About Nahargarh Fort
Standing tall overlooking the city of Jaipur, Nahargarh Fort is a monumental edifice built by Sawai Madho Singh in the eighteenth century. The fort is situated on Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) and Nahargarh means “abode of tigers”. Nahargarh fort along with Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort once formed a strong defense around the city of Jaipur. However, Nahargarh fort was also used as a summer retreat by the Jaipur kings considering that there are several palaces, temples and landscaped gardens within its complex. There is an extended wall at Nahargarh Fort which connects it to Jaigarh Fort.
The Madhavendra Palace is the hotspot attraction at the fort which has an opulent suite for the king and nine suites for his concubines. The Madhavendra palace looks spellbindingly magnificent and the walls of the suites are intricately designed with delicate fresco paintings.
Within the fort lies the famous Nahargarh Biological Park and a zoo that gives tourists a sneak peek into the wilderness of the regions like Asiatic lions and Bengal tigers. Another huge attraction is the Sculpture Park that has astounding pieces of sculpture on display at the Madhavendra Palace. The fort complex even has two restaurants that offer breathtaking views of the city below and serves zesty Indian cuisine.
History of Nahargarh Fort
Nahargarh Fort was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in the year 1734. Interestingly, the fort was never attacked during the entire history. But, historical events in the eighteenth century like the signing of treaties with Maratha forces happened at the fort.
The fort also has another intriguing history attached to it. During the construction of the fort, something things strange used to happen every single day; whatever was built during the day used to collapse at night. The King believed that the construction work was hindered by the restless spirit of Rathore prince, Nahar Singh Bhomia.
So, based on the advice of astrologers, the king decided to build a temple devoted to him and also name the fort on his name to honor him. After doing so, the construction works of the fort went unhindered.
Architecture of Nahargarh Fort
The imposing Nahargarh Fort has been built in the Indo-European style of architecture and is decked up with scalloped archways, domed ceilings, and sprawling gardens. The tall exterior walls of the fort run for several kilometres and the main entrance of the fort, Padi Gate stands as a testimony to the magnificent architecture. The most prominent structure within the Nahargarh Fort is Madhavendra Bhawan aka Madhavendra Palace. This two-story palace was built by King Sawai Madho Singh for himself and his nine queens.
The palace features one majestic suite for the king himself and nine identical suites for his nine wives. The suites are lavish with bedrooms, lobby, kitchen, and a store. An open-air corridor connects all the suites. Interestingly, the suites are built in such a way that the king can visit one of his nine wives without the knowledge of the other eight wives.
Another amazing structure is the Diwan-i-Aam, which is a sprawling hall where the king addressed the grievances of his subjects. There are also two temples within Nahargarh Fort - one for the deity of Jaipur rulers and another one for Rathore prince, Nahar Singh Bhomia.
How to Reach Nahargarh Fort
From Airport: Jaipur airport and Nahargarh Fort are about 28 km apart and the most convenient way to commute is by hiring a cab/taxi. There is also one direct bus that runs once every 20 minutes between Jawahar Circle and Brahmpuri Khurra. The journey takes around 41 min.
Best Time to Visit Nahargarh Fort
The most ideal time to visit Nahargarh Fort is during the months from October to mid-March when the average day temperature is around 20 - 22 degrees celsius. The climate during these months is pleasant for sightseeing and enjoying a day at the fort.
What Not to Miss at Nahargarh Fort
Parks at Nahargarh
1. Nahargarh Biological Park: Draped by dry deciduous and humid spike jungles, the Nahargarh Biological Park sprawls over 7.2 sq.km at the foot of the Aravalli mountain ranges. Granite and quartzite rocks dominate the terrain here. The animals that have made this park their home are Asiatic lions, Bengal tiger, and Indian leopard. The park also houses about 285 species of birds and the white-naped tit species is particular to this region. Spotting the birds is fairly easy at Ram Sagar within the park.
So, if you are a wildlife photographer or an avid bird watcher, this biological park is a great place for you. Nahargarh Biological Park also houses a zoo where animals like Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers, panthers, hyenas, wolves, deer, crocodiles, sloth, Himalayan black bear, and wild boar can be seen in cages. Please note that the zoo is closed on Tuesdays.
2. Sculpture Park: The Madhavendra Palace inside the Nahargarh Fort has been converted into a mind-blowing sculpture gallery where flamboyant pieces of sculpture are put on display. The exquisite sculptures and the intricately adorned walls of the rooms in which they are displayed are a sheer delight to gaze at.
The best part is that the sculpture event at the Nahargarh Fort is an annual event, which means the pieces of art are changed every year for tourists to explore. The sculpture park has successfully displayed two editions - one in 2018 and the subsequent one in 2019. The 2020 Edition is scheduled in September 2020.
