Nahargarh Fort is the first of the three forts built by Maharaja Jai Sawai Singh of Jaipur. The Fort stands at the top of rugged point of the Aravalis and offers a spectacular view of the City. Keeping this fact in mind, the fort was made to serve as a means of supporting the security of Amer. The term "Nahargarh" refers to "the Abode of Tigers", so it is also known as the Tiger Fort. The Fort was constructed mainly in 1734, however further additions were made to it, by the succeeding rulers in the 19th century.
According to a legend, the Fort was named after a prince, whose spirit used to haunt the construction site. As a result, a tantrik was called and the ghost agreed to leave the fort only if, the fort was named after him. There are numerous buildings situated inside the Nahargarh Fort and amongst them, Madhavendra Bhawan appeals the most. It was built by Sawai Ram Singh II and has a series of interconnected rooms with colorful corridors and hallways. This Place was used as a picnic spot for the members of the Royal family.
A Norther major attraction of the Fort is that, it provides an eye catching view of the Man Sagar Lake and the suburbs. The geometrically designed Nahargarh Fort looks at its best in the night, when it is dazzlingly lit. To add flavor to your trip, the cafeterias inside the fort offer the finest drinks and snacks. Nahargarh Fort forms a remarkable backdrop of Jaipur and offers a glittering view of the city lights.
However, the older parts of the Nahargarh Fort got wrecked with the times, but the further additions to the Fort, are still charming and well-preserved. Nahargarh Fort stands as a symbol of the Royal heritage and speaks of its majestic past. A visit to this fort will definitely make your trip, a memorable one.
The Fort Construction
In 1734, seven years after his new capital was built Jai Singh II began to build this small fort. Two and a half-centuries later it still stands tall on a steep rocky face with massive walls and bastions for company. The fort provides an excellent view of the Pink City spread out at its foot. Jai Singh II named it Sudarshangarh (sudarshan chakra: Lord Vishnu’s discus; garh: fort).
There is a strange story behind the change of name of the fort. 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. Later a shrine was also added where the warrior could be worshipped. Nahargarh was used as the treasure of the Jaipur kingdom and even the highest state officials would only be allowed to approach the fort blindfolded.
In the 1880s Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh transformed Nahargarh into a monsoon retreat. He ordered the Raj Imarat, responsible for royal construction projects, to design a pleasure palace within the fort known as the Madhavendra Bhawan. Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the designer of Jaipur, built this palace with its beautiful interiors of frescoes and stucco designs that was used mainly by the harem women.
Fabricatinon of the Palace At Kings convenience
Each of the Maharaja’s nine wives was given a two-storey apartment, which were set around three sides of a rectangular courtyard. The maharaja’s personal living wing was built on the fourth side. The architecture was basically Indian with certain European additions like rectangular windows and western styled toilets. The apartments were arranged in such an order that the king could visit any one queen’s room without the knowledge of the others. For his convenience, each queen had her name inscribed above her door. Thakur Fateh Singh, an engineer in the Raj Imarat helped in the design of the queen’s apartments.
Fort was Protected from Encounters
The fort dominates the skyline by day and forms a breathtaking sight when floodlit at night. However, much of the original fort now lies in ruins except the walls and the 19th century additions including the rooms furnished for the maharajas. The cannons ranged across the Hazuri Burj were supposed to protect the fort but as the city never faced an attack from either the Mughals or the armies of other Rajput kingdoms, they were usually fired to signal the time to the city below. The queens used to come for a stroll here and the royal treasure were kept in the palace until Man Singh II moved it in the 1940s to Moti Doongri. You have to walk past the quiet streets at the base of the hill and then trek 2km up a steep, rough winding path to reach the top of the fort. Once you reach the top you’ll have a wonderful view of the Man Sagar Lake, in the middle of which Jai Singh II built a palatial duck blind for his shooting parties.
Location : Lies 6 km North of Jaipur, just below the Jaigarh Fort
Built by : Maharaja Jai Sawai Singh
Built in : 1734
Highlights : Offers a picturesque view of Jaipur
How to reach : One can easily reach Nahargarh Fort from the city by taking local Buses or by hiring local Taxis
Accessibility by Road
Jaipur 180 kms
Kota 125 kms
Agra 290 kms
Delhi 340 kms
Jodhpur 476 kms
Ajmer 272 kms
Udaipur 400 kms
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