Nahargarh fort, Jaigarh fort and Amber fort are a trio of robust forts that once guarded together the kingdom of Amer. While Amer fort is located at lower hills, it is well guarded by Nahargarh fort and Jaigarh fort on either sides at higher hills. Nahargarh fort is positioned towards the north side. From atop the fort, one can see far and wide into the valley that once constituted the kingdom of Amer, and far beyond. Now, one can get a spectacular view of the whole city of Jaipur, from atop Nahargarh fort. That is a testimony to the strategic location of the fort.
On to Nahargarh Fort
Even before our trip to Jaipur started, we were already curious and excited to visit this trio of the great forts. Therefore, on our first day of sight seeing in Jaipur, we started with a visit of Amer fort, followed by Nahargarh and Jaigarh forts. We completed a lovely tour of Amer fort by noon, and then proceeded to Nahargarh fort next. It takes around 30 minutes to reach Nahargarh fort from Amer fort when you are plying by a car, most of the road being a steady uphill drive.
Though, the road is not very broad. Hardly two vehicles can pass by simultaneously, one from either side. But the day we were going to Nahargarh fort, there was some village fare on the way. As a result there were many people on the road and that made it even narrower. And a little difficult to ply as well. Nevertheless, we reached Nahargarh fort in 30-35 minutes.
So, we are confident one can reach here in a maximum of half an hour from Amer fort. On the way from Amer fort to Nahargarh fort, there comes a diversion. If you take the other route bifurcating from this diversion, you will reach Jaigarh fort. There is a board to indicate the same. However, our cab driver decided to take us first to the Nahargarh fort, and we were glad of his decision later on. Read on to know why.
The cozy food court
By the time we completed our trip of Amer fort, it was almost lunch time. However, we didn’t see many options around for food. So, we decided to head to Nahargarh fort and have lunch here. However, we didn’t know what kind of food options we will be available at Nahargarh fort. By the time we arrived at Nahargarh fort, it was afternoon and we were immensely hungry by now. So, we decided to first have food and then proceed to explore the fort. So, our fist task was to figure out if there was a place available to have lunch and if so, where was it located. As luck would have it, as we parked our vehicle and moved towards the fort, we spotted a big banner with delicious food pictures and “food court” printed on it. Immediately, (and sheepishly filled with joy!!) we headed in the direction shown.
Open sitting and ambiance
Following the direction leads to a courtyard just before the main fort entrance. This small courtyard has been beautifully converted into a food court. There are small food stalls on three sides of the courtyard, serving Indian , continental and european cuisines. While on the fourth side of the courtyard, floor cushions are placed on the verandah for a cozy sitting. While, in the centre of the courtyard, chairs and tables are placed for those who would prefer dining on the table.
Don’t expect a AC restaurant or anything. It is very much down to earth and that is what we loved about it’s setup. There are fans placed on the floors as well as attached to the walls of the verandah. I am not sure if they are able to provide the respite from heat in the summer months.But, the monsoon month of September when we visited here, they were comforting enough. Outside, the chairs were placed below dense trees, in the shade. Again, may not be a viable option in the peak summer season or during the mid noon time. But by the time we arrived here, even they looked cool enough to give a shot. However, tired and exhausted, we were immediately tempted to go to the verandah.
The floor sitting
We delightedly moved to the floor sitting on the verandah of the food court. Our toddler had fallen asleep while on our way from Amer fort. We decided to let her enjoy her sleep on one of the cushion – beds while we enjoyed our food relaxed on the others. Although the food was nothing great taste wise, we were so hungry, we got to stretch our legs and relax while having the food and our toddler could sleep in peace. Together, it made the place extra special for us. Before leaving, we got a burger packed to feed our baby later on. Even I had a burger. It was done in an Indian style. Fresh bun toasted in butter. And a freshly made potato patty added inside it. Overall, it was quiet satisfying for our hungry souls.