Attractions in and around Nahargarh Fort
1. Jaigarh Fort: Built majestically on the Cheel ka Teela, Jaigarh Fort is a majestic palatial structure that was built by Sawai Jai Singh II. The fort is constructed by thick walls of red sandstone that runs for about 3 kilometres and encloses a sprawling lush green garden with well-kept pathways. The fort has several attractions within its complex that keep visitors enthralled for hours with their architectural extravaganza.
The 'Jaivana Cannon' within the fort complex is a huge draw here. One can witness the intricately designed courtrooms, lavish halls, and a watchtower at the centre of the fort. The Aram Mandir at Jaigarh Fort has unobstructed scenic views of Sagar Lake. During Rajput rule, the fort was used to store the militaries and today, the fort museum has a huge collection of historical armaments that were used in the wars.
Distance from Nahargarh Fort: 6.3 km
2. Jal Mahal: Located in the middle of Sagar Lake, Jal Mahal means "Water Palace". This five-storeyed edifice looks spectacular against the glistening blue waters of the lake and the Aravalli ranges in the backdrop. The palace was built to be used as a lodge to host parties during duck hunting days by the royal rulers. During the monsoon season, almost four storeys of the palace get submerged beneath water and just one storey looks afloat on the water.
Jal Mahal has a rooftop garden and is a great place for spotting pelicans and flamingos. While entry inside the Jal Mahal is prohibited, one can take a boat ride in the lake to get a closer shot of this beautiful mahal. The palace looks breathtakingly beautiful in the evenings as you bask in its beauty while walking around the lake enjoying the cool, gentle breeze.
Distance from Nahargarh Fort: 10.3 km
3. Amber Fort: One of the biggest forts in India, Amber Fort in Amer is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This majestic fort encompasses four sprawling courtyards, several palaces and halls, a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, and manicured gardens.
The first courtyard, 'Jaleb Chowk' was used as the assembly and parade ground for soldiers, the second courtyard is the Hall of Public Audience, 'Diwan-e-Aam', the third courtyard is the Hall of Private Audience, 'Diwan-e-Khas', and the fourth courtyard is the Palace of Man Singh, inside which is the 'zenana'. The light and sound show that happens every day in the evenings portraying the rich heritage and history of the Amber Fort is interesting and informative. You can enjoy taking an elephant ride to reach atop the fort.
Distance from Nahargarh Fort: 10.9 km
Other Essential Information About Nahargarh Fort
-Location: Krishna Nagar, Brahampuri, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002
-Timings: 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM Mon - Sun
- Fee: INR 50 for Indians; INR 50 for foreigners
Facts about Nahargarh Fort
1. Nahargarh Fort was primarily built to increase the protection of the city. However, it was also used as a summer retreat by the Jaipur kings.
2. Nahargarh Fort was considered to be haunted due to the spirit of a prince named Nahar Singh Bhomia haunting over the place. So, Sawai Jai Singh built a temple to appease the soul of Nahar Singh Bhomia.
3. Nahargarh Fort was never attacked.
4. The fort witnessed historical events like treaties with the Maratha forces which attacked Jaipur in the 18th century.
5. During the Great Uprising of 1857, the fort provided shelter to many Europeans in this region.
6. During the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the British Resident's wife was made to stay at the Nahargarh Fort.
7. Unlike other stepwells in Rajasthan, stepwells within the fort have an asymmetrical design.
8. The fort has been featured in many superhit Bollywood movies like Rang de Basanti.
Tips for Visiting Nahargarh Fort
1. Carry things like sunglasses and hats to keep yourself protected from the sun.
2. Carry water bottles and keep yourself hydrated.
3. Do not miss carrying your camera and smartphones fully charged. The fort has some of the best backdrops for the shutterbugs.
4. Padao Restaurant within the fort requires an entry fee of INR 50.
5. It could take more than a couple of hours to explore the fort fully. So, have snacks handy and dispose of them in the designated trash cans.
6. You can also appoint a personal guide for a more informative visit.
Restaurants in Nahargarh Fort
1. Once Upon a Time: The historical Madhavendra Palace within the Nahargarh Fort has been converted into this heritage hotel and the magnificent interiors are sure to take the guests to the era of Rajput and Mughal rulers. Featuring al-fresco and indoor seating options, Once Upon a Time serves delicious Indian food.
2. Padao Restaurant: This restaurant is run by RTDC and is situated at a stone's throw away distance from the Nahargarh Fort. Padao is an open-restaurant and has the choicest collection of veg and non-veg items on their menu. The restaurant also offers amazing views of the pink city.