My visit to the Nahargarh Fort is among the best experiences I have had in Rajasthan. The reason behind it was the company I had. I, with my two sisters-in-law, planned a ‘girls only’ outing. It reminded me of the fun times I had with friends during school and college days.
As the fort is perched on a hill and the roads were not in a good condition, we decided to take a taxi rather than driving.
Nahargarh Fort is about half an hour drive away from Jaipur city. This Fort is one of the famous trio of Jaipur forts comprising Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort and Jaigarh Fort. If discovering Incredible India is on your mind, here is why you should visit Nahargarh Fort when in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.
Though Nahargarh Fort is not as huge or magnificent as the other two, it is definitely worth visiting for the beautiful Madhavendra Palace and the fort’s location that gives an amazing view of the Jaipur city.
Nahargarh Fort was built during the reign of Sawai Jai Singh II during the 18th century. The primary reason for its construction was strengthening the defence of the state.
‘Nahargarh’ literally translates to the ‘abode of tigers’. There is an interesting story behind the name of this fort.
Originally, the fort was called ‘Sudarshan Garh’ but a lot of problems were being faced in its construction work. It is believed that the spirit of a prince named ‘Nahar Singh Bhomia’ haunted this place and was hindering the construction.
One day the king saw this prince in his dream. In order to honour that spirit, this fort was named ‘Nahargarh’. Also, a temple dedicated to him was erected in the fort premises.
Architecture of Nahargarh Fort
Nahargarh Fort exhibits a brilliant amalgamation of Rajput and European architecture with domed ceilings, scalloped arches, open courtyards and beautiful palaces.
For me, the beautiful fresco paintings on the walls and roofs inside Madhavendra Palace were the most amazing thing about Nahargarh Fort.
A step well or Baori in the fort served as a water reservoir. I found it quite unique. The steps in this baori are made in wavy shape that lend it a different yet beautiful look.
The song ‘Masti Ki Paathshala’ from the famous Bollywood movie ‘Rang De Basanti’ was shot at this Boari.
A magnificent gate adorned by two canons on each of its sides lead us inside the main building of the Nahargarh Fort.
This is known as Madhavendra Palace as it was built by Sawai Madhav Singh during the 19th century. This palace is a cluster of separate chambers made for the nine queens and one suite for the king himself.
Suites in Madhavendra Bhavan
Chand Parkash, Suraj Parkash, Jawahar Parkash, Laxmi Parkash, Lalit Parkash, Ratan Parkash, Vasant Parkash etc. are the names of the palaces of the queens.
The king’s palace has now been converted into a fine dining restaurant named ‘Once Upon A Time’. You can experience a lavish royal meal here.
Though this fort was originally built for defence, it never faced any attack. Later in the 19th century, it was used as a luxury retreat for the royals.
A Display of Art
The rooms in these palaces are exceptionally beautiful. Colourful geometrical designs, patterns like flowers, plants, leaves, animals, vines etc. adorn the walls and roofs of the royal chambers and corridors.
It is quite easy to imagine the luxury that royals living in this palace enjoyed. The palace looks well-preserved and it seems that regular work is being done for its upkeep by the authorities.
Modern art by various artists has been put on display in different places of the palace.
An open patio in the palace was specifically made with provisions of water harvesting. The rain water that fell down from the open roof would be collected in the space under the floor though the drainage system which would further get collected in the baori.
European Style Windows of the Palatial Suites
Simple wooden windows in the palace provide an amazing view of the city outside and also helped in keeping the rooms well aired during the hot summers.
These windows also provided a way for the queens to peek down in the corridor and know about the activities in the common area of the palace.
There is a special passage that was used by the king to visit the queens according to his preference and convenience.
Rooftop of the Palace
Stairs further lead to the rooftop of the palace. You must visit the rooftop as it provides an amazing view of the surroundings of the palace and Jaipur city.
From here, you can also sneak a peek into the restaurant ‘Once Upon A Time’, if you are not visiting it.
We skipped this restaurant but had a chance to have a look from the rooftop. This used to be the King’s suite.
The temple dedicated to the prince Nahar is also visible from the rooftop.
Padao Restaurant & Sunset Point
A 10 minutes walk took us towards a restaurant named ‘Padao’. In addition to providing a place to chill and eat, it is a marvellous place to watch the sunset and click some amazing photographs.
We reached this restaurant about an hour before sunset and got the best place that overlooked the city.
A cup of tea, amazing company, backdrop of a historical fort, lovely view of the Jaipur city and the sun set- all made this trip to Nahargarh Fort a memorable one that I would cherish forever.
If you are in Jaipur and looking for a place to trek or a place that would provide the bird’s eye view of the city, Nahargarh Fort is the place for you to visit.
Nahargarh Fort is located in Krishna Nagar, Brahmpuri in Jaipur city of Rajasthan.
October to March is the best time to visit Nahargarh Fort when the sun is not harsh. I would recommend visiting it in the morning or evening to avoid heat and watch sunrise or sunset.
About 1.5 to 2 hours is enough to visit Nahargarh Fort.
There is a paid toilet facility available in Nahargarh Fort.
The entry ticket to Nahargarh cost INR 50 for Indians, INR 5 for Indian students, INR 200 for foreigners, INR 25 for foreigner students. Valid student ID card is required for the student entry ticket. Entry is free for children upto age of 7 years.
Entry is free on some special days like 30th March (Rajasthan Day), 18th April (World Heritage Day), 18th May (World Museum Day), 27th September (World Tourism Day).
There is a separate entry fee for the Wax Museum. It cost INR 500 for Indians and INR 700 for foreigners. We skipped visiting the Wax Museum as we were more interested in the fort and tickets seemed a bit overpriced.
A beautiful antique looking chariot is put on display near the museum to attract visitors.
Nahargarh Fort opens daily from 10 AM to 5.30 PM.
Additional attractions inside the fort include Wax Museum, Sheesh Mahal, Fine Dining restaurant named ‘Once Upon A Time’, Sunset Point, Padao Restaurant.
Nahargarh Fort is located at a distance of about 6 Kms from the Jaipur city. There are two ways to reach Nahargarh Fort.
You can choose to take a taxi/bus or you can trek up the hill to the fort. It takes about half an hour to reach Nahargarh Fort from Jaipur by taxi or bus.
You can take a local bus from Hawa Mahal for Nahargarh Fort. It takes about half an hour to cover this 2 Kms of steep trek starting from foothill.
If you love trekking and have the energy to walk around the fort after the trek, I’d highly recommend trekking on this route.
The best way is to hire a two way taxi. We regretted not doing so as it started getting dark when we finished our trip and we were not able to find a ride to go back.
There were very few taxis in the stand and they were either already booked or asking for an exorbitant amount for fare.