History of the Nahargarh Fort
After finishing food and getting refreshed, we started on our quest of Nahargarh fort. Nahargarh fort was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1734. Later some extensions were added in the nineteenth century to further strengthen the fort. The fort was built as a military hub as well as a relaxing abode to the Maharaja. As per history, this fort never came under attack. But it did immensely increase the robustness of the kingdom of Amer. Since, from here, the Amer fort could be better guarded. During the military mutiny of 1857, many British families, including women and children, were sheltered in this fort for their protection.
Inside the Nahargarh Fort
A set of stairs lead to the main door of Nahargarh fort. However, many of the areas are now closed to public and a smaller portion of the fort is accessible for visitors. We entered through the main gate, marveling it’s robustness. Thereafter, we arrived in a courtyard surrounded by rooms on all sides. From this courtyard, several doors lead to entrance in different sections of the fort. The doors are all named after Gods. The rooms are decorated with the characteristic intrinsic paintings, similar to other forts and palaces of Rajasthan. The windows and doors of this fort are decorated with colored class, in multiple color. This goes hand in hand with the paintings on the roofs and doors of the fort.
Each section has a flight of steep stairs that would take one to the upper floor. Upon reaching the top floor, one gets a stunning view of the city of Jaipur spread beyond in the valley. On the other end, one can see the stretch of the fort itself, with interweaved courtyards and roofs spread across a vast stretch. From here, one can get a glimpse of the other portions of the fort, which are otherwise not open to the public.
Interesting facts about Nahargarh Fort
Unlike Amber fort, Nahargarh fort is much smaller and doesn’t have too many rooms. But it’s rather a very robust fort with lots of interesting facts weaving around its architecture and history. Here are some to interest you:
The legend behind the name
It is said that when Nahargarh fort was being constructed, its construction had to be stopped several times. During the day the construction would go smoothly, but most of what was constructed over the day would get demolished by the night. As if, some unseen power was behind the demolish. No one could explain why this was happening. When this kept happening over a period of time, the Maharaja consulted his priests and the conclusion drawn was that the spirit of deceased prince Nahar Singh was obstructing the construction.
To pacify the spirit, the fort was named after him as ‘Nahargarh Fort’. (And you might have wondered, whats in a name!!) . A small fortress was also built inside the fort, and dedicated to Nahar Singh (Maybe his spirit was pacified after moving to its own private quarters). Overall, the story is quiet interesting.
The unconquered fort
Nahargarh fort was never attached. Thus, it remains the only unconquered fort of Mewar region. Since there was no invasion ever, the field guns at this strategic fort were completely unused. Thus, they were put to the use of time indication. In sync with the time detecting tool at Jantar Mantar, these field guns were fired to indicate the time of the day, until 1944. Even the robust forts of Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh saw several attacks but Nahargarh fort remains the only unconquered.
The Great Walls
Great, robust walls are a characteristic of the forts of Mewar and Amer. However, upon reaching the top of Nahargarh fort, one can see the robust walls running around the fort in all directions. Further down, they join the walls of Jaigarh fort, almost forming a circle around the lower Amber fort. Once you get to see the walls in full view, you realize the strategic importance and brilliance of the forts’ architecture. The walls run far and wide along the incline of the hill. They are walkable. And they even have stairs along the inclines. In the ancient times, when the fort was inhabited, the soldiers must have patrolled over these huge walls day in and day out, keeping a watch at the approaching enemies.
Nahargarh fort is the best place to enjoy a view of the sunset across the city of Jaipur. The view is simply stunning. Perched on top of the hill, it makes a perfect backdrop for enjoying the beauty of nature. Although we couldn’t stay here all the way till the sunset. We very much wish to have. Next time, we will.
- Visit Nahargarh Fort along with Amer and Jaigarh Fort. Head here after Amer fort visit.
- You will get decent lunch options here. So, its perfect to be visited around afternoon.
- You will need around 1 hour time to explore the fort.
- Wear comfortable cotton dress and shoes. You will be doing lots of walking under the sun.
- Carry water and canned juice. Keep yourself hydrated all the time.
- You can reach here by taxi or by hiring autos near Amber fort.
- The timings and the entry fee are listed here.
- You may or may not take a guide here. There are boards around with information engraved on them. You can pretty much take a tour around on your own.