiors of frescoes and stucco designs. It has a cluster of 9 identical suites for queens built by Madho Singh II and a suite for the king himself which were set around three sides of a rectangular courtyard and all these are linked by a maze of corridors. The main feature of this palace is that although it has 9 suites only 7 are seen from outside.

There are many courtyards and terraces with spectacular views and the rooms are covered in frescoes that are still beautiful.

The maharaja's personal living wing was built on the fourth side. The architecture of the palace is basically an Indian architecture which has some delicate frescos as well as western styled toilets and kitchen hearths. The Mardana Mahal at Nahargarh Fort of Rajasthan served as the living quarters of the royal men.

Looks stunningly beautiful at night when it's lit up, Nahargarh Fort provides an eye catching view of the Man Sagar Lake, Jal Mahal(Water Palace) and the suburbs. Also, from here one can see the entire view of Jaipur City. During the Diwali celebration, decoration and lighting is done throughout the fort

Inspired by the Lake Palace in Udaipur, Jal Mahal was built in the 18th century and was mainly used for royal duck shooting parties. The fort is currently a protected monuments by Rajasthan state's Department of Archaeology.

Nahargarh Fort is open daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Admission Fee : Rs 10 for Indians and Rs 30 for Foreigners. Extra Camera Fee.